[Rachel: But first, a little set-up.]

July 30, 1809. Went to my lodgings; all asleep and fast locked; tried at d'Aries's; ditto; knocked hard at each; no movement; resolving not to lay in the street. The old man came down in some trepidation, got light, and my bed was ready. Not a mouthful of bread or milk or anything eatable or drinkable to be had save pure water. Having dined on fillib [Bixby: His favorite filbunke] and walked at least ten miles, a supper would have been welcome.

Attacked by epinaises. [Bixby: For funaises. Bedbugs] Fought hard till 4, slaying thousands, but the number of the enemy increasing, resolved on a retreat. The sun had risen; began by taking the sheets, coverlid, and pillows out doors, beating and shaking them well; then stripped and changed my clothes, and laid me on the floor. Got a sound nap of five hours.

[This happened to me too, only it was ants. I had a cough, so I left a cough drop near my bed. Woke up coughing, stuffed it in my mouth, registered that it was acrid… and crawling… and so was I… I spat it out, leaped out of bed, and turned on the lights. Ants EVERYWHERE. I proceeded to enact exactly what Burr did, only with the additional aid of a water bottle. The ants won.]

August 29, 1809. I did go to bed at 10, promising myself a rich sleep. Lay two hours vigil; that cursed one single dish of tea! Note: My bed had undergone a thorough ablution and there were no bugs or insects. Got up and attempted to light candle, but in vain; had flint and matches but only some shreds of punk which would not catch. Recollected a gun which I had had on my late journey; filled the pan with powder and was just going to flash it when it occurred that though I had not loaded it someone else might; tried and found in it a very heavy charge! What a fine alarm it would have made if I had fired! Then poured out some powder on a piece of paper, put the shreds of punk with it and after fifty essays succeeded in firing the powder; but it being dark, had put more powder than intended; my shirt caught fire, the papers on my table caught fire, burnt my fingers to a blister (the left hand, fortunately); it seemed like a general conflagration. Succeeded, however, in lighting my candle and passed the night till 5 this morning in smoking, reading, and writing this.

[Rachel: Any story containing the phrase “And then I remembered that I had a gun” never ends well. It’s right up there with “Hey guys, watch this!”

I can’t decide what is most hilarious about this story. I mean other than everything. But just to start with, that does eventually occur to him to make sure the gun isn’t loaded but literally nothing else he does involves the slightest particle of “Maybe this isn’t a good idea,” that in however long it took him to make fifty tries at lighting the gunpowder it never occurs to him that there is a reason nobody lights candles with gunpowder, that despite being a combat veteran and a duelist he still hasn’t figured out what happens when you set gunpowder on fire, that he blames the completely predictable result on the amount rather than the fact of the gunpowder, that the candle actually did get lit, or that, once the candle was lit, he proceeded to use the light to immortalize his idiocy for posterity.

A legacy, what’s a legacy? In Burr’s case, it appears to be making himself surprisingly relatable to everyone who has ever accidentally set themselves on fire by doing something that was, in retrospect, guaranteed to do exactly that. The other thing I can’t decide is if this is more or less gloriously stupid than the time I set my pants on fire while I was naked and dripping wet. On the one hand, naked and dripping wet. On the other hand, his initial idea was to light the candle by shooting at it. This is why I don’t own a gun.]
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)

From: [personal profile] skygiants


This really more belongs in the previous post than this one, but it has just struck me today that the scene in "Non-Stop" when Alexander barges in on Burr in the middle of the night uninvited becomes a million times more hilarious in the context of Resigned Diary Burr, who constantly has people popping in on him uninvited every ten seconds, generally for the purpose of soliciting sex.
skygiants: the Ninth Doctor leaning smugly back against the wall (ayup)

From: [personal profile] skygiants


I mean, it doesn't really have to be left to the imagination, because we know from Burr himself exactly what would have happened: "You know I never disappoint people if I can help it and so A. was not dismissed; 4 rix dollars."
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)

From: [personal profile] sovay


Succeeded, however, in lighting my candle and passed the night till 5 this morning in smoking, reading, and writing this.

This sentence will never cease to make the story for me.

