CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Your majesty, if you will just give me a huge pile of money, I will find a new trade route to the Indies, a western route, one that is not controlled by the infidel Mohammedans.
QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN: ‘The Indies’ – do you mean you’re going to India?
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Yes, your majesty. Well, perhaps not India India, I may end up in Afghanistan or, oh I don’t know, Bangladesh. Mongolia. Somewhere, you know, Indiaish. Navigation isn’t an exact science, after all. It won’t be until someone invents the marine chronometer roughly two hundred years in the future.
QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN: But you’re sure you can find a new trade route to the wealthy heathen lands to the east?
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: Oh yes. I have carefully studied Alfraganus’s calculation of the diameter of the Earth. In translation, because I obviously can’t read Arabic, haha! But I definitely didn’t make any foolish errors such as, let’s say just for example, not realising the Arabic mile is longer than the Roman mile and therefore thinking the Atlantic Ocean is much narrower than it actually is.
QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN: Well, good. And you’re sure your passage won’t be blocked by any unforseen barriers? Like, say, another continent that we didn’t even know existed?
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: I am absolutely, positively, 110% sure that won’t happen, your majesty. Whatever land mass we hit, it will definitely be India.