(An historical essay based on exhaustive research into my ancestor, Jim Boswell. Pictured above: not Jim Boswell.)
Jim Boswell was ninety stories tall. When he spoke, his mighty voice made the heavens rattle and caused twice-yearly meteor showers. A stamp of Jim Boswell’s mighty boot formed the Grand Canyon. Jim Boswell invented plaid and was the first to tame the mighty sea otter. With his thousand-mile-long wagon train, Jim Boswell traveled west to California, where his twenty thousand Roman slaves laboured for ten years to built the Golden Gate Bridge.
When Jim Boswell was seven years old, a carnival came to town and Jim Boswell joined the carnival as a peanut seller. He traveled to New Orleans and signed up to fight with General Andrew Jackson, but was kidnapped by pirates. Jim Boswell became captain of the pirates and sailed to the Galapagos Islands, where he saved Orlando Bloom from becoming a Disney ride. He then sailed up the Mississippi River on a raft and freed all the slaves. Later, Jim Boswell saved Abraham Lincoln’s life by catching Booth’s bullet in his teeth.
After that, nothing much happened to Jim Boswell until he was fifteen. The Underground Railroad was just getting started, so Jim Boswell rode to Texas and saved the Alamo with his mighty slingshot. Teddy Roosevelt was wounded in the battle, so Jim Boswell led the Rough Riders and single-handedly made Mexico the 51st U.S. state.
About that time, Jim Boswell’s mother wrote him a letter asking him to come home. She sent it via the last passenger pigeon, which died in Jim Boswell’s arms after flying around the world twice to find him. Jim Boswell had loaned his horse to Teddy Roosevelt, so instead of asking for it back, Jim Boswell invented the automobile and drove back to Philadelphia. There he built an empire in the steel industry. He had learned to make steel from the Arawak Indians, whom he had saved from the Spaniards.
All went well for Jim Boswell until his brother was killed in a tragic meatpacking accident, which resulted in Jim Boswell being served some very odd sausage. The moment he saw the sausage, Jim Boswell let out a howl of rage so fierce that Chicago burst into flames. Thus Jim Boswell is credited with the invention of Soylent Green, although it was really his brother who had made something of himself.
After buying most of Canada, Jim Boswell put all his money into the stock market and bought Iowa, Idaho, North Dakota, Missouri, and Ohio on margin, but he lost them when the stock market crashed and was reduced to dancing for quarters on the University of Michigan Diag. This was bad for Jim Boswell, because he was such a horrible dancer that people wouldn’t give him quarters, but instead took his quarters as punishment for making them watch his dancing. Canada ended up kicking Jim Boswell out of the apartment they shared because Jim Boswell couldn’t pay his rent. Jim Boswell died peniless and alone, probably of rabies. He still haunts his descendents sometimes, but since none of them know who he is, nobody cares.