Today’s story was brought to my attention
by professional wastoid/Patreon backer Jay “Jagermeister” Drunkboy.
It is the story of one of history’s most pointless people.
This dude’s full name is William Horace De Vere Cole.
He lived around the turn of the 20th century
yes, the same century that ended with the internet and boy bands
began with a dude name William lying his way onto a war boat for no reason.
You see, unlike other famous Williams of British history
Cole doesn’t seem to have any ulterior motives for his wily bullshit
he’s born rich
he has no political aspirations
literally his sole purpose in life is to fuck with people.
Some people make sculptures
William Horace De Vere Cole impersonated foreign royalty.
Lemme backtrack a little:
back when Cole was at Cambridge
(because of course he went to Cambridge)
he heard that the Sultan of Zanzibar was in London
so he called up the heads of Cambridge
like “Yeah, I’m that Sultan
come pick me up at the train station.”
So he gets some of his bros together
and they all pretend to be the sultan and his entourage
which the heads of one of britain’s leading academic institution
THEY GIVE EVERYBODY A GRAND TOUR
A WOMAN TRIES TO TALK TO THE SULTAN IN HIS NATIVE LANGUAGE
AND WILLIAM TELLS HER SHE CAN ONLY TALK TO HIM IF SHE JOINS HIS HAREM.
So this prank goes amazingly
Cole goes on to get a degree in What the Fuck Ever
and then a few years later
he and his pals bluff their way onto a FUCKING BATTLESHIP
by pretending to be king of Abyssinia and his entourage.
They put on BLACKFACE for this
because apparently nobody in the british navy
has ever seen an actual black person
and they speak a language called Not Actually Swahili
which is really just badly pronounced greek and latin
mixed with the word “Bunga” whenever they don’t now what else to say
and oh yeah
one of the members of the royal entourage
is actually VIRGINIA FUCKING WOOLF
which makes me respect everybody involved so much fucking more.
It takes the Navy weeks to figure out what happened
and when they finally do they are too sad to press charges
so William Cole is free to keep being an asshole until he dies.
He takes advantage of this freedom.
One time he puts his gold watch in the pocket of the prime minister
and then is like “HEY MAN LET’S RACE”
and the prime minister is like “YEAAAAAAAAH”
and then he starts beating William
and they’re racing in the street
they are street-racing
so William just starts yelling STOP THIEF
and then the police arrest him and find William’s watch
which, okay, that’s a pretty good prank
but really the best part
is just that he convinced the prime minister to RACE HIM
He also does shit like dress up as a construction worker
and get all his friends to just dig a huge trench
in the middle of a crowded intersection
and then leave.
Again, the real prank here
is that he got his friends to waste a day digging a hole.
He also buys all the tickets for a play one time
and then passes them out to bald guys
so that when the lights come out
THEIR HEADS SPELL OUT A BAD WORD
THE PLAY IS RUINED.
None of the sources say what the bad word is
but one sourceclaims that the letter “i” in the word is dotted
so i’m pretty sure it’s “tits”
I’m pretty sure William Cole spent a bunch of money
to spell out “tits” in a theater with bald people.
He also throws a party one time
where every guest has the word “bottom” somewhere in their name
because he is like five years old.
William gets married somehow
and goes to Venice
and promptly ditches his fiancee
to buy a boatload of horse manure
literally a boatload, because everything travels by boat in venice
which is why people are so confused
when they wake up in the morning and find horse poop everywhere
there are no horses.
Again, I think historians are missing the point of this prank
which really had nothing to do with horses
and everything to do with throwing poop everywhere.
Obviously his marriage does not last very long.
But William Cole’s best prank in my opinion
is also his simplest
what he would do is take a piece of string
dress up as a construction worker
and ask some random dude to hold one end of the string
then he would take the other end around a corner
find another dude
and ask him to hold that end of the string
and then he would leave them there
just holding some string
for however long it took them to figure shit out.
I like to imagine that in some forgotten corner of London
there is still a pair of ancient british gentlemen
gamely holding onto two ends of a piece of string
waiting for that construction worker to come back
and that my friends
is true immortality.
The moral of the story is an old one
oft echoed in the mythology of our time:
do unto others
whatever you think is really fucking funny.