Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notes: Discovering a new world of gift giving

What is an appropriate gift for someone on Columbus Day?

I suppose beads are out. The Dutch in New York pretty much ruined that idea after they took Manhattan in that Yankee swap with the natives.

I’m surprised the Yankees haven’t complained about cultural misappropriation with that whole swap thing anyway.

Can you imagine what it would be like around here without Columbus having barged in? The stores would be a lot less crowded at Christmas. They might even be more convenient than shopping on that crowded internet thing, which might not be as responsive anyway.

You really think the natives would be allowing so many cell towers in their forests? Tell the Abenakis about net neutrality and they might think you are going after their Weirs.

Back to the Columbus Day gift. How about a GPS that only takes you to Europe? Or a Google Earth map that replaces North and South America with a couple of dragons and sea monsters?

I am reminded of Seinfeld’s Jerry and George discussing their favorite explorers.

Jerry liked Magellan. George favored DeSoto, pointing out that he discovered the Mississippi River.

“Oh yeah, like they wouldn’t have discovered that anyway,” Jerry scoffs.

But had Columbus been stopped at the dock for lack of documents, who knows? Einstein wouldn’t have made it to Princeton. Self-driving cars would be bumping into each other on an overcrowded Autobahn.

And those guys who got the Nobel Prize for recording noises from a space wave bump from eons ago would probably just be inventing Super Mario Brothers.

Thanks for making the trip, Chris.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @deucecrew.