The History of Conquest from Prehistoric Times to the 1920s: In the jolly old days, conquering other countries was a venerable sport, guaranteed to work wonders for everything from your image to your complexion. It was easy as picking your nose, or blowing up a few hundred natives with the latest model cannon, whichever you found to be a more rousing form of sport. First, you started on an expedition on whichever animal or wooden contraption it happened to be the fashion to exploit. Sooner or later, you were bound to bump into unfamiliar territory (if, like Columbus, you were a geographical putz, all the better to keep a straight face with). At that point you planted your country’s flag on some prominent spot – a hilltop, a cliff top, the local ruler’s palace, the local queen’s beehive hairdo, or any scene with the potential for a picture postcard and a Holiday Inn – and beat the hell out of any natives who objected. Sometimes, like Columbus, you tied them to a young, green tree and set the tree on fire, a slow barbecue method that entertained the troops in the form of the native’s piteous moans. What could be simpler? Veni, Vidi, Vicious.

If the territory was too well known for you to pretend it was Your Personal Discovery – say, China or India, which had been churning out mind-blowing philosophies and erotic sculptures while your ancestors were still swatting flies or wrestling with wild boars deep in the German forests – there were more sophisticated stratagems. At least, sophisticated enough to get a few laughs from your drinking buddies back home. Such as making yourself utterly obnoxious to your local hosts – say, by insulting your Vietnamese host’s mother-in-law’s lizard soup or 100% Canine Hot Dog. Or insisting that your Arab host provide you with bacon slices to wrap around your camel shish kebabs. So obnoxious, indeed, that they would be forced to reverse their thousand year tradition of hospitality for the first time and throw you out of their kingdoms or sheikhdoms.

At which point, in the guise of resisting your expulsion or defending your decidedly un-virginal Queen’s honor, and because it had hurt your tender sensitive soul and violated every canon of civilized behavior, you could exert just a wee bit of extra force – just wee enough to find yourself, to your wide-eyed surprise (and to your faraway patron’s delight), with a huge country or an entire Australia-sized continent on your hands.

[Continued in the humor collection I Will Not Go the F**k to Sleep or The Mahatma, the Goats, and Young Cats, -- one of its stories describes a baby who, like Donald Trump in his television star days, grabs a young cat--though, unlike Trump, the baby grabs a young cat of the feline species.]