Once upon a time ….

April 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London, which used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged. 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.

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 “pi.. 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 pi.. in” and were the lowest of the low.

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, a 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.”

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 tomatoes, 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”.

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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Chinese Casanova is caught out after car accident when hospital contacts his ‘relatives’ – and all SEVENTEEN of his girlfriends turn up at his bedside: “A Chinese man recovering in hospital after a car crash had a shock – when all 17 of his girlfriends turned up to see him. Mr Yuan, from Changsha, was involved in the accident on March 24 and has been in hospital ever since. None of the women knew he had been seeing anyone else – some for up to nine years – and one even had a son with him. The women discovered his secret after doctors contacted all of them to let them know he had been injured. Xiao Li, who had been seeing Mr Yuan for 18 months, said: ‘I was really worried when I heard that he was in hospital. ‘But when I started seeing more and more beautiful girls show up, I couldn’t cry any more.’ Wang Fang, the mother of his son, added: ‘What can I do now? I don’t love him any more, but I do love my son.’ The women have now set up an online Facebook group so they can all chat and are quickly discovering just how much he hid from them, South China Morning Post reported. The story has attracted a lot of attention on social media, with some condemning Mr Yuan’s actions and others expressing admiration.”

Police stunned after discovering car parked on the side of busy street covered in huge chili peppers: “Police have been left stunned after coming across a car parked on a busy street covered in hundreds of chili peppers. NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command shared the bizarre image on their Facebook page, showing a silver car on the side of the road laden down with a vast amount of large red chillies. According to several commenters on the post, the incident occurred on Bridge St in Hornsby on the Upper North Shore of Sydney and is a regular occurrence. ‘He’s been doing this for years…. he lives in one of the units in Bridge Road. Parks outside my unit block (Cnr Albert & Bridge) for some reason. One photo shows baskets inside and outside the car, one lined with a Korean newspaper and filled with the chili peppers. Many Facebook users have said that this is a traditional method of drying out peppers in the sun before they are then used to make hot dishes such as kimchi or guksu.”

A swimming “porcupine”: “Beach-goers were faced with a different kind of sea creature when they entered the water at Victoria’s picturesque Rye Beach last week – a swimming echidna! The prickly Australian mammal was filmed paddling out to sea in the turquoise waters off the Mornington Peninsula, 83 km south of Melbourne. The video of the swimming echidna, which looks to be happily using its ant-eating snout as a snorkel, was posted online by YouTube user Emma B. According to Australia Zoo, echidnas, like many native Australian animals, are actually ‘proficient’ swimmers. They like the water so much, that the Zoo built a special swimming pool for its echidna residents to cool off on hot summer days. The echidna – or spiny ant-eater – is found all over Australia, in coastal forests, alpine meadows and desert habitats. They live on a diet of ants, termites, grubs and worms but biologists think the mammals evolved from aquatic ancestors like the platypus.”

Thai police forced to shoot out tires of confused American tourist’s car after she crashes into THIRTEEN vehicles: “Police in Thailand opened fire on a car driven by an ‘crazy’ American tourist after she drove the wrong way down a busy road and crashed into 13 vehicles, injuring two people. The 29-year-old woman, named by local media as Samantha or Amanda, was chased by police through the Pattaya region for 30 minutes before they shot out three wheels of her car. After the smashed-up car came to a halt, officers broke the front passenger window of the white Toyota Innova to arrest her when she refused to open the door. The blonde woman was then bundled into a police car – to protect her from an angry mob that had formed in the wake of the carnage, who hurled abuse and tried to attack the American. The Bangkok Post described how the woman played ‘demolition derby’ through the streets of Chon Buri’s Banglamung district, in a saga which began when she drove the wrong way down Soi Siam Country Club in East Pattaya and clipped a motorbike. The driver did not stop – instead carrying on driving the wrong way down Sukhumvit Road, facing into traffic.” The American tourist was given a ‘hefty’ traffic fine and ordered to pay for all the damages”

The wonders of Britain’s (useless) government medicine again: “A toddler suffering from an huge birthmark that could have blinded him in one eye has undergone life-changing plastic surgery. Colby Ramos-Francis, who is 17 months old, was born with a small, heart-shaped growth over his eyelid. But it quickly developed into a large benign tumour that continued to expand. His parents claim NHS doctors were unable to treat the growth or offer surgery, leaving them no option but to beg for help abroad. Colby has now had the tumour removed free-of-charge thanks to the US-based Little Baby Face Foundation. His mother Aimee, 18, said: ‘Seeing Colby come out without the birthmark is the best thing ever. It makes me incredibly happy. ‘If it hadn’t been removed properly it could have resulted in him losing his eyesight. ‘It is so nice not to have these worries anymore and he can just grow up and be happy.’ While also delighted with the outcome, Colby’s father Jamie, 23, said he was disappointed the family had been forced to fly across the Atlantic to get the treatment they desperately needed.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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