In January 1954, some newspapers selected their biggest, boldest typefaces, and ran headlines like “[Ernest] Hemingway, Wife Killed in Africa.” The journos’ story was that the famed novelist and his fourth wife had died on a sightseeing trip in Uganda. The real story was even crazier.
Hemingway and his missus, Mary Welsh, had taken off in a single-engine Cessna, flying from Nairobi, Kenya toward Uganda’s towering Murchison Falls. Hemingway told the New York Times that the pilot had to evade a flock of flying ibises, and that his choice was to land on “either on a sandpit where six crocodiles lay basking in the sun or on an elephant track through thick scrub.”
The pilot took the second option, and managed to put the Cessna down without too much damage. They camped overnight and other than being “short on water,” they were alright — better than alright, considering that they’d crash-landed several hours earlier.
When the Hemingways’ plane didn’t show at its scheduled refueling stop, a British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) pilot took off to look for them. He spotted their downed plane, but didn’t see any sign of the pilot or his passengers. “It looked like the chap did a neat job of landing the aircraft,” he added.
That’s about when those “HOLY SHIT, HEMINGWAY’S DEAD” headlines started to run on the other side of the world. As people were plunking down loose change to read that story, the Hemingways were boarding a tourist flight — but that plane crashed and caught fire almost immediately after takeoff. (When the Associated Press located the couple a day later, it noted that they were going to the Ugandan city of Entebbe “by road.”)
When Hemingway was finally evaluated, his back-to-back crashes had earned him some serious burns, a cracked skull,” a ruptured kidney and several damaged vertebrae in his back. Mary Hemingway had two cracked ribs. When the Times caught sight of him arriving in Entebbe, he was casually carrying a bottle of gin and a bunch of bananas in his swollen arms. “My luck, she is running very good,” he said.
You’re now a bit smarter about Hemingway and this bit of information may just help you get a question right in this week’s virtual pub quiz.
Back when the world shut down in 2020, we weren’t about to let that stop us from bringing you the best trivia in the business. Thus, the Geeks Who Drink Twitch Pub Quiz was born!
Since then, we’ve resumed our traditional live, in-venue pub quiz operations but we continue to bring you our virtual trivia via Twitch. And, you know, we’re not planning on stopping anytime soon.
If you aren’t able to make it to our pub quiz in person, you can catch our stream on the Geeks Who Drink Twitch channel every Monday night, LIVE, at 9PM ET. And, if you want to watch it a second time to make sure you remember all the answers, we add the recording of it to our YouTube channel on Thursdays. If you’re just finding out about this quiz now, you’re in luck! You have tons of past Twitch quizzes to go consume. What are you waiting for?
Featured image courtesy of: public domain