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O/T: (Humor) Tidbits you need to know

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  • Fred G Kovalyak
    Tidbits you need to know Hope u enjoy these as much as I did. Some are Ole but some are also New (at least tooo me) and very Good. FG Kovalyak Columbia,Md
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2006
      Tidbits you need to know

      Hope u enjoy these as much as I did.
      Some are Ole but some are also New (at least tooo me) and very Good.

      FG Kovalyak

      From my two Excellent SLOVAK Travel Guides Helene and her Mother Helen.

      Some of these seem contrived but are probably facts. Some may be repeats. At any
      rate, they are amusing.

      In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted
      or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk
      with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices
      charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how
      many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are "limbs," therefore painting them
      would cost the buyer more. Hence the _expression, "Okay, but
      it'll cost you an arm and a leg."
      As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and
      October)! Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of
      lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool.
      They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread,
      put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig
      big and fluffy, hence the term "big wig." Today we often use the term "here comes
      the Big Wig" because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy!
      In the late 1700s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair.
      Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The
      "head of the household" always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on
      the floor Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in
      this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in
      charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the "chair man." Today in business,
      we use the _expression or title "Chairman" or "Chairman of the Board."
      Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had
      developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their
      facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other,
      if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, "mind your own bee's
      wax." Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term "crack a smile" In
      addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt
      . . . therefore, the _expression "losing face."
      Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman,
      as in "straight laced". . . wore a tightly tied lace.
      Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when
      purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the "Ace of Spades." To avoid paying
      the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52
      cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't "playing
      with a full deck."
      Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people
      considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the
      politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told
      to "go sip some ale" and listen to people's conversations and political concerns.
      Many assistants were dispatched at different times. "You go sip here" and "You go
      sip there." The two words "go sip" were eventually combined when referring to the
      local opinion and, thus we have the term "gossip."
      ******! ******** ************************************************
      At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers.
      A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She
      had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in "pints" and who was
      drinking in "quarts," hence the term "minding your "P's and Q's."
      One more: bet you didn't know this!
      In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron
      cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a
      good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the
      deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on
      top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30
      cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was
      only one problem...how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from
      under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 round
      indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly
      rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys." Few
      landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when
      chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations
      would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey.
      Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey."
      (All this time, you thought that was an improper _expression, didn't you.)

      If you don't send this fabulous bit of historic knowledge to any and all your
      unsuspecting friends.

      Your floppy is going to fall off your hard drive and kill your mouse.

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