Choose Your Poison
Thursday, April 26, 2012 — The following item ran in our “Admiral Fowle’s Piscataqua River Tidal Guide (Not for Navigational Purposes)” for this date:
“1865 — Boston Corbett, a hatter-turned-cavalryman who, seven years earlier, castrated himself with a pair of scissors to better withstand the temptation of prostitutes, shoots and kills John Wilkes Booth.”
Ah, how far we have come from the olden days, when all sorts of bizarre individuals carried on peculiar lives deeply affected by fanatical religious impulses …
What’s that you say? It’s wrong of us to suggest that the human impulse towards spirituality is in any way responsible for Boston Corbett‘s deranged behavior? You say he was just a nut, driven mad by mercury poisoning?
Well, all right, then — but that would make him a 19th century poster boy for the evils of insufficient workplace health and safety standards.