Once upon a time, there was a group of people in England called the Prurient Men, but because most everybody was illiterate and not too educated like now, the rest of the people called them Puritans for short. Everybody hated the Puritans, even in England where people are pretty easy going. Most people wanted to play football, go down the pub on Saturday, and sometimes go to a new play by their friend William Shakespeare, who was a very excellent writer. But the Puritans did not want to play football or go down the pub or go see a play. All the Puritans wanted to do was wear black hats and tell everybody else that they were bad for going down the pub or playing football and they did not like plays. So after a while, everybody hated the Puritans and chased them out of England.
The Puritans went to Holland which was full of Dutch people, who were pretty easy going. The Dutch people mostly wanted to ice skate, and go down to Amsterdam on Saturday to look at the girls in the windows, and sometimes go look at a new painting by their friend Rembrandt van Rijn, who was a very excellent painter and whose last name means van Rijn. The Puritans didn’t like to do any of that either. So soon the Dutch people hated the Puritans too and chased them out of Holland.
The Puritans decided to go to the New World because they thought nobody lived there so nobody would hate them and they could mind their own business being miserable to each other. They got in a boat and crossed the Atlantic which Columbus had crossed in 1492 but he found a nice warm place with beaches and discovered it. The Puritans had bad luck and landed in Massachusetts, an Indian word that means a desolate place with high taxes. There were Indians there, which the Puritans had not expected. Later there would be Native Americans but there was no America yet so they couldn’t be, but they were Indians.
The Puritans landed in 1620 and they could tell it was 1620 because each year the Indians in those parts would carve the number of the year into a large rock and put it on the beach so all year they could tell what year it was. Then the next year they would carve another one, and replace the expired rock. This was the first calendar in Massachusetts but was not as good as the Aztecs down south because it could not tell when summer or winter started, except in Massachusetts they could tell from the weather so they didn’t need to.
Anyway it was 1620 and along came these Puritans and landed and looked around and didn’t see any Indians at first, just the rock so they knew somebody was there. It was winter and really miserable and all the Indians were inside with fires and fur blankets, but the Puritans landed even so, and soon were being miserable to each other on shore while they built houses out of wood. Eventually they built some houses and moved in and ate food they had brought with them, mostly old sandwiches that did not cheer them up much but they survived. The best thing the Puritans did for themselves mostly was survive.
In the spring the Indians came out and showed them how to plant things to grow for food like potatoes and beans but they didn’t tell them about tobacco or chocolate because they could tell the Puritans would not like that and the Puritans wore lots of black clothes even in the summer and didn’t go swimming with the Indians so the Indians could tell this was not a fun bunch.
The Indians for a long time used to paint their faces with designs like for going to a party or just for fun. The Indians saw that several of the Puritan girls had a red ‘A’ painted on their forehead so they took this to mean these girls were sort of Indians-in-Training and they invited them to their parties. The Puritans did not appreciate this and some discussions ensued to clarify the correct interpretation, which resulted in all the Indians being killed, but that was later. (See chapter 2, “Taming the Wilderness.”)
Then it was the fall after that first year, so now we’re talking 1621 even though the Indians did not put out a new rock as the Puritans said they knew all about counting years even without rocks thank you very much. After the harvest, the Puritans felt like celebrating the fact that they had survived a year, and the Indians felt like celebrating the fact that last winter half the Puritans had died and next winter was only a few weeks away so maybe that would finish the job. So they got together for the one and only time the Puritans threw a party, even if all they brought was cooked beans and potatoes the Indians had shown them how to grow, and the Indians brought venison which is deer, and stuffing and pumpkin pie and spirits which means alcohol which they made from corn and today we call it bourbon because there were also Spanish people further south but that is separate.
Well after a while everybody around this big wooden table specially built for the occasion was feeling pretty good and the Puritans promised they would be friends of the Indians forever, and the Indians promised they wouldn’t really celebrate until all the Puritans had died, but these were each in their own language so no harm was done. Afterward the Indians tried to teach the Puritans bowling, but the Puritans were having none of it and were already feeling guilty they had given a party in the first place. Some of the Puritan girls tried to learn bowling and therefore they were witches and had to be burned but that was after the Indians left.
The Puritans survived and after many years the Indians were mostly wiped out because the Puritans and the rest of the people who showed up had to have room for lots of houses, but some Indians survived to get revenge on the Puritans by opening casinos and taking all their money ha ha.
To this day there are descendants of Puritans in that same area and they still go around making everybody miserable and all the other people hate them. This explains the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox. And some Puritans still try to tell everybody else how to live and don’t let anybody have any fun. (See chapter 47, “The Rise of Elizabeth Warren.”)