WW1 explained using a bar fight as a metaphorical learning vehicle.
From a history teacher in the UK. I wish I had history teachers like that….
Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of a pub when Serbia bumps into Austria and spills Austria’s pint. Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit because there are splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its support for Austria’s point of view. Britain recommends that everyone calm down a bit.
Serbia points out that it can’t afford a whole suit, but offers to pay for the cleaning of Austria’s trousers. Russia and Serbia look at Austria. Austria asks Serbia who it’s looking at. Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone.
Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling it to do so. Germany appeals to Britain that France has been looking at it, and that this is sufficiently out of order that Britain should not intervene. Britain replies that France can look at who it wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is Germany going to do about it? Germany tells Russia to stop looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of such action.
Britain and France ask Germany whether it’s looking at Belgium. Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper. When they come back, Turkey makes a show of not looking at anyone. Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium.
France and Britain punch Germany.
Austria punches Russia.
Germany punches Britain and France with one hand and Russia with the other.
Russia throws a punch at Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from the other side of the room that it’s on Britain’s side, but stays there.
Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.
Australia punches Turkey, and gets punched back. There are no hard feelings because Britain made Australia do it.
France gets thrown through a plate glass window, but gets back up and carries on fighting.
Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change.
Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over anyway. Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room chanting.
America waits till Germany is about to fall over from sustained punching from Britain and France, then walks over and smashes it with a barstool, then pretends it won the fight all by itself.
By now all the chairs are broken and the big mirror over the bar is shattered. Britain, France and America agree that Germany threw the first punch, so the whole thing is Germany’s fault. While Germany is still unconscious, they go through its pockets, steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all their friends.
After the last bar fight, America decides that he needs to be the bartender and the bouncer and moves behind the bar.
• Germany comes to and sees everyone drinking with his money and sees Austria sitting in the corner by himself.
• Germany, angry that Britain, France, and America took his wallet grabs Austria and makes him stand next to him.
• Germany then does the same to Czechoslovakia.
• On the other side of the room, Japan punches China. After a while, America tells them to knock it off.
• Germany signs a bar napkin telling Britain that he is done moving people over to his side of the room.
• Germany sucker punches Poland, claiming that Poland started it.
• Russia says he will help and ends up punching Poland from the other side.
• France and Britain begin swinging at Germany. Germany pushes Britain through the door and knocks him into the pool. France is also shoved through the door, but comes back in wearing a new beret and decides to hang out with Germany.
• For no apparent reason, Russia slaps Finland.
• Italy gets into a fight over the toys in the sandbox out back, gets a bloody nose and cries to Germany for help.
• Germany and Britain get into a tug of war over Italy’s sandbox.
• Britain and Germany begin throwing rocks at each others’ houses.
• Because Russia helped him with beating up Poland, Germany sucker punches Russia.
• While everybody is looking at Germany and Britain, Japan puts China into a headlock and begins punching his head.
• America tells Japan to knock it off and tells him he’s had too much to drink and he’s cut off.
• Japan jumps over the bar and punches America. And Britain. And France. And the Netherlands.
• Germany shakes his fist at America and makes a rude noise.
• America jumps into Germany’s sandbox and falls flat on his ass. Italy laughs at him.
• Because America is mad at Germany, America punches Italy.
• America, Canada, and Britain rip off France’s new beret and punch Germany.
• America, Britain and Australia gang up and start shoving Japan back into a corner on the other side of the room.
• Germany taps America on the shoulder and says, “What’s that over there in the snow?” Then he kicks America in the behind when he’s not looking.
• Everyone piles on Germany until he passes out.
• America hits Japan in the face with a baseball bat like Capone did in “The Untouchables”. Twice.
• As Japan is on his way to the floor, Russia shakes his fist at Japan, pretending that he’s joined the fight and hoping that he’ll be able to go through Japan’s wallet after the fight’s over.
• After Japan and Germany wake up, America, France, Britain, and Russia move into Germany’s House. America moves into Japan’s house, too.
America buys drinks for Germany and Japan until everyone is happy
And the Cold War.
And then America and Britain bought themselves great big knuckledusters and told everyone to stay in their own snug and stop interfering in other people’s business.
Russia, not very happy with this arrangement, got its own knuckleduster, and sat glowering in the corner.
France tagged along with the “big boys”, America and its little pal Britain.
Russia demanded that all its cousins and other relatives join its gang.
Germany, having learned a lesson, took advantage of America’s benevolence and had considerable plastic surgery.
The Netherlands got on with shopping and stayed sober.
Italy stuck to making ice cream but kept in touch with its American relatives.
Germany made a lot of money from the freehold of the bar.
Russia got more knuckledusters and paraded them up and down the street at every opportunity.
Japan discovered electronics, and gave us some to use but kept the best for themselves.
America went on a cultural tour of the Far East but thought better of it and went back home to grow pumpkins and make more knuckledusters.
Every now and again Russia and America would fire off a great rocket into the sky, in a “mine’s bigger than yours” game.
Russia sneaked more and more knuckledusters into their snug just next door to everyone else’s.
But they did not realise they had woodworm.
Suddenly the floor collapsed and all the knuckledusters fell into the cellar.
Everyone thought this was so funny that Russia decided to leave the knuckledusters in the cellar and get drunk instead.
Their wives had a better idea, they went shopping in Britain and America.
France, ever on the lookout for the best bargain, did its own thing.
Britain kept true to Napoleon’s theory, and sold everything it owned – for a fraction of its worth.
America got lost in Virginia and Alabama.
Australia and New Zealand took advantage of the maxim, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”.
Canada stayed Canada (and also very cold!).
Everyone experimented with drugs and discovered the Beatles.
South Africa got itself in the news so often that even its best friends were embarrassed.
Ireland had its centennial nervous breakdown.
China watched and waited.