cleveland party

guardian-4n631  asked:

Y'know the phrase "all the bells and whistles"? Where did it come from?

The year was 1886. Grover Cleveland was president, and that man LOVED to party. Cleveland’s presidency was infamous for its debauchery and orgiastic social events. In one instance he and his friends got drunk and raced horses in the Lincoln hallway of the White House, shattering several priceless gifts from abroad. In another on July 4th, Cleveland packed the White House with over 600 locals, all nude, painted them red white and blue, and rigged the ceiling with fireworks. As the painted orgy took place, a band conducted by John Philip Sousa himself played Stars and Stripes and the fireworks were ignited, blowing the entire roof off the building to the cheers of the partygoers, excluding Cleveland himself, who was busy running naked through the White House lawn with sparklers, chasing a rabbit that had wandered outside the Oval Office window during his nightly drug binge.

Needless to say, this all earned him some enemies. One of them was John Bell of the Constitution party. Bell filed numerous lawsuits against Cleveland to no avail. He ran against him with no results. He challenged Cleveland to a duel, but Cleveland was so drunk he merely vomited on Bell, covering him in no less than 5 partially digested cheeseburgers. Bell left Washington with his entire family the week after.

Another enemy was painter James McNeill Whistler, who was to have painted Cleveland’s presidential portrait. Cleveland showed up under the influence of opium and cocaine, with an unknown woman attached to his posterior, kissing his bare behind ravenously. He would not sit still for the portrait, and when asked to do so, he pulled a gun from a holster tied around his genitals and shot at Whistler, wounding him in the arm and making it impossible for him to paint again. He took his mother and left for London the next day, relocating the entire Whistler family.

Three years later, Cleveland was to leave office. He decided to have the biggest departure bash the world had ever seen. Spending a full 77% of the US National Budget on the party, Cleveland organized the greatest social event America had ever seen. And everyone was invited. Every politician, every American, and even every one of Cleveland’s enemies. According to the invitation, “All those whom hath quarreled with me, yea, even the Bells and Whistlers are welcome.”

The phrase was altered only a little over the centuries, and so to this day, something with every expense and option added is said to have “All the bells and whistles.”