Update: Under Construction…

Hey all just a quick update. This week’s blog post (on the Roscoe ’Fatty’ Arbuckle, Virginia Rappe case) is running a little behind schedule. The architect (me) drew up the blueprint, only for massive amounts of scope creep to sneak into the build… The minutiae around the case was more than the project manager (also me) was bargaining for – and I’m now arguing with the owners (yours truly) over why we can’t have the room for a piano they want, let alone that precarious looking toilet on the upper floor….

I was expecting to do this one in 2,000 – 2,500 words. To do it justice I probably need to double that. I’m happy to aim for maybe 3,000 words, but don’t want to create a monster like in the featured image (stolen from a Google image search ”House falls on Buster Keaton” if you were wondering. I have no idea what the photo relates to.)

Add to the mix, Auckland, NZ has been in a lockdown for just over 2 months now. As, well prior to COVID I was a work from home person, it hasn’t bought me much extra time in the week. This time has felt like hard time – no complaints about our leadership over here from me, but I am feeling a little drained of late… many of you all have experienced this with ’quarantimes’ too right? (to borrow a phrase from a friend.)

I don’t have some random historical factoid or mini Tale to shoehorn in here so let me awkwardly insert this guy into the mix by pointing out on the upside, my chronic insomnia has more or less disappeared this lockdown, which has been nice.

aaaand… Paul Kern is a Tale I came across a couple of years ago, and put way on the back-burner – as when I began to dig around the story I just couldn’t find anything much by way of reliable sources. I’ve had a Google alert set to his name for just on two years however, as I think his life must’ve been awful, if true.

Paul was allegedly a Hungarian soldier during the First World War. Stationed near Chlebovice, modern day Chechnya in July 1915 (on first glance the Austro-Hungarians fought the Russians around there at this time), he was shot in the head – losing much of his frontal lobe.

Paul Kern survived, but was alleged to have never slept again. A military Wiki page dedicated to him states he returned to Budapest, and lived till 1943… Something not backed up by any Guinness Book of Records, no Jstor or Academia articles. Nothing in the Lancet.

What do y’all reckon? A man who, due to a traumatic brain injury, which it’s implied destroyed the part of his brain which needs sleep, never slept for close to 3 decades? I’m inclined to file it alongside Old Tom Parr and the theft of a 5 tonne wrecking ball from an American construction site in 1973 as wildly inaccurate, but entertaining Forteana right?

Let me know your thoughts below.
I should be back with the next tale before the week’s out.

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