There have been numerous people throughout history who have made significant contributions towards society's development. Many of these rightfully gained a place in the history books and are common household names. Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michaelangelo, and Sir Isaac Newton spring to mind.
There are also, however, numerous individuals who through no fault of their own, failed to get the recognition that they deserved. Who invented the wheel? Surely this person deserves to be immortalised somewhere. What about the person who first decided that it was possible to float craft on water and therefore made sea-travel possible? I would even suggest that the people who first brewed beer and made wine should have received some adulation. History is all the poorer for not having recorded these wonderful and farsighted individuals. I intend to enlighten you!
Joan of Aarrgghh!
(1297 - 1333)
Joan was a dreamer and a Scottish nationalist; she was also a career seamstress who never quite mastered the art of using a thimble. Her red polka dot shirts were not dyed; they were simply covered in specks of her blood. She lived in Berwick for entire life, the daughter of a shipwright and his wife, a seamstress, both of whom could not wait to see the back of the English. At this time the Scots were busy fighting for independence and all-too-often Berwick bore the brunt of the fighting.
Joan spent her teenage years drifting from job to job searching for meaning to her life and a cause to follow. Eventually, when she was sixteen, she joined a group of fighters who periodically attacked English soldiers whenever the opportunity arose. She carried equipment for them and tended to their wounds. However, after a while she realised that they were nothing more than common thieves and bandits. She came home and went into her mother's business of mending and making clothes.
Everything appeared to be quietening down when the first full Scottish Parliament met in 1326 and the Edward III signed the Treaty of Northampton in 1328, a document that acknowledged Scottish independence. There indeed followed some peaceful years. This was when Joan settled down into married life with her husband Robert. However, in 1333 the English again invaded and she went off to fight them, leaving Robert to look after their children.
At age thirty-five Joan found Andrew McDougall's Sassenach Eradication Group. SEG's mission was to clear Scotland of all English soldiers and civilians by any means possible - preferably one involving death. It was during this time that Joan learned to use a sword, after a fashion, and only after she had finished her seamstress duties of sewing identification labels on the inside of the men's tunics. It was during this period that she gained her nickname. Her abilities with a needle were sometimes questioned, and the number of times she stabbed her herself and cried out became a matter of mirth for many of the members of SEG.
Some historians have the mistaken belief that Joan's nickname was inspired by Joan of Arc, however this is unlikely; she lived and died before Joan of Arc was even born. In fact, it is generally accepted that her name was Joan of Fuuuck!, because nobody actually says aarrgghh when sticking sharp metal into their hands; however, well-meaning early 20th Century historians flatly refused to believe that a young lady would use such language - hence the current name. Who were they kidding?
Early on, nobody was allowed in the same room as Joan as she practiced her swordplay, but she gradually improved and became more of a danger to other people rather than herself. However, in the few instances where she was given the opportunity to fight in combat and use a sword, her ability to injure herself became legendary. Her life came to an end when she led a charge against the English with a spine-chilling scream. This was not a war cry, but a cry of pain. She remains the only person to stab themselves in the leg, arm and torso in one smooth motion during the act of trying to draw her sword from her scabbard. This was the pinnacle of her career as a member of the revolution; it was also the action that caused McDougall to decide that her services were no longer needed. After she recovered from her wounds she went back to Robert and her children and started a business mending clothes. Her skills with a needle and thread had not improved and her clothing business became known as the House of Aarrgghh, or more probably the House of Fuuuck!