Ninety four years ago today, one of goofiest and most ghastly tragedies in American history went down in Boston. No, I’m not talking about the founding of Fenway Park, wiseacres, that was in 1912. I’m talking about the great Boston molasses tragedy, also known as the Boston molasses disaster. On January 15th, 1919, a massive tank of Molasses burst in the North End of Boston, sending a huge wave of the sticky confection through the streets at 35 mph. It destroyed property, killed horses, lifted buildings off their foundations, totaled the tracks of an elevated train and killed 21 people, all of whom, in real life, could not run faster than molasses. 150 more were injured.
The 100th anniversary of this tragedy is a mere six years away, and it’s time to start planning NOW. Sure, you might think you’ll have plenty of time to prepare, but six years can sneak up on you quicker than you think, much like a DEADLY WAVE OF MOLASSES.
The centennial of this disaster will be a fantastically odd reason to have a party, and it’s high time we start brainstorming some ways to mark the occasion. Here’s just five:
5) Replace the entire sheet of ice at a Boston Bruins game with a glistening sheet of frozen molasses.
You see? I told you this would take some planning. The Boston Garden, or whatever they’re calling it now, is located near the North End, and the Bruins will be playing in January, or should be, provided they don’t have another lockout by then. They might need a brighter colored puck to play with, since black on brown could cause some confusion. Either way, the time to start testing a prototype is NOW.
4) Issue a special edition of Monopoly: Great Molasses Flood edition.
This game will play exactly like real monopoly, except the properties will be based on landmarks of 1919 Boston, and when the game inevitably gets boring, a random “Chance” card will announce the flooding of the entire game board in Molasses. A real jar of molasses will be included to pour over the board, and since nobody really ever plays Monopoly more than once every 8 years anyway, it won’t matter that the game is ruined.
3) Get blasted on rum, and throw up on the streets of Boston.
This takes less preparation, I grant you, but since molasses is a primary ingredient in rum, your irresponsible drinking could be passed off as tribute on this day, and this day only. ADVANCED VERSION: Honor the fallen by vomiting on 21 people EXTRA BONUS VERSION: Do this with more than 2 million other people, to replicate the amount of gallons of molasses that were spilled into the streets.
2) Throw a great molasses dance party.
Hold a dance in a school gym. At an appointed time, (the actual incident happened in the afternoon) pour gallons of molasses all over the dance floor. Keep dancing, as best you can.
1) Form a lobbying group called the National Molasses Association.
Rally the people together. Get organized. Build a pro-molasses organization and INSIST that molasses is safe. Adopt the slogans of the NRA, and say things like “Molasses Doesn’t Kill People, People Do.” Issue press releases that say the only thing that stops a bad guy with a 2 million gallon tank of molasses is a good guy with a two million gallon tank of molasses. Lobby Congress for American’s right to carry concealed gallons of molasses, and start telling people that WWII started when Hitler took his people’s molasses away. Blame the spill on all those violent, molasses-themed video games they had in 1919. Insist that the only way the government will take your molasses is from your cold, dead, extremely-sticky, molasses-covered hands.
Whatever you do, it should be a party.
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