Archduke Franz Ferdinand Was A Tough Guy, But…Posted: January 9, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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.
- War Horse: A Plot Summary (blurtblog.net)