Category Archives: America Fun Fact of the Day

Larry Adler Was Better At Harmonica Than You Are At Anything

“I came here to play harmonica and have copious amounts of affairs, and well, I just finished playing harmonica.”

~Larry Adler

larry adler

When you hear the word “famous” there are a lot of words that could follow without knocking you off balance. Famous movie star? Makes sense. Famous doctor? Somewhat more rare, but not particularly shocking. Famous drunk blogger? Well now you’re just lifting lines from the vision board in our office. But if you were given a million guesses to name professions or identities that could make you famous, we’re willing to bet that “harmonica player” would not even come close to making the list. But that’s only if you’ve not heard of Larry Adler, the famed mouth organ player. (And yes, he referred to the harmonica almost exclusively as the mouth organ, and yes a part of him no doubt did this to allow for all the easy jokes that come from building a career blowing air into a thing you call a mouth organ.)

Larry Adler somehow managed to go from harmonica street performer who didn’t know how to read music to bonified international star who had affairs with famous actresses and recorded music with the likes of Elton John and Cher (as well as a bunch of people who were famous in like the 1950s but if we started this article with stuff like “oh he knew Jack Benny and worked with Dizzie Gillespie” about two thirds of our readers would lapse into an hour-long coma).

Hell, we’ve written AFFotDs for far less impressive careers. So fuck it, we’re going to talk about a harmonica player now.

Larry Adler Was Better At Harmonica Than You Are At Anything

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British Sandwiches, Ranked From Best to Worst

“Oh God, we have to talk about British food again?”

~AFFotD’s Resident Food Critic

food spread

We all know the stereotypes about the English when it comes to food. British food is bland, boring, weird, bad, and their teeth are snaggled as fuck. Granted, the teeth thing has nothing to do with their cuisine, but any time you have the opportunity to make a British dentistry joke, you make it, ‘cause that country’s got some broke-ass grills. Now, it’s never good to encourage or propagate stereotypes…except for the fact that, as we’ve previously established, British food absolutely adheres to these stereotypes.

That isn’t to say that all British food is bad, or that they haven’t contributed some important culinary traditions to America. On the contrary, they’re responsible for one of the best portable meal options that Americans have at their disposal—the sandwich. Yes, referred to by some as the Britain’s most noteworthy creation, Americans have the English to thank for all their best bread-laden treats. Jimmy Johns, Jersey Mikes, yes, even Subway for those among us lost their taste buds in a fireworks accident, none of these lunch and sometimes sad, lonely dinner options would be available to us if not for the motherland to our east.

Truly, the existence of sandwiches (for America to, naturally, improve upon) is a gift, and to return the favor, we are here to list an extensive list of British sandwiches, ranked from their best offerings to their saddest, most pathetic. Because if we wanted to write an article just about good British food, well, that article would have to be real fucking short, wouldn’t it?

British Sandwiches, Ranked From Best to Worst

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8 Craziest Detective Novels (Featuring Celebrity Sleuths)

“So anyway, after my divorce, everyone said I should have a hobby. Until I told them that I was planning to write a mystery novel where Alf solves crimes.”

~Some of These Writers, Basically

detectives

Mystery novels serve many important functions in American society. They’re read on our sandy beaches, they’re packed and probably not read on our family vacations, and they’re an easy way for lazy screenwriters to fast track a screenplay in Hollywood. We, as a nation, love a good mystery, be it the deductive sleuthing of Sherlock Holmes, or trying to figure out why there are used condoms in the bathroom garbage can when you and your wife have been trying for kids the last three months. If that sentence took a shocking turn, that wasn’t this feature’s writer oversharing about his debilitating divorce, it was a twist that you didn’t see coming!

Americans love mystery novels because they’re light, easy to read, enjoyable, and there’s something genuinely exciting about finding yourself shocked by an outcome you never saw coming. Which is why it is such a popular genre for not only American readers, but for American writers. We don’t have the numbers to back this up, because it’s not like we make enough money on this site to hire an actual research team, but every year roughly 900,000 mystery novels are written by recently retired business men and women who have not yet decided to take up fishing.

