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Sunday, September 29, 2013

I didn't know that either –Bonus Sunday

Playing with a full deck

Common entertainment once 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.'

Minding your 'P's and Q's'

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 phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.


And now for the Bonus : 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 stacked near to the cannon. The standard was stack of 30 is an square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which in turn rested on the bottom sixteen. which in turn were mounted in a specially made plate

This metal plate had 16 round indentations and was called a 'Monkey'. This clever design allowed all 30 cannon balls to be stacked in a way they could not roll about a very small area next to the cannon .

However, the early Monkey plates were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys which solved the problem' That was until the winter 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.)