And a good thing, too. Without Columbus, Europeans would undoubtedly still believe the Earth was flat and the Chinese would be running the Americas. (Imagine how bad the smog in LA would be!)
*Here’s how Columbus convinced Ferdinand and Isabella to support his quest:
(*Might not be historically accurate)
Columbus: Hey guys, give me three ships and I’ll sail west to find a new route to China. That will give you a huge advantage when it comes to trade.
Queen Isabella: (yawns)
King Ferdinand: Cool. What’s in it for us?
Columbus: Any territory I find along the way I’ll claim for Spain.
Ferdinand: But won’t you just fall off the end of the Earth? Then we’ll be out three good ships.
Columbus: The Earth is round. That was established a long time ago. Besides, I found this map the Chinese made. Turns out there’s at least one whole continent on the way to the Orient. I’ll make you so rich the Queen will be wearing gold-plated girdles.
Isabella: (perks up)
Ferdinand: Awesome! Let’s do it!
Now let’s imagine how it would be if Columbus was trying to convince the Lil’ General (TM) to support the voyage:
Columbus: Hey General, give me three ships and I’ll sail west to find a new route to China. This will increase your power on the seas and any land I find will be claimed in your name.
Lil’ General: Whoah, whoah, whoah. This sounds dangerous. Won’t you just fall off the end of the Earth? Then we’ll be out three good ships.
Columbus: The Earth is round. That was proven a long time ago. Besides, I found this map the Chinese made. Turns out there’s at least one whole continent on the way to the Orient. You’ll be the richest and most powerful general on the planet.
Lil’ General: Well … um … what about the dragons?
Columbus: Dragons? What do you mean?
Lil’ General: You know, the fire-breathing dragons. I saw them on Game of Thrones.
Columbus: That’s a TV show, and it’s fiction. They don’t exist.
Lil’ General: And the giant squid? I read about them in a book. How do you explain them?
Columbus: The Jules Verne book? Also fiction.
Lil’ General: I’m not sure about that, but either way, we have budget concerns and can’t devote money to your expedition.
Columbus: (grits teeth) But you just spent $8 billion for new toilets in the officers’ headquarters.
Lil’ General: Yes I know, that’s why there have been rumors that they might want us to cut back on our spending in 1493.
Lil’ General: Yes. Huge budget concerns for 1493.
Columbus: But my expedition takes place this year, 1492, you have plenty of budget for 1492 right?
Lil’ General: Yes, of course.
Columbus: So what’s the problem?
Lil’ General: I’m worried about the dragons.
Columbus: But the dragons aren’t …
Lil’ General: … and the giant squids, too.
Columbus: (hangs himself) Gaaarrrrrghhhhhhh.
Lil’ General: (shrugs, shuts down his computer and goes to take a shit on his new toilet).
PS: The characters in this post are purely fictional and are not meant to represent the author, his boss or any other figures in the corporate world.