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LePike Award Series- Shrubopedia, the NextGen Compendium of Obfuscation
See also: Pierre LePike
The Pierre LePike Remedial Spike is given annually since 1957 in honor of Pierre LePike, a balding tailor who cut off his own feet in 1888 to fit into an uncomfortable and poorly-sewn pair of trousers he himself had made ten years earlier. He was killed in 1893 when a leaky gas oven he steadfastly refused to have fixed attracted lions. A series of awards were given in the century following his death honoring the spirit of human incredulity.
LePike was revived in his native France in 1931 as a sort of national mascot by legislators who misread his epitaph. Further mistranslations led the Japanese to associate LePike with high-class toiletries and to this day he remains a quasi-patron saint of cleanliness in Japan.
Talk of an award in honor of Pierre LePike was discussed as early as 1928, but a faltering stock market and hyperinflation pushed LePike from the international stage.
Historian and LePike board trustee Everard Guilemot said in his 1997 address that “had the award association been founded in Munich in 1928, we could have brought socially irresponsible people and corporations into public view... Tragedies like the Hindenburg could have been avoided, or at least digitally mastered.”
Word War II
During World War II, the image of Pierre LePike was hyped to the point where he had higher name recognition than Popeye the Sailor in the United States. Eight in ten Australians believed him to be a former president of France.
Every can of orange paint exported from Vichy France had Pierre LePike’s face stamped on it. This was due to a manufacturing error, but explained as a targeted nationalist rebuke to paint censorship by paint distributors eager to escape being branded as collaborators following V-Day. LePike’s face was also painted on airplanes under the RAF 180.5 skydancer division.
The small Louisiana suburb of Faux Jaguar, home to more than 40,000 of Pierre LePike’s descendants, petitioned the Department of War for an Order of LePike medal. This was roundly rejected by an irate postman who refused to deliver the request.
Over the next 60 years, LePike’s name was invoked thousands of times to support everything from Vatican Council reforms to broadcast frequency regulation to the abolition of the Nepalese monarchy. French university students in a 1998 study rated LePike most quirky historical figure by a large plurality.[citation not needed, but desired]
LePike was cited as a source of inspiration in 1992 by then-secretary of defense Dick Cheney, who encouraged legislation to introduce a “renewed” mercury dime with LePike’s image. The scheme failed, say numismologists, because unlike the 1936 Winged Liberty Head “Mercury” dimes, the new LePike design incorporated actual mercury. Enthusiasts justified this by pointing to LePike’s creative use of mercury in all his projects from cavity fillings to culinary seasonings.
All waste bins in Kent, New York are modeled after the makeshift trashcan Pierre LePike made from an old nectarine crate in the late 1870s to dispose of various tattered rags. Each lid includes a small engraving commemorating the life of LePike on the reverse side. The observe contains a portrait of the late LePike, duplicated from a photograph taken in 1892 shortly before his death.
LePike In Popular Culture
Warning: this section is written as trivia and not prose. It should be rewritten in iambic pentameter.
In 2007, Countdown anchorman Keith Olbermann mentioned both Pierre LePike and Winnie the Pooh during a special comment on Bill O’Reilly getting his head stuck in a honey pot. Olbermann also gave a brief aside on LePike in 2008 on LePike’s 140th birthday.
In the movie Kung Fu Santa 2, a LePike toiletry is seen in a Japanese hotel.
Grandpa Simpson made a reference in a season 8 episode of The Simpsons to “getting [his] first pair of pants from a lowdown Frenchman” who bore a striking resemblance to LePike.
- 1957 - Prof. Leonard Phillips, inventor of Butter Spray
- 1960 - Katrine di Fazio, all-in-one shampoo
- 1962 - Phillip Hammerhead, cordless telephone case
- 1963 - Alvin Tremain MacGinty, cracked morse code
- 1966 - Prof. Lola Larouche, inventor of the macroscope
- 1970 - Nikola Modesty, built world’s first Neanderthal crash-test dummies
- 1976 - Arina Vyacheslav, inventor of the nuclear shoehorn
- 1977 - Dr. Levar Plumbob, inventor of edible, biodegradable handcuffs
- 1978 - Omar al Kashi, inventor of the deep sea disco
- 1980 - Fred J. Fleming, inventor of the paper-cut inducer
- 1981 - Myriam Craig, treatise on a sand-based economy
- 1982 - Linsey Peru, inventor of the Chia topiary
- 1983 - Dr. Kentucky Silas, identified which dinosaurs “would taste good”
- 1984 - Dr. Kentucky Silas, follow-up study on delicious tricordates
- 1989 - Fenrick Figwig, Simcity simulator
- 1990 - Dr. Ferran Salut, author of “Practical Application of Flower Power”
- 1991 - Tuan Tien, groundbreaking research in goldfish psychology
- 1993 - Patrick Turing, inventor of the centrifugal carbonation process
- 1994 - Paul Grunion, author of “A Scientific Breakfast: 82 Ways to Say ‘Ham’”
- 1995 - Elizabeth Roscoe-Guerney, M.F.A., invented flammable cement
- 1996 - Sylvia Elise Höebermann D.D., theological implications of a second, smaller heaven
- 1999 - Leeland Welsh, invented preemptive matchsticks
- 1900 - Dr. Steven Webb, Y2K unpatcher
- 2003 - Prof. James “Frisky” Steinbeck, battery-powered perpetual motion machine
- 2005 - Anita San Valentino, invented lead-lined thermoses
- 2006 - Dr. Marty Whalbur, bred mice that swordfight
- 2008 - Hershel Gistoff, originator of the imitation Jewish delicacy, “liquid knish”
- Our Old Knickerbockers, G. H. Gould, 1947 Boston Press, pp. 17-36
- Public address by Everard Guilemot, 4 Apr. 1997 at the 40th LePike Spike award ceremony
- Document 8J of The Munich Papers, PDF file 3.9 mB
- Beltweaver, Andrew, “Our Sky”, Vanity Fair, 31 Oct. 1987, pp. 3-13, 15-18
- Colman, Jessica, “Mad As Hatters”, New York Times, Ed. Midnight, 14 Jan. 1992, A1
- Lou “Toro” Tintarello, The Trashcan Tabernacle (2nd edition), (Oxford, 1989-1990), 135