And sure, every once and a while we’ll get a Gone Girl out of this slurry of mid-life crises, but more often than not we’ll get someone that just goes, “Okay so it’s a mystery, but like, what if the detective was David Duchovny?”

Which, duh, if Duchovny was the detective it would have to feature aliens. Actually, there’s some nuggets there, we could make that work. So while we work on our masterpiece Murder on the X-Files Set, here’s a list of eight detective novels that have actually been published where the detectives are fictionalized versions of real-life people.

8 Craziest Detective Novels (Featuring Celebrity Sleuths)

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The Ipswich Witchcraft Trial, a.k.a. Holy Shit, We Had a Witchcraft Trial 141 Years Ago?

“Listen, we know we’re still backwards as shit right now, but we’re not ‘Witch Trials Are a Normal Thing’ Backwards, Yeesh.”

~The Year 1878

witch trial

The Salem witch trials hold a place of particular infamy in American history, a stark reminder of both the complications of our Puritan foundation as well as the sins of our hysterical forbearers. From 1692 to 1693, over 200 people were accused of witchcraft crimes, leading to the death of 25 innocent people whose only crime was “did something to piss off an asshole at some point.” But we still try to separate ourselves from these events. It was before America was America, we rationalize. It was over three hundred years ago, we say. But while the trials of Salem remain in the forefront of the American zeitgeist, we forget that there were dozens of other similar, though less widespread, witchcraft trials throughout the years. And they went on much longer than you’d think.

How late? Try the late 1800s.

Here’s the story of America’s (hopefully, but who knows the way things are going nowadays) last witchcraft trial.

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Elliott Roosevelt Might Just Be the Most Interesting Roosevelt Not Named Teddy

“Wait, we found more Roosevelt kids?”

~The Writer of Teddy’s Tots

elliott and eleanor roosevelt

We’re not exactly shy here about our preferences when it comes to the Roosevelt presidents. We’re Team Teddy all the way. But we’re not haters on this front. We’ll readily admit that FDR did have his badass moments, and his wife Eleanor was no slouch on that front either. So while we’re not surprised that their offspring generally went ahead and did impressive things, we were pretty amazed to hear about Eleanor’s supposed “favorite son”, Elliott. To give you a sense of the Elliott Roosevelt, um, flavor, we’ll just say that we’re about 90% certain that Elliott Roosevelt is only considered her favorite son because he made that claim after she died. Strap in, you guys, this is going to be a wild one.

Now let’s take a moment to talk about the middle son of FDR who, well, let’s just say lived a colorful life.

Elliott Roosevelt Might Just Be the Most Interesting Roosevelt Not Named Teddy

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Five Absurd Museums That Have No Reason To Exist

“Welcome to my museum devoted entirely to my very specific strain of ADHD.”

~The Founder of the Umbrella Cover Museum

ramen museum

Museums. You may know them as the big buildings with a bunch of old stuff that your friends start going to instead of day drinking on Sundays because “they have kids now, Johnny” and “Jesus, you mean you still went to the bottomless mimosa place by yourself? Are you okay?” But did you know they can be more than a “fun” date destination for couples who have just become the type who host “game nights” on Saturdays? They also can be completely batshit crazy and unnecessary!

We tend to assume that museums exist to hold things like dinosaur bones and mummies, but there’s not really much in the way of criteria for what counts as a museum. Anyone can start a museum about anything, and society just calmly lets this happen. The difference between a person running a museum out of their house and a hoarder is that the hoarder at least has a variety of interests.

To that end, we’ve gone out and discovered five museums that, frankly, shouldn’t exist. Is this our way of telling intrepid Americans everywhere that they should not turn their over-sized collections into galleries that preserve the past for the future? Yes. Absolutely.

Five Absurd Museums That Have No Reason To Exist

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Six Regional Pizzas You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

“I have very strong opinions about other people’s opinions about pizza, and this angers me.”

~The Internet

pizza

Back in 2013 we wrote what, arguably, is our most divisive article that doesn’t insult ALDI. In this article, we looked at all the regional pizzas in America, and told you which ones were ass. A lot of people felt compelled to defend St. Louis pizza! We didn’t know that there were so many wrong people in the world! And we get it, pizza is a touchy subject for some people. Like, it really shouldn’t fucking be, it’s just sauce, dough and cheese with other shit tossed in sometimes, but whatever, we’ll play along.

