Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 4 The Most Bonkers Race in Olympic History

Next time someone mentions the plight of the Olympic athlete, remember that it’s not that bad. They could be forced to run a marathon through a cloud of dust while wearing cutoff shorts, having cramps & being chased by dogs while their trainers try to poison them.

Read the rest of this entry »

I’m Not Making This Up – Do A Good Deed, Find Your Father’s Body Snatchers

Poor John Scott Harrison. You would think that being a State Representative, son of a President and father of another President would get you some respect. Or at least keep grave robbers away. Unfortunately, in Harrison’s case, you’d be wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up – The Pirate Queen Of Denmark

What do you do if you’re a Scandinavian princess, locked in a tower and guarded by snakes? What do you do when your royal parents give your hand to a prince against your wishes?

If you’re princess Awilda, you get your best girlfriends to rescue you and you run away to become pirates.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 3 That Time Someone Caught a Shark In Illinois

Herbert Cope and his fishing partner Dudge Collins knew they had a big catch in their fishing trap.  Maybe some kind of Muskie or Catfish.  But when they hauled it in, they never expected a 5 foot long shark. They were after all, in Illinois.  Research links: Sharks In Illinois The Strangest Shark Story Ever

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: 5 Women Who Were More Awesome Than You

Despite what Alannis said, irony is not like rain on your wedding day.  But irony just might be all those guys on the internet who claim that women ruin everything. Especially when “everything” happens to be things that were invented or shaped by the rest of us cooties-having women. (Google “women ruin” to get an […]

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 1 That Time Wallpaper Killed Napoleon

During the Industrial Revolution, nearly everything could kill you. You could catch the flu from your big, drafty manor house, catch illness from your unpasteurized milk, or poison yourself wearing an arsenic green silk dress..

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: That Time We Misplaced A Founding Father.

Some of the stories around the American Revolution almost have the ring of tall tale legend to them.  One of these was that when John Paul Jones came under fire from the British on the High Seas, they demanded that he surrender. Outmanned and outgunned, he supposedly said: I have not yet begun to fight.  […]

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: That time Boston never wanted Gingersnap Cookies Again

Last week when I was writing about the London Beer Flood, I learned of the most bizarre disaster to occur in US history. On January 15, 1919, a storage tank along Boston’s waterfront burst, sending a 15 foot high, 160 foot wide wave of molasses rolling through the streets of Boston at a speedy (for […]

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Beer Tidal Waves Aren’t As Fun As You Might Think

The Super Bowl has just passed, which made me think of today’s topic: the London Beer Flood of 1814. (And if Super Bowl commercials don’t make you think of beer tidal waves, you and I don’t watch the same sport). On October 17, 1814 George Crick, a storehouse clerk at Meux and Co. brewery (sometimes […]

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: That Time Washington wore Falsies

Whenever I see portraits of George Washington (and I see them a lot. I live near an American Art musuem.) I’m struck by how his jawline reminds me of my grandmother’s. Like Washington, my grandmother wore false teeth. Despite the name, Washington’s false teeth weren’t actually false. Nor were they wooden (contrary to popular myth). […]

Read the rest of this entry »