I am honestly quite impressed that he managed to light up for a smoke without initiating the Great Fire of Aaron Burr, Part Two. And that after setting himself on fire, he decided a smoke would be just the thing to steady his nerves.
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional


Well, you know. When you've gone through all of that, at least the candle DID get lit, and now you've something to light the smoke!
sputnikhearts: (Default)

From: [personal profile] sputnikhearts


#It Could Only Happy To Aaron Burr?
dhampyresa: (Sarcasm shall be the way)

From: [personal profile] dhampyresa


Recollected a gun which I had had on my late journey; filled the pan with powder and was just going to flash it

AARON BURR, sir.
melebeth: (Default)

From: [personal profile] melebeth


You make disaster into an art form. It is, indeed, a good thing you do not have a gun. (I too am often a disaster magnet. If I had a gun, I suspect it would rain in every room of the house. Or the dog would shoot me.)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I have occasionally wanted a gun (for self-defense) but the odds of me actually using it as intended vs. the near-infinite number of horrific catastrophes I have personally heard of or encountered, plus my disaster-magnet field, makes it completely inevitable that my cat would shoot my neighbor. I mean. I have accidentally locked myself into my own bedroom and was forced to escape by dismantling the door. Pants on fire. Multiple flaming car incidents. The time I ran out of a job interview to assist at a car crash. I feel that I'm best off carrying nothing but my own hands and feet (and tongue, which is generally my best weapon.)
ext_12542: My default bat icon (Default)

From: [identity profile] batwrangler.livejournal.com


One hopes he was going to try to put the wick into the flash pan and somehow light it that way rather than discharging the unloaded pistol in the direction of the candle, but who knows? And perhaps he was drunk? I suspect he just got the the point of bloody-minded insistence that he was, by gum, going to light that candle! and then once it was lit the whole episode was preposterous enough to write down. :)

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


I think that probably was his intent but it's only slightly less idiotic. He is the classic guy who gets talked about after hours in the ER.
ext_12542: My default bat icon (Default)

From: [identity profile] batwrangler.livejournal.com


Agreed! I kind of want there to be a Mythbusters "The Aaron Burr Journals" Special now.

From: [identity profile] tool-of-satan.livejournal.com


The other thing I can’t decide is if this is more or less gloriously stupid than the time I set my pants on fire while I was naked and dripping wet.

I really think Burr "wins" this one. I mean, when you set your pants on fire you were operating under adverse conditions (having to get up early is an adverse condition in my book) and you only made one bad decision. Burr kept making bad decisions over and over until something happened.
delphipsmith: (George scream)

From: [personal profile] delphipsmith


Any story containing the phrase “And then I remembered that I had a gun” never ends well...

I came here via a mention by [livejournal.com profile] drinkingcocoa and am laughing like a crazy person. Are these really Aaron Burr's actual journal entries??? If so, where can I get a copy, because this guy is awesome XD

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Yes, they really are! Type in Aaron Burr Journal and you will find them at any bookstore and also online for free (abominably OCR'd). You want the version edited by Bixby; the other one is censored.
delphipsmith: (George scream)

From: [personal profile] delphipsmith


Thank you ! Have added it to my to-read list. Why do none of the reviews on Goodreads mention how damn funny they are??

From: [identity profile] wordsofastory.livejournal.com


These updates of yours are my very favorite thing on LJ.

From: [identity profile] ekaterinn.livejournal.com


Oh, BURR. You should have probably thrown away that shot, Aaron.

And I wanted to say thanks for your spot-on commentary on these hilarious entries - it's helping me stay sane in the midst of a v. stressful term.

From: [identity profile] adrian-turtle.livejournal.com


Pardon me, are you Aaron Burr, sir?
...
You punched the bursar? We must be brothers!

(I am standing on a porch reading this, and a police car just parked across the street to look at me suspiciously. Don't worry, officer. It's midmorning and I have no need to light a candle. No gun, either.)

From: [identity profile] lady-ganesh.livejournal.com


I repeat, because I will not repeat it often enough, that every time someone speaks of the wisdom of our Founding Fathers I think of Burr lighting himself on fire.

In case you missed it: Laurens!

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com


Thank you! It's lovely to see the cast members get the fame and respect they deserve. Though Daveed Diggs is my favorite in that way. His talent is just astonishing, and his race easily could have prevented him from ever getting the recognition he deserved, let alone a pair of roles that so perfectly showcases what he can do.
.

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