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The Good Old Days?

By Staff | Feb 1, 2011

How many times haven’t you caught yourself uttering the famous line, “well, back in the day.” or something to that effect, about something you may have done (proudly or sheepishly, as the case may be) in your younger days?

I have to admit, I’ve caught myself doing it every so often, and to be honest, really hadn’t given it a lot of thought. But, I got this e-mail from a friend in the business the other day, and I had to chuckle at a few of these.

Now, before we go any further, I DO?NOT personally remember any of these….

Before you condemn modern technology and wish for a return to a simpler time, consider the luxuries of, say, the 1500’s

* 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. That led to today’s custom of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

* Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the right of the first bath in the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men of the household, followed by the women and finally the children – last of all the babies. By that time the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Now you know the origin of the old saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”

* Houses had thatched roofs. Thatch was a thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. Usually, it was the only place for animals to get warm, so the cats and other small critters (mice, bugs) lived in the roof material. When it would rain, the thatch would become slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Today, that is known as “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

* There were no hardwood laminate floors in the 1500’s only dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt for a floor, which led to the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they would spread threshing, or straw, on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, the thresh would start slipping outside. To stop this from happening, a piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. That’s the beginning of “A thresh hold.”

* Meat could be scarce in the 1500’s. When visitors came to visit, a homeowner would hang up their bacon to show off to their visitors. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.” The hosts would cut off a little to share with guests, which would lead to everyone sitting around and “chewing the fat.”

* English villages started running out of places to bury their dead in the 1500’s. Officials would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and the officials began to realize that they had been burying people alive by accident. So they would tie a string on the wrist of a corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. After a burial, someone would sit out in the graveyard all night, thus creating the “graveyard shift”, to listen for the bell. This way, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was considered “a dead ringer.”

Still want to renounce electricity, the internet, cell phones and central air conditioning?