What fan of the Avengers and the Justice League hasn't also spent hours staring out windows or lying awake in bed thinking, "Sure, superhero team-ups are neat, but what about my favorite historical figures? Who is out there to write their crossovers?"
Well ask no more, because someone has finally stepped up to pen those stories, and his name is history. We already live in a world in which brilliant, crazy and influential people have teamed up in unlikely partnerships. The results were usually insane, if not world-changing.
5Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla Hang Out, Test Inventions
One was a droll, sarcastic satirist; the other was a celibate mad scientist. Both of them were brilliant and probably a little bit crazy, but in completely different ways. That's why Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla have to rank right at the top of the "We'd love to hear what they talked about when they were alone" list.
"Later, we discuss and solve world crises. Now, we fuck about with lightning."
Twain and Tesla's friendship was forged more or less from geeking out as fanboys of one another. Tesla had read Mark Twain before coming to New York City to invent the 20th century, and the only thing Twain knew of Tesla was his AC polyphase system. As Twain wrote, "I have just seen the drawings and description of an electrical machine lately patented by a Mr. Tesla, and sold to the Westinghouse Company, which will revolutionize the whole electric business of the world. It is the most valuable patent since the telephone."
So when the two met at parties around New York City, the relationship developed like a childhood friendship where one kid has a bunch of cool toys and the other knows a bunch of great jokes. Twain would even visit Tesla's workshop and offer himself up as a guinea pig for Tesla's new inventions.
"Hell yes I want to get up in there."
During one such playdate, Tesla revealed his mechanical oscillator that could produce alternating currents. One of the side effects was apparently some pretty substantial vibrations, which Tesla suspected might be therapeutic. Sure enough, this was all Twain needed to hear, and he immediately volunteered to be a test subject.
Twain leaped into the lap of the machine and told Tesla to zap his brains out. After a few minutes of insisting that he felt like the machine was giving him, "vigor and vitality," Twain quickly realized what he was actually feeling was the machine literally shaking the shit out of him. He had to rush to the restroom, thus proving Tesla had discovered the first and only electric laxative.
Shits and giggles: achieved!
Oh, and what we said earlier, about how we wish we could listen in on their conversations? Well, we do have letters, like this one from Twain about Tesla inventing a "destructive terror." And no, we're not making this up:
"Let's create a great big destructo-button and put a sign on it saying 'DON'T PUSH THIS BUTTON.' It'll totally work."
Judging from the world wars that eventually broke out, Twain and Tesla never got to be superheroes together. Such a shame, too. If there was ever a duo that could have wiped out war if given enough electricity and shit-machines, this was it.