One night I was putting #5 to bed and, as always, he was talking.
#5: Hey guess what.
#5: I know why all those great inventors weren’t very nice people to work for.
Huh. Not what I was expecting him to say. The statement begged a thousand questions but I asked only one. Well, more of a prompt than a question.
#5: Yeah, because they were so busy inventing things that they never got enough sleep.
I looked at him for a minute.
Me: Are you saying that because Daddy and I get cranky when we don’t get enough sleep?
And there you have it. This conversation came back to me recently because I’m halfway through serious-badass-Nikola Tesla’s biography by Margaret Cheney Man Out Of Time, and among all the many other mindblowing things I read, there was a bit about the AC/DC (the current, not the band) wars.
So you have your Thomas Edison, by anyone’s standard, a great inventor. He’s a proponent of Direct Current and is actively working to make it our country’s electrical standard. Then you have Tesla, kind of a whippersnapper by Edison’s standard, but a brilliant inventor except no one remembers who he is today because he was a terrible businessman and also didn’t get around to patenting most of his inventions. He saw the flaws in the DC system and developed a better, stable Alternating Current system. The war was on. Edison began a smear campaign to malign AC. Tesla couldn’t be bothered. He just kept inventing stuff and making his AC sexy.
I live in New Jersey, as did Edison. Edison, as part of his smear campaign, was paying school boys to kidnap puppies basically in my neighborhood, and then he would electrocute them with alternating current, to prove how dangerous it is. Not in secret, publicly. Because we’re both New Jersians, I believe I am not out of line when I call him a douchebag. I mean, thanks for the light dude, but. . . yeah.
I have to conclude, based on this conversation with #5 who gets his information from perhaps the same genius realm as Tesla or else bacon-and-video-game-induced trances, that Edison was seriously sleep deprived.
Hey, so Christine at Quasiagitato took one of my posts and we did a Mad Lib with it. It totally cracked me up and you should go look at it. I refrained from using “boobies” for every plural noun, even though I wanted to. Click here for her post.
21 thoughts on “Because I’m posting from work.”
Ha! That is hilarious. Except the part about the puppies. Boo!
YOU MUST (sorry for shouting just so excited) watch the Drunken History on Funny Or Die about Tesla. My husband and I are constantly quoting from it. So funny. Tesla was the electric Jesus.
Oh boy oh boy! Got a link?
Edison was also electrocuting elephants 😦
Kids get cranky when they do not get enough sleep, here is something to ponder for your #5.
That douchebag. They were harder to kidnap than the puppies. #5 seems to have perfect sleep. I’m jealous. It must be why he’s never cranky.
Wow — Thomas Edison and Michael Vick, separated at birth! Who knew?? (except MV did the time, and TE got the genius award for all time). Love this and now have to go out and buy the book! Love your posts with #5, I gotta say….
You’re spot on! Everyone needs their sleep–especially inventors! I’m sure Steve Jobs would’ve been a decent guy if he’d have just relaxed more.
And that’s so interesting about Edison and Tesla–I know Edison was a jerk, but electrocuting puppies?! Geez!
Puppies and elephants?! REALLY?! I’ll never look at a light bulb the same way again. Not that I spent a lot of time looking at light bulbs…but…never mind.
Yeah. All that.I have been looking at lightbulbs lately and thinking of this. We’re stockpiling 100-watt incandescents because they become illegal here on January 1. The “green” bulbs are not pretty in the bathroom mirror. Not at all. Though more attractive than electrocutions.
Thanks for the heads-up; I wasn’t aware this was happening here. I better go stockpile my own. I like the ‘idea’ of the saver-bulbs, but my house is so dim now…like, broken-down, Psycho-Motel, scary-shadows dim. However, that does make everyone look more attractive. In a ‘watch-out-for-that-AX!!! sort of way.
The stories of Edison’s ruthlessness and cruelty in the name of self-promotion never cease to amaze me. I’m no longer surprised, but always amazed.
I did not know this bit of history. It is so disappointing when we see the dark side of heroic people. Certainly JFK could not be elected by today’s standards and the scrutiny through which public people undergo would have destroyed him. By the same notions I can’t imagine why Martin Luther King could have the audacity to call himself a PhD minister due to the adulterous immoral life he led in private.
I am always surprised what I find when I dig in. I have a couple of heros that I am perfectly content to keep up on that pedestal; I don’t need to know more.
Electrocuting puppies, wow, that is a new one on me. In the end though, these two inventions formed into a real cool puppy love tribute band AC/DC. Yeah.
If I’d ever heard about the puppies, I’d banished it from my memory. I’ll see your d-bag and raise you a d-wad. Off to read the guest post – can’t wait – I love me some Mad Libs!
Interesting, I was watching a television show last night that touched on the Tesla/Edison battle. I’d never heard of it before. I have lost all respect for Thomas Edison, great invention or not. All of them should have been put in prison – Edison and the authorities and animal owners who let him get away with the cruelty (including the boys who kidnapped the puppies).
As far as sleep deprivation goes, it’s great that #5 already realizes the importance of a good night’s sleep for one’s mental health. You have a very clever boy there!
#5 gets the non-sleep deprived genius award. Don’t you just love how kids cut through the crap and come up with these pearls of wisdom. Us adults definitely overthink stuff.
It’s a good thing Edison didn’t get my Annie, or she would have bit him in the 8@!!$ like she does her Yorkie brother when he tries to take her toy. I’m serious. He bullied her until they were about six months old, and then she bit him where it hurt the most, and he doesn’t mess with her now, EVER. Put that in your shorts and smoke it, TomEd. ~clink~
I just want to be clear that I liked most of your post, but not the puppy electrocuting thing. Good lord!
You make me laugh. Glad I popped over here today.
I’m trying to address my overuse-of-exclamation marks issue. I think it’s going fairly well. I’ve become a robot.
That’s me! Not enough sleep and I am cranky!