Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Where did Piss Poor come from ? A Brief History

Where did Piss Poor come from?

Interesting History

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot
& then once a day it was taken & 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" & 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 Married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of 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
that 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 the 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 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.

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!!!

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