Crappogus (347 – 381)

Crappogus has often been touted as the first geek. From an unnaturally early age he shunned physical activity and spent his time doing unhealthy things like learning and exercising his mind. His parents despaired, but were powerless to change his ways. They were often heard lamenting that their son seemed destined for sad career of invention, innovation, and service to his fellow man. Why couldn’t he be normal and go out hunting animals, throwing spears at barbarians, or raping and pillaging. This was the near the start of the Dark Ages and the respect for science was starting to dwindle.

His crowning moment was the invention of the craptogon, although the details of this invention are hard to find. Little is known about the craptogon other than it was said to have had between 13 & 22 sides, and be three-dimensional. After much thought Crappogus suggested that his new shape would be a strong design for forts and castles. Unfortunately, the three-dimensional nature of the shape left it open to being undermined. A measure of its success, or rather, lack of success, is that there are no surviving, or even ruined, examples of castles built in the shape of a craptogon. It is said he was responsible for the ruin of at least 13 kingdoms – all of which would have put a price on his head, if only they had had enough able-bodied men with enough wits left about them (and heads) to think logically.

Crappogus kept on looking for the great invention. Without exception all of his inventions were for uses of the craptogon, and all were said to be useless. This cannot be proven because it is said they were so useless that there is no record left of any of them. This sadly under-recognised man only managed to reinforce the growing distrust of science with his constant failed attempts to improve life.

Crappogus died when he decided that, even though the craptogon was seemingly unsuited to being a defensive structure, or anything else that he’d tried for that matter, there still might be other uses. He became fixated on the building of boats. He was last seen launching an experimental craft off the coast of Fishbourne on the south coast. It was made up exclusively of interlocking craptogons.

There is strong evidence that the word ‘crap’ is a reference to the inventions of Crappogus although opinion is divided on the matter (I believe it is, and all other historians think that it relates to a combination of the Dutch krappen (to cut off) and the old French crappe (waste)). Some people mistakenly believe it is a reference to Thomas Crapper’s company that built flush toilets in the 1880s. It seems clear to me, however, that Crappogus must take credit for this word.

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