Benjamin Franklin is one of my favorite Americans.  He was a founding father and had about 100 cool jobs.  Here are a few facts-beyond-the-facts about the big guy.

He was nicknamed “The First American.”  He actually gave the name to himself, which confused the general populace, who believed Jesus was the first American.

Not only did he form the first public library and Pennsylvania’s first fire department, but he also formed The Wetnurses’ Auxiliary Breastfeeding Circle, Toys for Tots, The Society of Upstanding Whoremongers, The American Egg Board, Ben’s Benevolent Booze Boys, The Screen Actors’ Guild, and The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

He wrote Poor Richard’s Almamack under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.  He had to use a pseudonym to avoid getting molested by frenzied womenfolk groupies in the street.  Plus, if the weather predictions were wrong, he could blame some fictitious indigent bastard.

He invented the Franklin Stove, bifocals, and the urinary catheter.  Often, he would don his new glasses, lie by the warm stove, get a good book, and insert the catheter so he could comfortably read for hours without having to get up to micturate.

He played violin, harp, and guitar.  After a few strong ales, he could play all three at once.  After several strong ales, he could additionally simultaneously perform intricate interpretive dance, juggle 3 knives, and spin 5 plates on sticks.

As a newspaper editor and printer, he was the first to use the nicknames “Scoop” and “Flash” in reference to his reporter and photographer.

He was the first U.S. ambassador to France.  On his inaugural visit, he became the first emissary to make a bad joke about the French defecating in the streets, which did not sit well with his hosting diplomats.  He won them back by using a croissant as a hand puppet and performing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

As President of Pennsylvania, he decreed himself an Adonis.  If women wanted his company, he charged 5 cents to gaze upon him, 10 cents to nuzzle his visage, 15 cents to fondle his pectorals, and a buck for a night in sheer heaven.

He received honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Pennsylvania Tech, Philadelphia Community College, DeVry, High School District #13, The University of Hard Knocks, Tina’s Beauty School, and Mr. Woofer’s Dog Training Academy.

He edited and signed the Declaration of Independence.  At the after-signing party, he, John Adams, and Francis Lightfoot Lee pantsed Button Gwinnett and made him hop around the room, sing light opera, and quaff large amounts of absinthe.

Many people falsely believe that Mr. Franklin died of syphilis.  In reality, he died of a brutal combination of gonorrhea, herpes, chlamydia, hepatitis, chancroid, crabs, genital warts, and – strangely enough – vaginitis.

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