Thursday, April 17, 2008

To take your mind off the 31,061.54 that is your share of the national debt

Here are some useless pieces of information that everyone really doesn't have to know.

Alcohol Consumption

1. It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

Which towards another random note of non interest Honey is the only food that doesn't spoil.

2. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England , when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down." It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

3. Many years ago in England , pub patrons had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Politics and United States History

1. Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added until 5 years later.

2. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

[EDITOR'S UPDATE: There is no accepted code for equestrian statues. Some sculptors may have followed it, most did not. Statues at Gettysburg seem to follow that code, but not statues elsewhere. http://www.snopes.com/military/statue.asp]

3. The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

4. The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens. By the way, for those who don't care to know Samuel's pen name came from his job as a Steamboat Captain. For calling the depths of the river back to the Captain which was done with a knotted rope hence "calling out the 'marks' on the 'twian', or twine. "

1 comment:

Elaine Saunders www.completetext.com said...

Whilst writing my book about pub history I discovered that “Mind your Ps and Qs” might also be another kind of warning. When landlords chalked pints and quarts up “on the slate” they weren’t averse to adding a few extra marks. It’s therefore a warning to customers to watch the bill.

Instead of chalking up on the slate, London Market porters had their drinks marked on a strip of leather or tab, hence running a tab. It’s also said to give us the expression “strapped for cash”

Elaine Saunders
Author: A Book About Pub Names
www.completetext.com