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Archduke Franz Ferdinand Was A Tough Guy, But…

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria

"Every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man" Z.Z. Top (Image via Wikipedia)

In my last post, I included a reference to Archduke Ferdinand. That was the first time I have written the man’s name since tenth grade history class. Today, I bring you my second time since tenth grade. Apparently once you go Archduke…well, never mind.

You might recall that the Archduke’s assassination was one of the events that precipitated World War I. If you don’t, it was anyhow.

Extensive Research

Many people read Blurt because they can see I do extensive research to back up what I say. The majority, however, seem not to care that I define extensive as “I looked on Wikipedia” and make up the rest.

When I decided to go with an Archduke reference in the last post, I went to Wikipedia to back up my recollection of his role in the start of World War I.  I found the information I needed to support the little bit I remembered, but then I found out more. There were two assassination attempts on the big guy that day.

English: The car that Archduke Ferdinand was s...

A cool ride. Perhaps not the smartest under the circumstance. (Image via Wikipedia)

Ferdinand was riding in a convertible, a bold move for a guy who apparently had his share of enemies. Someone threw a grenade at the car he and his wife were riding in. This attempt was unsuccessful because “Ferdinand deflected the grenade and it detonated far behind them. He is known to have shouted in anger to local officials, “So you welcome your guests with bombs?!””

He deflected a grenade! Bodyguards? Who needs them? Ferdinand was just plain tough.

The only reason they got him is because he got back in the convertible to go visit the people who were injured by the grenade he deflected. His driver took a wrong turn and an assassin was able to shoot the Archduke while the driver was trying to back out of the street he turned on to. Was this a Sonny Corleone at the toll booth type of situation? I don’t know, but obviously bullets are harder to block than grenades.

The Less Extensively Researched Portion

The generally accepted procedure when you have enemies who want to kill you is to ride in things with a roof. Additionally, should those enemies try to kill you on a given day, you should try to stay inside for the rest of the day. The Archduke was a tough dude, but he lacked common sense.

Bull riding at the Calgary Stampede. The

In rodeo, this is what they call "The Archduke 'bout to get kicked upside his head". (Image via Wikipedia)

No one is more of a danger to himself than a tough guy without any sense.

Let’s review a few of the toughest Archduke’s other unwise decisions.

  • On an African safari, he once dressed as a wounded gazelle to lure in a cheetah. He was the only person on the safari to successfully hunt a cheetah, but he was badly mauled in the process.
  • The Archduke worked his way through college as a rodeo clown.
  • As a child, he ran with a stick in his hand and a lollipop in his mouth.

Yes, Archduke Ferdinand was tough, but he was prone to foolish risk taking. He was lucky for a long time and that chipped away at his common sense. Eventually our foolhardy tough guy paid a big price for his choices.

There is no substitute for common sense, my friends, The Archduke is a prime example of that. Toughness doesn’t always get us out of a bad decision. Know when it is time to leave the convertible in the garage.

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25 Comments on “Archduke Franz Ferdinand Was A Tough Guy, But…”

  1. Ooh, I love blog posts about AFF (aka Ferdie). Since many people nowadays don’t know there was such a thing as WWI, Ferdie has been sort of lost on the trash heap of history. Thanks for reviving him, if ever so briefly.

  2. I am telling my children that if they run with a lollipop in their mouth, they will be killed by a grenade.

  3. Lenore Diane says:

    Okay fine, I get your point. Still, it’s pretty cool he deflected a grenade. He’s my super hero!

  4. Oh man…you use Wikipedia? Not a credible source! Can you just leave that out of your next research post? Then I’ll take everything you say to be a fact.

  5. Todd Pack says:

    I’m pretty sure that’s the same car the Clampetts drove from the Ozarks to Beverly Hills, except theirs had a rocking chair in back for Granny.

  6. blondgirl008 says:

    Sounds like AFF was the Chuck Norris of his time. Bad ass.

  7. Sounds like the Arch Duke had some Arch Enemies!

  8. Jane says:

    There are so many levels of meaning here:
    1. The Archduke was overconfident (never works in any situation)
    2. The Archduke was a beloved celebrity (always draws devotees with little sense)
    3. The Archduke/celebrity is killed (good excuse for pandemonium)
    4. Those fighting the war knew enough to find and recruit horses (becauses horses have sense)
    5. Because horses have sense, those fighting the war had to take some credit for having sense; therefore, they called one of the horses a “Man of War” instead of a “Horse of War.”
    This stuff is great!

  9. Amy says:

    I’d never want to have grenades tossed at me or get shot in a convertible, but if I do, I sure as heck hope World War breaks out afterward.

  10. Katybeth says:

    Mama always says, “You gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them.” I wonder if he tied his shoes?

  11. Laura says:

    I’ve never deflected a grenade, but I did detect some grenadine once. Does that count?

  12. Spectra says:

    Sounds to me, what the Archduke was experiencing was just one of those ‘Murphys’ Law” days. But unfortunately for him, the manifesto for Murphys Law wasn’t published until the 1970’s.

  13. planetross says:

    note: if you are important enough to be driving in a parade, have Popemobile bulletproof glass.

    double note: why does the Pope need bulletproof glass on his Popemobile? He’s the next best thing to immortal! … oh! all of us are. Nevermind.

  14. […] The man whose assassination precipitated the start of the first world war, did not work his way through college as a rodeo clown. […]


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