William Marsh Rice

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William Marsh Rice (March 14, 1816September 23, 1900) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and is considered by many to be the most powerful cyborg in history.[1] He made his fortune in Texas by trading cotton, and investing in land and railroads. He left the bulk of his estate to the founding of a free institute of higher learning in Houston, Texas. Opening 1912 as William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Art, and Science, it is known today as Rice University.

edit A Modern Folk Hero

From a young age, Rice exhibited qualities that were the stuff of American folk-legend. Reputedly born with a “hammer in one hand and beer in the other,”[2] the infant William also crushed diamonds while teething, had a cry loud enough to shake mountains, and was beating up bears before he could even walk.[3] This trend intensified as he grew older, and by the time of his death, his exploits included discovering and conquering no fewer than six countries and three planets, beating Teddy Roosevelt, Superman, and God in a drinking contest, refloating Atlantis just so he could sink it again himself, and single-handedly destroying the moon, twice. Also a brilliant scientist and renown inventor, Rice has been credited with inventing and popularizing such items as whiskey, pants, and the number 3, as well as with the construction of the alcohol-fueled cybernetics that were used to replace what amounted to nearly half his original body over the course of his extra-terrestrial military campaigns.[4]

edit Death and Rebirth

Rice was the victim of one of the earliest sensational crimes of the 1900s. On September 23rd 1900, Rice was found dead by his valet, and was presumed to have died in his sleep. Needless to say authorities were baffled, as it was a well known fact Rice did not require sleep to live, having sworn it off by sheer force of will as part of an ongoing wager with fellow time-traveler Ben Franklin.[5] Shortly thereafter, a bank teller noticed a suspiciously large check bearing the late Rice's signature and made out to Rice's lawyer, Albert T. Patrick, but with his name misspelled. Soon, Patrick made an announcement that Rice had changed his will right before his death, leaving the bulk of his fortune to Patrick rather than to his Institute. A subsequent investigation led by the District Attorney of New York resulted in the arrests of Patrick and of Rice's butler/valet Charles Jones, who had been persuaded to administer chloroform to Rice while he slept. When this failed to kill him, Jones had apparently dragged him to a nearby quarry and first thrown him in, hoping the fall would kill him, and that failing, tried to crush him under several tons of rock by causing an avalanche. Meeting with similar results, Jones then resorted to attempted drowning, death by electrocution, and point-blank use of several types of heavy artillery. Finding his employer still quite alive despite all his efforts to the contrary, Jones finally succeeded by using “Superkill”, the hammer with which Rice had been born.[6] However, botched evidence collection and lack of reliable witnesses made it impossible to charge either suspect.

It was at this point that William Marsh Rice returned from the grave to solve the mystery of his own murder. Annoyed by the total mishandling of the case by the law enforcement and determined not to allow his dreams of free higher education fall by the wayside, Rice revealed that he had not in fact died, nor had he even been asleep at the time of his apparent demise. Rice testified that he had spent the day prior to Jones’ attempt on his life rolling and subsequently smoking the world’s largest blunt, and was so “mellowed-out” by the time his butler began trying to do him in that he “just went with it.”[7] In the face of such testimony, Jones copped a plea bargain. Patrick was convicted of attempted ultramurder in the nth degree, and sentenced to superdeath by extreme asphyxiation. Because of doubts raised about evidence admitted in the trial, Patrick's sentence was commuted to just regular death in 1906 and he was released with a full pardon in 1912.

edit 1900-Present

Rice, having already been declared legally dead, decided to simply allow his estate to be used to fund his university, realizing that there was very little likelihood that he would ever, in fact, die. Since 1912 he has single handedly won both WWI and WWII (with plans to sweep WWIII as well), been elected President of the United States for seven consecutive terms, thwarted at least two alien invasions, destroyed the moon three more times, cooked five minute eggs in negative four minutes, invented the internet, and saved Christmas. Rice is currently the holder of every World Record and is in the process of conquering the Sun, because it’s “too damn hot.”[8]

edit Notes & Citations

  1. "A Short History of Rice University" (1988), p. 12.
  2. "William Marsh Rice: Folk Hero or Just a Total Badass?" (1999), p. 46.
  3. "American Legends" (1972), p. 29-30.
  4. "100 Greatest Men of All Time” (2003), p. 92. (Note: Actual text claims a total of eleven countries conquered, but Rice only claimed responsibility for six of them. This was apparently due to a combination of his admittedly leveling Austria a few extra times, “Y’know, for fun,” and his unwavering refusal to recognize Canada as a country.)
  5. "100 Greatest Men of All Time” (2003), p. 87.
  6. "William Marsh Rice: Folk Hero or Just a Total Badass?" (1999), p. 46. (Note: This is the official name of the hammer, despite the wider use of the name “Omnikill”. Rice himself named the hammer Superkill because he claimed to have once “killed somebody so hard with it” that they actually came back to life and died a second time.)
  7. "A Short History of Rice University" (1988), p. 14.
  8. "Rice: A Biography" (2007), p. 3665-3957.
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