One Foot Ashore

Hello and welcome to another week of disinformation here at Factually Deficient, where you can’t believe anything you read – believe me! This week, I will answer a question posed by the unparalleled Scarab, who cited an article about feet appearing in British Columbia, Canada, and asked:

WHY ARE THERE *MORE* FEET WASHING ASHORE?! I THINK YOU SHOULD BE ASKING WHY THEY WASHED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Scarab, whose Caps Lock key is in good working order, has asked a good question which is based on a fundamental misconception. The phrase “washing up” has a number of connotations which are colourful, vivid, and entirely irrelevant to our scenario. Although many people see feet on a shore and assume they have washed up in some morbid tale, there is of course a much simpler – and more pertinent – way they could have arrived there.

The Kingdom of Canada is a vast and beautiful country, but an isolated one, with no neighbours at all in convenient travelling distance. This is unfortunate for the eager would-be tourists who want nothing more than to make a pilgrimage to John A. Macdonald’s land, that of the maple-tinged sunset and the beavers crowing dawn.

Air travel is almost impossible, due to the threat of dragons. Travelling by sea is likewise unfeasible, because the beavers are constantly flooding the regular byways of the boats with their architecturally wondrous dams. But despite these difficulties, Canada’s dedicated diaspora and touristry do not give up on setting foot on this sacred territory. If they could not sail or fly to Canada, they declared, then they would walk there.

In vain did naysayers remind these intrepid travellers that Canada is bounded by three shining seas, unwalkable except on the ocean floor. No, the prospective explorers simply acquired for themselves pairs of seven-league boots, to sidestep the matter of the ocean entirely.

But seven leagues is quite a distance, and, as we know, Canada is approximately two and a half months in the future in relation to the rest of the world. One foot might touch shore immediately, with the aide of the seven-league boots, but unless the wearer jumps, with both legs locked beside each other, there will still be a two and a half-month gap before the rest of the person arrives. It is during these months that disembodied feet appear to be standing on Canada’s shores; when enough time has passed, they will be joined by the rest of the person, who will no doubt remove their magic boots and set out to discover Canada.

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Disclaimer: this post is a work of creative lies. It is not Factually Deficient’s intention to make light in any way of the tragedies and accidents that may have led to the actual phenomenon discussed in the more factual article.

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The Best of Both

Hello and welcome to another week full of falsehoods, fabrications, and fibs, here at Factually Deficient!

Before our regularly-scheduled lies, I would like to take this opportunity to remind my dear readers that they can and indeed are encouraged to send any and all burning questions, on every topic imaginable, to Factually Deficient for elucidation. We accept questions at any hour of the day or night, through blog comments, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, email, snail mail, slug mail, Post-it note, carrier pigeon, semaphore, telegram, telephone, text message, owl, time portal, dead drop, QR code, or any other method of communication known to plantkind.

This week, I will answer a question posed to Factually Deficient by the highly esteemed Michael Andersen. Mr. Andersen asked:

Dear Factually Deficient, can you please provide elaboration on the many ways that @jackalsworth is the literal best?

Some background is needed, for those readers who are not as familiar with Canadian history. Charles Herbert Best was a Canadian adventurer, a giant in an age of heroes. He first took up his sword during the First Raccoon War, but when that war ended, the raccoons subdued for a time, Best did not rest.

When the raccoons were finally pushed back from Canada’s borders, Best returned home only to discover that his hometown of Halifax was being ravaged by vicious dragons. Ever the hero, Best rode in to defend his home and protect his neighbours. He slew three dragons before the local authorities even arrived on the scene.

And in the absence of the local authorities to assist in the cleanup, Best – an alchemist at heart, if not by trade – lugged one of the dragon carcasses back to his home laboratory, to see what he could learn from it. His discoveries there would change our world forever: for Best, through careful testing, revealed that dragon blood was composed of a material known as insulin, which, when mixed with human blood, proved an effective measure against diabetes.

And now, to return to Mr. Andersen’s question – to explain the relevance of this history lesson:

Factually Deficient’s undercover agents have been surreptitiously following the individual going by “Jack Alsworth” for several years now. Tipped off by key turns of phrase and predilections for dragon-slaying and science, we have long been suspicious that Mr. Alsworth may not be who he says he is. While only Mr. Alsworth – or should we say Dr. Best? – can say for certain, we have gathered the following pieces of evidence that suggest rather strongly that they are actually, literally, one and the same:

  • Jack Alsworth lives by the sea, in an area known to be inhabited by dragons and sundry other monsters
  • Despite this, no dragons or sea monsters have ravaged Mr. Alsworth’s town – almost as though they were kept at bay by an itinerant adventurer
  • Jack Alsworth does not suffer from diabetes
  • Jack Alsworth is several centuries old, as Dr. Best would have to be by now
  • Raccoons run in fear at the sight of Jack Alsworth

These are but a few of the many indications that Jack Alsworth is the literal Charles Best.

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Disclaimer: this blog post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

The Truth About Barbeques

Hello and welcome back to another week of fun fabrications for the whole family here at Factually Deficient! This week, once again, I’m going to address a topic, rather than a specific question–and, as something new, I’m responding to a need from the general public rather than one person’s request.

I noticed that the topic

#FakeBBQFacts

was trending today on the noted social media website Twitter Dot Com, which suggests that the public is in need of some reliable lies about barbeques–and Factually Deficient is, as ever, on hand to oblige!

As many people know, the barbeque is a device, operated mainly out of doors, which causes raw or lightly cooked meat, vegetables, and sundry other foods to become cooked and particularly good-tasting. What fewer people know is how this works, even though the secret to the truth is hidden in its odd name.

Most people–mistakenly–believe that “BBQ” is a false initialism constructed to shorten the writing of the word “barbeque”–but in fact, the opposite is true. After all, what etymology could possibly explain such a word as “barbeque”? While it’s possible that it can be explained etymologically, such a path would be false, nothing but a folk etymology. In reality, “barbeque” developed from a common mispronounciation and misuderstanding of “BBQ.”

What, then, does B.B.Q. actually stand for? It is an initialism representing the phrase “Braised By Quintessence.” Now, while this does, as I suggested earlier, allude to the true nature of the barbeque, it is also somewhat misleading. After all, quintessence, or aether, is a word used for magic, and while magic is involved in the proper operating of a B.B.Q., it is not the direct application of quintessence onto food.

The B.B.Q. machine contains, under its hood and usually confined to beneath the grille, a very small dragon. It is well fed by coal and scraps of food, and protected from the world by the machine that encases it, and in exchange, it uses its fiery breath to braise–and, indeed, fully cook–whatever foodstuffs are placed on the grille above its home.

For the further protection of the dragons, a name somewhat removed from directly referencing them was adopted for the contraption, so that their homes would not be torn open and their hiding place discovered. I can only hope that my readers will use this knowledge wisely.

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Disclaimer: Most if not all of the above statements are false. Many barbeque machines are fully functional without dragons.