Thursday, January 06, 2005

Here's Looking at Myself, Twin

How fitting that it's a palindromic 131 years since the death of Chang and Eng, the twosome that put the Siamese into Siamese Twins. Truly duo-nique (think about it) characters, these two were brought from their village along the Mekong River to America by their manager Abel Coffin (read: Col. Tom Parker of the 19th century, with a bit of slave trader thrown in) after he discovered them swimming, no doubt doing the double-breast stroke, and thereby also starting a men's fashion craze. After retiring from showbusiness, they became North Carolina farmers and looked for wives, since the farmer has to take a wife, even if one has to be so close to one's in-laws that one probably ends up breaking a few laws. That is, if incest is against the law in the South. (To this day we know that voting for an intelligent being for president is against the law in the South.) Imagine the reality show they might have starred in if TV were invented--"Double Date, and How!" or "My Skinny Obnoxious Twin" or "I Know You Are, But What Si-Am?"

So, they did get married, to sisters (this is twisted, isn't it)(no not Dee Snyder, silly)--Chang married Adelaide Yates, and Eng married Sarah Anne. Over the next thirty-one years the brothers fathered a total of twenty-one children; it is rumored that Adelaide and Sarah thought "Chang and Eng" was Thai for "yummy." (You have to know the stupid tagline from Panda Express commercials to get that one.--the Editor)

The twins died within hours of each other. Chang went first, and Eng passed away supposedly of fright--the burial of Chang would have been rather unpleasant.

Beyond their legacy, the twins' fused liver remains, in the altogether most bizarre museum in the world, the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. So their legacy livers on.

Don't be bilious, be like Chang the drinker of the two (for which Eng, liver-sharer, I'm sure was grateful), and find some friends to have a Happy Hour with tomorrow. Posted by Hello


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