Zachary Taylor: Death By Cherries
[On July 4, 1850, at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Washington Monument, 12th President of the United States Zachary Taylor, in an effort to battle the oppressive, summer heat, consumed an entire pitcher of milk and a giant bowl of cherries. No one knows why he did this, and for some reason it killed him.]
Man. All these doctors and not one of them knows what's wrong. This is pretty rough, my stomach is killing me. Should I ... I should probably tell them about ... about all those cherries I ate. Right? Nah, it's probably not relevant.
On the other hand, it was a fuckload of cherries. What if knowing that I ate all those cherries unlocks the key to saving my life?
"Hey, doctor, I just- It's probably nothing, but I just wanted to throw this out there: Right -- watch, you'll think this is silly -- right before I started feeling sick I ate some cherries. Like a bunch ... No, no, a whole lot ... How many? I don't know. If I had to put a number to it, I guess ... Like 250 cherries. That's a conservative estimation. I ate a shitload of cherries, Doc, definitely more than I was supposed to have, and I chugged probably a gallon of milk or so. Like I said, probably nothing, just wanted to bring it up."
Wow, he is really mad. He's gonna ask me why I did it and I do not know what I'm going to tell him. I keep throwing up and shitting myself, though. That seems to be doing a pretty good job of distracting him. I guess I'll keep that up.
"Excuse me? Why did I do it? Oh, you know how sometimes it gets ... hot, and you're like 'Oh, cherries, that's a nice refreshing thing, there's juice involved I'll just eat ... like an even 250 of them. To stay ... Because of the heat.' What's that? No, doctor, I've never read anywhere that cherries are good at cooling someone down, come to think of it, no. But it seems like they would be, right? Doesn't it seem like ... No? OK."
I should just admit it. 'I'm sorry doctor, I ate all those cherries because I have the self control of an eight-year-old child, please don't be mad at me.' Stupid. So many cherries, so many fucking cherries. And the milk! Why did I drink all that milk?
"These men aren't even doctors, they just came to laugh at you, you fucking infant."
There's no way this is the thing that kills me. No freaking way. I can't go out like this, I'm a president! I fought in a war! The press compared me to George Washington and Andrew Jackson! All the other presidents got to die in a cool way, this isn't fair. No way. No way. I refuse to believe that I accidentally desserted myself to death. No way does ole' Zachary Taylor get taken out by some milk and ... like, a metric ton of cherries. No way. No.
[Way. That is absolutely how he died. In 1980, his body was exhumed because modern scholars refused to believe that someone died in such an idiotic fashion, (especially a president, who presumably is surrounded by staffers and guards to make sure he doesn't kill himself by behaving like a freaking goldfish). An autopsy was performed because people were convinced he was poisoned. He wasn't. It was the cherries and milk.]
Daniel O'Brien is Cracked.com's Senior Writer (ladies), and he loves talking about presidents (first ladies).