At the end of the day, our goal here at Cracked is to inspire you. For instance, below are some people who accomplished more than you ever will, even though they were corpses at the time. That's inspiring, right?
Oh, wait, that probably makes you feel worse about your life. Oh, well, maybe you'll make up for it after you're dead. After all, it's apparently possible to...
Arrachion was an Olympian who spent his days practicing the fine art of Pankration. Literally, this translates to the spiritual-sounding "all forces," but in practice, it means something closer to "choke the shit out of everybody (while naked.)"
Dude, your dick is touching my thigh. I WILL STRANGLE YOU.
In 564 B.C., Arrachion entered the Olympics hoping to secure the Pankration title for a third consecutive time. And damn it all, he did it: Roundly besting his opponent thoroughly and completely, though he did happen to be dead when he was declared the victor.
On the verge of defeat and pinned by his opponent in a stranglehold position, Arrachion unleashed a spectacular Kamikaze-style kick attack that had three very important consequences: The first was that it looked just totally fucking sweet; the second was that the impact of the kick dislocated his opponent's ankle; and the third was that the force put into the kick, combined with the arm-around-the-neck stranglehold, resulted in the instant snapping of his own neck.
Presumably drunk on olive wine and boy-meat, the Greek referee didn't notice this happen, so when his opponent conceded defeat, he proclaimed Arrachion the winner. It was only when he held up Arrachion's hand in a victory salute and it fell sharply backwards into his junk that the judge realized he had just pronounced a dead man the winner of an Olympic competition.
Pretty impressive. Still, it's not like he killed his opponent or anything...
Mael Brigte the Bucktooth was the leader of an ancient Celtic tribe that resided in the far northern reaches of Scotland in the ninth century. He had a somewhat rocky relationship with the Earl of Orkney, and "rocky," in ninth century Scotland meant "absolutely filled to the asshole with broadswords."
The Earl thus led the Viking invasion of what is now Northern Scotland against Brigte who didn't take too kindly to being invaded. Insults, headbutts and almost certainly bodily fluids were exchanged, and the two eventually set up a 40-on-40-man duel.
Throughout history, homo-eroticism has taken many forms.
Mael won the brawl (or at least tied) despite being dead at the time.
The Earl showed up to the brawl with more than twice the agreed upon men. Furious at this betrayal and, seeing as how the concept of "retreat" has still not been invented in Scotland to this day, Mael did the only thing he could: He charged anyway.
It worked out exactly how everybody figured: Earl reveled in his success by cutting off Brigte's head and attaching it to his horse's saddle as a trophy to mark the victory. This is where Mael's nickname becomes important: During the celebratory ride back to his people, the tooth of his enemy's severed head pierced the skin of the Earl's thigh and, thanks to the questionable dental hygiene of the time coupled with the sheep-ass and bog liquor remnants stuck between Mael's teeth, the wound became infected.
The Earl eventually died from a rather unpleasant bout of septicemia, killed by the severed head of his opponent.
That's the Scots for you: Defiant to, and well beyond, the end.
Canadian lawyer and investor Charles Vance Millar was renowned for his love of practical jokes, his affable nature, his intelligence and his ruthless business acumen: He set up his own law office and eventually used the profits to purchase the British Columbia Express Company, which provided most of the transport to settlers in the region. He had an uncanny knack for picking the right investment, and over a period of 10 years, his net worth rose from $100,000 to $750,000 (that was a lot back in 1897).
That could buy you many monocles.
In his later years, Millar really made a name for himself when his actions changed the lives of some lucky locals forever: He started a competition with the end-goal of taking people from their dreary normal lives and propelling them into the limelight, kind of like a turn-of-the-century American Idol. Only instead of singing, it was humping, and instead of Simon Cowell, it was presided over by a corpse.
Have fun with that mental image.
Millar's jester-like outlook on life lasted to the end, literally: On his deathbed, he amended his will to contain some rather unusual bequests. After leaving his holiday home to three men renowned for despising each other, and his shares in a Catholic brewery equally distributed to every Protestant minister in Toronto, the rest of his estate went to the local woman who could give birth to the most children in the 10 years following his death.
The decade-long sex-race became known as the Great Stork Derby, and while we can't say that all the women got pregnant solely to enter the race, we can tell you the numbers and let you judge those harlots for yourselves: The front-running five women had 56 children between them. When time was up, four women, each baring nine legitimate children apiece received a life-changing $125,000 a piece. Two further women who gave birth to 10 not-all-legitimate-babies received $12,500 each.
Just for taking one for the team, we presume.