After that things remained fairly quiet until the early 1200s when a Mongol named Genghis Khan (son of Murray and Esther Khan) organized the rest of the Mongols into a fierce horde and took over China by thundering across it on big, scary horses that did not care where they went to the bathroom. Khan and his descendants created a vast empire that ultimately encompassed all of Asia, Asia Minor, Asian Minor Phase II, and the Shoppes at Asia Minor Plaza. The Mongol Empire had little contact with Europe until it was visited in 1271 by the Italian traveler Marco Polo, who stayed in China for seventeen years before returning to Venice with two thousand little packets of soy sauce. This led to increased trade between Europe and the East that ultimately came to involve soup, egg rolls, and any two dishes from Column B.
Meanwhile, In England, the English noblemen had become involved in a big dispute with King John over the issue of whether or not he should be required to reveal his last name. This led to a big showdown in 1215 (known to English schoolchildren as "The Big Showdown of 1215") that resulted in the signing of the historic Magna Carta, which is the foundation of the modern legal system because it guaranteed, for the first time, that the noblemen had the right to habeas corpus (literally, "wear tights").
But the good times did not roll for long. In 1337, France, which was then under King Philip VI, was invaded by England, which was then under King Edward III, who had vowed to kill any monarch with a higher Roman numeral. This led to the Hundred Years' War, which, because of delays caused by equipment problems, is still going on.
Matters were not helped any by the arrival of the bubonic plague, or "Black Death", which in the fourteenth century spread throughout Asia and Europe, in the words of the great historian Arnold Joseph Toynbee, "like the plague or something." In those ignorant times, it was believed that the plague was caused by evil spirits. Now, thanks to modern science, we know that the real cause was tiny germs, which were carried by fleas, which in turn were carried by rats, which in turn were eaten by cats, which are in fact evil spirits. The plague killed about one-third of the total European population. It was not covered by HMOs.
Elsewhere in the world, important strides were being strode. In South America, the Aztecs had invented a highly sophisticated calendar; it consisted entirely of weekends, and that was the last anybody heard of the Aztecs. In North America, the indigenous peoples, who called themselves "Native Americans", were building hundreds of mounds, and you will just have to ask them why. Meanwhile, way out on a tiny speck of land in the Pacific that we now call Easter Island, giant, mysterious stone heads were being erected. This was done by teenagers. They'd erect one and then hide in the bushes and wait for the homeowner to come out and see it and yell, "Dammit, Marge, those kids have erected a giant stone head on the lawn again! We're moving off this Island!" This led to the development of Polynesia.
I am forever indebted to you Dave Barry. And will continue to routinely steal your jokes.