This is one of those “friend of a friend” stories, the kind that are invariably jokes, hoaxes or viral marketing campaigns but are just too good not to pass along. I’d like to think it’s true, but then I’d like to win the lottery too. Could happen; not likely.
My friend Josh used to work for the National Park Service, and this is the story more or less as he told it to me.
A friend of his in the Park Service was leading a group of tourists through a historic site that dated back to colonial America, sometime in the 1600s or so as I recall. One of the buildings was a frame house, and the guide was explaining the various features of the building when one of the visitors spoke up.
“This is a reconstruction,” he said.
“No,” the guide replied, “this is the actual building, constructed in the 1600s.”
“No,” the tourist insisted, “it is a reconstruction. This is not the original. It cannot be the original. It has nails holding the boards together. They didn’t have nails then, only wooden pegs.”
“Well, sir,” the guide responded, “it is true that wooden pegs were sometimes used in construction at the time, but there were also nails. They were expensive, but people at the time did use them to construct their buildings.”
“No they did not,” said the tourist. “They did not have nails then. Nails were not invented until the 1800s.”
“Sir, nail-making has a very long history. I assure you that they did have nails.”
“Now you see here. I know these things. They did not have nails that long ago.”
“Look,” responded the guide. “Jesus Christ was not Scotch-taped to the cross. Trust me, they had nails.”
I really hope this story is true.