Laughter, The Best Medicine


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 Medieval Europe:

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

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, 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.                      

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 entranceway.
Hence the saying a thresh hold.                

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 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 death. This happened most often with
tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes  
were considered poisonous.

The very wealthy and privileged were able to afford kitchenware, bowls, cups,
forks, and spoons made of silver. Although germs were not generally known to be
the culprit in causing disease, silver was known to be a factor in keeping people from
getting sick, so during the times of plagues, these wealthier families would give
their children silver spoons to suck on. Hence came the term, “born with a silver
spoon in their mouths”.

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 n ight (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 ! ! !

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