St. Timothy the Lucky Bastard

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Published in

Heinlein's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

IO's Razor: Never attribute to intelligence that which is adequately explained by sheer dumb luck.

Since the very first days of Discordianism we have always revered the most absurd of characters and raised them up to saintly status. Of course the archetype is Joshua Norton, the First Emperor of these United States and Protector of Mexico. It has come to my attention though that there is another early American that should be revered as highly as Emperor Norton.

His name is Lord Timothy Dexter. Wikipedia immortalizes him thusly:

Timothy Dexter was born in Malden, Massachusetts. He had no schooling to speak of and was working as a farm laborer at the age of 8. When he was 16, he became an apprentice to a leather-dresser.

In 1769 he moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts and began his trade. He was successful enough to attract a wife, a rich widow Elizabeth Frothingham, and buy a big house. He was considered a lackwit by his social contemporaries, and they gave him bad business advice in order to discredit him and make him lose his fortune.

At the end of the American Revolutionary War he bought large amounts of depreciated Continental currency that was worthless at the time. When trade connections resumed, he had amassed a fortune. He built two ships and began an export business to the West Indies and to Europe.

Because he was basically uneducated, his business sense was peculiar but extremely lucky. Somebody inspired him to send warming pans for sale to West Indies, a tropical area. His captain sold them as ladles for local molasses industry and made a good profit. Next Dexter sent wool mittens to the same place. Asian merchants bought them for export to Siberia.

His next venture was selling coal to Newcastle, which should have been a sure failure. His ships happened to arrive in the time of a coal miner's strike and potential customers were actually desperate.

He exported bibles to East Indies and stray cats to Caribbean islands and again made a profit. He also hoarded whalebone by mistake, but ended up selling them profitably as a support material for corsets.

At the age of 50 he decided to write a book about himself - A Pickle for the Knowing Ones or Plain Truth in a Homespun Dress. He wrote about himself and complained about politicians, clergy and his wife. The book contained 8,847 words and 33,864 letters, but absolutely no punctuation, and capital letters were sprinkled about at random. At first he handed his book out for free, but it rapidly became popular and ran into eight editions in total.[citation needed] When people complained that it was hard to read, for the second edition he added an extra page - 13 lines of punctuation marks - asking readers to "peper and solt it as they plese".

One day he began to wonder what people would say about him after he died. He proceeded to announce his death and to prepare for a burial. About 3,000 people appeared for the wake. However, Dexter's wife refused to cry for his passing, for which he later caned her, and so he decided not to appear to his guests at all. Timothy Dexter actually died in 1806.
St. Timothy truly was the luckiest bastard to ever grace this earth. He couldn't fail even if he tried. He was the living embodiment of Born Lucky. He is the type of character that, if he hadn't existed in real life then an author such as O. Henry or Washington Irving would have had to invent him. If you would like to see some of Lord Timothy's writings you can find his “A PICKLE FOR THE KNOWING ONES; or Plain Truths in a Homespun Dress” online. Don't try to understand it, just let the words roll off of your mind.

In a way, Mr. Dexter shows that fate can be a very fickle thing. Lady Luck sometimes plays favorites. In this case she took an uneducated man who could barely write and knew almost nothing of business and made him one of the richest men in post-colonial New England. He used up so much good luck in one lifetime that you'd swear that he had a rabbit's foot constantly shoved up his arse. He is truly an inspiration to us all.

So, by the power divested in my by the Supreme Goddess Eris I dub thee St. Timothy the Lucky Bastard.

(Tip of the papal hat to Pope Tom for bringing Lord Dexter to my attention)

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