So when one of our interns suggested we do another pizza article, we took away his bourbon privileges for the rest of the day. Who wants to deal with those kind of headaches? But then we took a step back and said, fuck it, we’ve got a deadline to meet and literally every other staff writer was passed out drunk after celebrating a very important holiday in the office that we call “Wednesday on a kind of chilly day.” So how can we talk about pizza in a way that won’t piss everyone off? Maybe, just maybe, for once, we’ll just talk about food without commenting on how delicious or gross we find it. It’s a novel concept, for sure. So fuck it, let’s give it a go. Here are some pizzas from across America that you likely have never encountered before.

Six Regional Pizzas You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of

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8 TV Shows That the Emmys LOVE (and the Golden Globes HATE)

“Wait, Mrs. Doubtfire won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy or Musical? I’m not sure if that lessens our opinion of the Globes, or improves it…”

~AFFotD’s In-House Film Critic

golden globes

When honoring television series, there are only two award shows we trust—The Golden Globes and the Primetime Emmys. The Globes, of course, award television and film, and are ruled by the whims of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a secretive group of people with some questionable credentials and qualifications, while the Emmys celebrate all aspects of television production, not just best shows and actors, and are awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a group of producers, writers, and actors dedicated to the advancement of the television industry. Both awards are broadcast on national television in a national event filled all sorts of well-respected and regarded celebrities and also Mel Gibson sometimes is there. But outside of their categorical differences (the Globes have movie stars! The Emmys have a prize that’s just “Outstanding Production Design For a Narrative Period of Fantasy Program [One Hour or More]!”) these two organizations also differ in one major way.

Taste.

While the Golden Globes are notorious for nominating, and even awarding, shows that never even catch a whiff of an Emmy nomination (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for example, won Best Comedy and Best Leading Actor in 2014, two categories it has never even been nominated for in the Emmys), there are a whole slew of well-regarded shows that, apparently, the Golden Globes think are butt.

There could be a lot of reasons for this! It could be that the Foreign Press prefers to award less “popular” shows than the Emmys do. It could be that they are inclined to lean more towards non-American-created content. Or it might be that the Emmys are run by a group of people who work solely in television, and the Globes are run by like 90 people who do things like write fake interviews with Drew Barrymore for inflight magazines. We could do a deep dive, dig up research, and examine social trends, and get to the real meat of why this happens.

Or we could just randomly pick like, oh, what’s a good number…eight? Yeah, if we were really lazy, we could just pick eight shows the Globes hate, and laugh about it. But this is a respectable publication, so we would never do that to you, right?

8 TV Shows That the Emmys LOVE (and the Golden Globes HATE) Continue reading

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Embarrassing Animal Selections

“And our national song is ‘Self-Esteem’ by The Offspring”

~Most of the Countries Listed

otter

For the last few weeks, we’ve talked about nations throughout the world whose national animals were a bit lacking. Mostly they were lacking in actual permeance, as none of are “things” that “really exist” yet they somehow are “national animals” for “some reasons” and “we can’t stop doing this quotation mark gimmick we’re so sorry.” But our research did more than just tell us that a whole bunch of countries had no idea what lions looked lack back in the day. It also clued us in on the fact that a lot of countries don’t really realize that a national animal is there to represent the country. Or, they realized that, and they have a very low opinion of their own countries. Here are some of the more depressing animals that some nations looked at and said, “Oh yeah, that’s us to a T.”

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Embarrassing Animal Selections

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The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Mythical Creatures Edition (Part 2)

“Heh. COCK of Barcelos.”

~Our Giggling Copy Editor

uk emblem

Last week, we wrote an article that basically centered on the premise of “a lot of countries have silly or unusual national animals, and a bunch of these national animals don’t even exist, let’s make fun of them.” We held ourselves to one penis joke (heh, phrasing) and we can assure you we will not be so restrained this time around. Here are more of…

The Weirdest Official National Animals in the World: Mythical Creatures Edition (Part 2) Continue reading