Humor and other
important things

Words of

The Two Most
Important Rules
of Life

Life in the

Origins of Well
Known Sayings

The Truth About
Men and

How to Shower
Like a Woman

Murphy's Laws

More Murphy's

Murphy's Laws
On Sex

Murphy's Laws
of Land

Test Your
Logic Skills

The Ant and the


Life's Little

One Liners

Before and

Thoughts of
George Carlin

Safe Parking

More Humor

Read my
Bulletin Board

What's a Snafu?
The saying was originated by a couple of Army Signal Men. It became the enlisted men's recognized state of the military at the time, "Situation Normal, All Fucked Up!"

Snafu is now used to indicate any foul up.

Life in the 1500's

The actual origins of some traditions & axioms.
I think most of these are made up, but they sound good...

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.

Baths were a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the first bath and clean water, then all the other menfolk, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all were 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 support underneath. It was the only place for animals to be warm, so the pets... dogs, cats and other small creatures lived IN the roof. When it rained the roof often would become slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall from 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 really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies to catch the bugs and prevent them from falling into bed with the occupant.

Floor were dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, floors which would get slippery when wet in the winter. So, they spread thresh (corn husks and straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door the thresh would start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way to prevent this, hence a "thresh hold".

They cooked in the kitchen in 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 didn't 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 the stew had food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really 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 a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes... for 400 years. Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trencher were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth."

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 whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them 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 they started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and re-use the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside, and they realized they had been burying people while still alive. So they thought to tie a string on their wrist of those buried, and lead the string through the coffin, up through the ground, and tie it to a bell. Someone would sit in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was either "saved by the bell," or was a "dead ringer".