Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Educational Moments


There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London which
used to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the
gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hung. The horse
drawn dray, carting the prisoner was accompanied by an
armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and
ask the prisoner if he would like ''One Last Drink. '' If he
said ''Yes,'' it was referred to as "One For The Road.'' If he
declined, that prisoner was "On The Wagon"

So, there you go. More bleeding history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used
to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold
to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were
"Piss Poor". But worse than that were the really poor folk
who couldn't even afford to buy a pot they "Didn't have a
pot to Piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain
because the water temperature isn't just how you like it,
think about how things used to be. Here are some facts
about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their
yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by
June. However, since they were starting to smell,brides
carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence
the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man
of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then
all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the
children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so
dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the
saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"

Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no
wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get
warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs)
lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and
sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence
the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the
house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where
bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean
bed. Hence, bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the
top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds
came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other
than dirt. Hence the saying, "Dirt Poor." The wealthy had
slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet,
so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their
footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh
until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.
Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big
kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they
lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly
vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat
the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get
cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for
quite a while. Hence the rhyme: ''Peas porridge hot, peas
porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old''.

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel
quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang
up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a
man could "Bring home the Bacon." They would cut off a
little to share with guests and would all sit around talking
and ''Chew the> fat''.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with
high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the
food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most
often with tomatoesp; so, for the next 400 years, or so,
tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the
burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and
guests got the top, or ''The Upper Crust''.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination
would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days.
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead
and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen
table for a couple of days and the family would gather around
and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom of ''Holding a Wake''.

England is old and small, and the local folks started running
out of> places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins
and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the
grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were
found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string
on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up
through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have
to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to
listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, ''Saved by the Bell''
or was considered a ''Dead Ringer''

And that's the truth....

Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

So . . . get out there and educate someone!

~~~ Share these> facts with a friend like I just did ! ! !

--Unknown Author