On December 16, 1773 Bostonians got uppity, threw their dollies out of their pushchairs, and disrupted someone's tea party. Scones were thrown too, so I've been told.
Anyway, this amongst other minor things led to the War of Independence, in which Britain finished in a very creditable second place .... or so the history books would have us believe. The war actually ended on the 4th July 1981 on an American base situated close to the town of Butzbach, Germany .... it took 20 baseballs to win it!
I was young and very naive and when my Sergeant Major said that I had been 'volunteered' to attend, and assist with, and American-German Independence Day Fete, I jumped at the chance.
He told me to dress in uniform and look smart because I would be representing the British Army in all her glory.
I had creases in my trousers and shirt that could have cut down trees, my boot were gleaming and had mirror-polished toecaps that could have looked up any woman's skirt and my side-cap was brushed and cap badge buffed to a shine.
I was picked up at 10am by a scrawny looking colonial private in a huge truck that had seen better days and was in desperate need of some valeting.
Once in camp, I was introduced to a Captain Hamilton (the bast%@d) who would show me exactly what was expected of me. I was keen and eager to please and said I would undertake anything to help.
If I had known what he intended, I would have told him to get stuffed.
But it was too late. He introduced me to my task by showing me a huge water tank, above which a banner had been stretched with the words "Sink the Brit!" written in large red letters.
There was a seat above the water in the tank and above it, a round red, white and blue target disc.
In case you haven't already guessed it ... it was a dunking stool, and I was the idiot that had to sit on it.
At that moment I re-declared war on the colonial scum and on my Sergeant Major, who I'd declared an honorary 'yank' for day.
The Fete was opened and the dunking stool became a very popular attraction; American's and Germans getting their own back on the dastardly British Empire.
I was seething! I wanted to kill! I wanted to slap the living daylight out of EVERY American brat that chose to hit ME rather than the damned target!
Three hours I sat there ... being brave and gathering bruises (bloody baseballs hurt!) ... until pity was taken on me by a lady who turned out to be the wife of the base commander! She determined that I'd had enough and ordered (She did! She really did! She scared me!) that I should be given some nice dry clothes and fed.
That was when I capitulated and the war came to an end for the second time.
I was given a brand new American uniform and boots for my troubles and was given spare ribs and chicken for lunch. I was also treated by the local medic for a cut above the eye from one of those bloody baseballs!
Although I was battered and bruised, I did have a good day and that nice (scary) lady saw to it that I didn't have to pay for anything for the whole day.
All's well that end's well.
But if that lady hadn't been there, America would have belonged to us again.