Another bunch of people you have never heard of...
John Henry Mastodon
In 1962, John Henry Mastodon climbed Mount Everest the hard way - up the inside. Using nothing more sophisticated than a pickaxe, a trowel and a small penknife, the intrepid mountaineer tunnelled his way up the middle of the mountain. The hole he created still exists today and is used to run electrical cables and water pipes up to a small gift shop at the summit, where you can buy a commemorative tea towel that celebrates the achievement.
Billed as The Man Who Talks to Penguins, Bartholomew Lungs toured his act around the provincial theatres of the UK in the forties and fifties. Lungs claimed to be able to talk to many species of penguin, including rockhoppers and emperors. Anyone fortunate enough to have witnessed his show would have seen about a dozen penguins lined up on stage, eight of them stuffed, while Lungs spoke to them at length on a variety of subjects including agricultural techniques, new developments in automobile manufacture and football. He spoke in English, the penguins never answered back and those that were still alive would frequently get bored and waddle off stage. Whenever people complained about the birds' lack of a response, Lungs explained that they were all mesmerised by what he had to say, as evidenced by their rapt and thoughtful expressions.
Someone has to hold the world record for eating the most spaghetti hoops with a cocktail stick whilst being on fire and parachuting out of a plane, and that person is Malinky Formica. This was not his real name, of course. Oh no, that would be silly. His real name was Malinky Jones. Although Malinky achieved the record, he did not survive the attempt because, you know, fire. By the way, if you're interested, the record is three.
Rancid Alan Grease
Grease briefly came to the nation's attention in the 1970s when he claimed to be the last remaining descendant of the Plantagenet line and therefore the rightful King of England. Minimal research was able to reveal that he was actually a self-employed plumber from Leicester, trading under the name "Speedyplumb". However, even this claim was disputed by one of his former customers, who said that he was still waiting for him to come and fit a shower, and that he didn't think the workshy git knew one end of a plunger from the other.
You've all heard of Giovanni Schiaparelli, who was the first person to discover canals on Mars. No? Oh, well you have now. Anyway, Vespasian Droid is the astronomer who discovered railways on Saturn, monorails on Mercury and a helicopter pad on Uranus. He died tragically when crossing a road in Taunton, when he was too late in discovering the big red bus that was heading towards him at speed.
Greek mathematician who invented the four-sided triangle. Although the four-sided triangle is still used in some branches of engineering and has certain specialised functions in microcircuitry, it has been largely superseded in common everyday use by the square.
Alphonse Lionheart Bullett
Eighteenth century adventurer, whose real-life exploits became the source material for a series of popular pamphlets. Accounts differ as to his eventual fate. Opinion has it that he was eaten by a giant octopus in the Indian Ocean in 1786. However, there are those who believe that the facts have become confused, and that what really happened is that he ate a giant octopus in an Indian restaurant and went home early to sleep it off. An unpaid restaurant bill currently on display in a museum in Mumbai seems to confirm this version of events.
Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2022
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