Way back in 1804, a couple of courageous explorers set off on a government-sponsored two-year expedition westward in search of more Indians to kill-which at that time was the national pastime-and lots more land on which to kill them. These two rugged frontiersmen were named Meriwether Lewis, who may or may not have been gay, and William Clark, who insisted they sleep in separate tents.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Holy crap! How does Frank know so much about these guys? …and how does he know what I’m thinking?”
Well, my friends, I know so much about “these guys” because I am the man that no less an authority than The History Channel refers to as, “That asshole who keeps claiming we know who the hell he is.” Pretty impressive, dontcha think?
As I come down from the high of such lofty praise, let me assure you that I am still just a regular guy who wants nothing more than to share his vast knowledge with the rest of the world. It would be a sin to know so much about our country’s history and just keep it all to myself. And so presented here for your enjoyment is a list of little known facts about Lewis & Clark-facts that are so little known, I don’t even know what they will be as I write these words because I haven’t made them up yet. So, like you, I wait in anticipation of what I come up with. Ain’t this fun?
Little Known Fact #1
In 1976, this important piece of American history was made into a popular TV sitcom known as Laverne & Shirley. Aside from the fact that the main characters were a pair of incredibly annoying female brewery workers from Milwaukee and not two rugged male explorers heading for the Pacific Northwest, the show was spot on and to this day is referenced regularly in American classrooms for its amazing historic accuracy.
Author’s note: I must confess that I knew what Little Know Fact #1 was going to be before I wrote the last paragraph of the intro because I wrote it before I wrote the last paragraph of the intro. That is how writers write. We don’t just write beginning to end-we write bits and pieces here and there and then throw it all together, copying and pasting until we have one cohesive unit. I promise you that from here on out, the rest of the Little Known Facts are-as of this moment-unknown even to me. Let’s move on to see what I come up with next. Exciting, huh?
Little Known Fact #2
Lewis & Clark set off on their long journey from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 31, 1803, then took a look at a map and realized they were more than 2,000 miles from their destination. Discouraged by the extreme distance, Clark suggested they lower their sights and settle for a 140 mile trip to Cleveland. After spending one night in Cleveland, the two realized just how low they had lowered their sights and decided a couple thousand miles wasn’t that far after all.
Little Known Fact #3
Several days were wasted when Lewis insisted they stop to visit Mt. Rushmore. Because it would be more than 100 years before the images of four of our greatest presidents would be carved into the famous monument, a disgusted Clark wrote in his journal of Lewis’s folly: “That dumbass had us traipsing all over South Dakota looking for ‘the big mountain with the faces on it.’ Never did find the damn thing and in the process we damn near got scalped by some angry Sioux. What a flaming idiot!”
Little Known Fact #4
Even though the Lewis & Clark Expedition took just 2½ years to complete, Laverne & Shirley remained on the air eight full seasons. The show’s unexpected longevity caused its creators to take liberties with the timeline. For instance, the real Lenny and Squiggy died just six months into the expedition, but in the TV version, the two wacky neighbors didn’t meet their unfortunate ends until late in season six when Squiggy accidentally started their apartment ablaze while lighting farts.
Little Known Fact #5
The expedition would have ended a month earlier had Lewis & Clark not veered off track in order to enjoy a weekend stop in Vegas. Knowing President Jefferson’s weakness for gay magicians, the men didn’t even attempt to cover their tracks, simply entering the words “Siegfried & Roy” into the expense report.
Little Known Fact #6
Sacagawea, which is Shoshone for “Indian whore,” accompanied Lewis & Clark on much of the journey acting as a “guide and interpreter,” which is English for “Indian whore.” It is believed by many historians that the numerous entries of “Sack of Chewy Oats” found in the expense report turned into the government was the explorers’ way of cleverly getting reimbursed for the cost of Sacagawea’s “services.”
Author’s note: Confession time again. Little Known Fact #6 is not a fact at all. I just wanted to fool around with the name “Sacagawea.” See how I took her name and came up with “Sack of Chewy Oats”? Pretty clever shit, huh? Most people couldn’t come up with something like that, but I’m a trained professional. Oh, and Sacagawea wasn’t a whore at all. She never charged the men for sex, so really she was more like a slut.
Little Known Fact #7
Sacagawea was a slut.