As the last and best Kentucky Colonel, I do not often feel new feelings. Our top scientists have demonstrated that there is only one feeling, and it is “Looking towards the frontier with content and disdain” (MacAllister, G. H.; Beauregarde, T. C. W.; Montclair, H. B. J. Kentuck. Studies. 1851, 23, 8439). Any feelings which are not that are to be regarded as a plot of some kind, usually perpetrated by the Yankees, the Chinamen, or the serially and knowingly unkempt.
With this preface understood, please stand and acknowledge my surprise the other day, when I saw a gentleman slip on a discarded apple core and fall over, braining himself most heavily on a nearby balustrade. He had hardly collected his hat and crept off in shame when I found myself guffawing most readily, in a manner distressing to my dining companions. They tell me that I slapped upon my knee, and pointed at the shamed man, excoriating him in a manner which I generally find beneath myself. I was unready for such jollity, and immediately I searched around for the nearest Chinaman who had done this to me. Much to my chagrin, there were no Chinamen around, nor were there any accursed Yankees. Sirs and madam, my conclusion was that this feeling arose from within myself, a True and Honorable Kentucky Colonel.
I was conveyed promptly to the physician, but he could find no poisons or potions within or without my person, and as I had only consumed twelve Kentucky Bourbons, I was judged by all fine citizens present to be as sober as a morning rooster. There was no explanation readily available.
The next day, a gentleman of some repute, whose name I will conceal until such time as we come to understand this possible new feeling, confided in me that he had experienced much the same surprising emotion. This gentleman had been walking down a Lexington broadway when he chanced to see the wheel of a wagon fall off, whereupon the young boy riding in the back of the wagon was flung bodily into a nearby hedge, where he engaged in a most lively caterwauling. The gentlemen of some repute related to me that his reaction upon witnessing this mirrored my reaction to the gentleman falling down; he had a most hearty laugh, and then pointed at the young boy in the hedge and laughed even harder. No evidence of Northern trickery was found at the scene!
Determined to uncover the truth behind what had occurred, I spoke to a foreign scholar visiting the Kentuckyspire; if this feeling had been felt by overseas gentlemen of communitary standing, I was intent on learning of it. This foreigner, a Kaiser’s Own German named Klaus-Heinrich von Ehrlichmann auf dem Bülow, was as surprised as I was. He related to me that the Germans have a feeling that might be similar to the one I and the other gentleman experienced. It is derived from a concept known as “Nordiskhammenbonkfreude” in his own language, which I understood to mean “the internal joy one feels when one sees a Norwegian slip on a ham and fall”. The Professor Doctor claimed that the feeling that resulted was “Frohsinn”, or “Freude”, or perhaps “Heiterkeit”. These concepts are untrustworthy, but the parallels are clear to me, although Professor Doctor von Ehrlichmann auf dem Bülow insisted that there is barely any commonality, as a result of the particular way a Norwegian falls over. I am unfamiliar with any Scandinavians, and so I leave it to more traveled men to ascertain the veracity of the Professor Doctor’s claims.
Sirs and madam, after speaking to the German, and hearing of this “Nordiskhammenbonkfreude”, I am beginning to form my own chicken-fried conclusion. Although I, a Kentucky Colonel of the first rank, had not heretofore been aware of such events transpiring, I put it to you that a man falling over, aided as he was by carelessly-stored fruit, has awaken in me a second feeling of True Kentucky Origin. As much as it disgusts me to invoke their being, I believe the Northerners would translate the feelings suggested by the Professor Doctor as “funny”, or perhaps “mirth”. I put my Kentucky Colonelcy in your hands by making this report, friends, but the events described here suggest to me that it is time we add this second feeling to the Colonel’s Own Kentucky Imperium’s Book of Approved Feelings. Thank you for your time, sirs and madam, and I now cede the floor to debate.