January 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Matty Fatty | 3 Comments

kiteA kite is a flimsy airborn object connected to a piece of string that people send into the sky on windy days. Why? No one knows. Scientists have labored since the days of Methusulah (the inventor of kites) to understand the enduring fascination with standing around outside during days one should be inside catching up on Netflix, holding onto a string connected to some whimsically floating aircraft. Kites don’t appear to serve any practical purpose. They can’t transport objects or people, unless said object or person is less than a pound. (In which case ahoy.) And as a form of meditation, they can’t beat meditation. And needless to say, you get too many kite-fliers in the same kite-flying spot and there’s bound to be a bloodbath of kite collisions and tangled kite string. Regardless, kite flying, or “kiting,” remains only the third or fourth most popular leisure activity on the planet, just behind sneezing. And kites have held their own throughout history. Benjamin Franklin used a kite to discover electricity, although it was really more the work of a plucky mouse, not the kite. Harriett Tubbman built up the largest ever collection of kites in her spare time, although she detested to fly them. Bonnie and Clyde were killed during an ill-timed kite-flying excursion. And contrary to popular myth, Nero flew a kite, not played the fiddle, as Rome burned. Kites were also intregal parts of the film, but not the book, “Doctor Zhivago,” the book but not the film of “The Kite Runner” (in which kites were replaced with marbles, though the title went unchanged) and all movie versions of “The Scarlett Pimpernel.” It was also a running gag with peanut Charles Q. Brown, who tended to run his kite into the abdomen of background characters, murdering them, then uttering his classic quotable, “There, I’ve killed again!” Matty Fatty

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