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57065.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:52 am Reply with quote

Q: Why might you benefit from having the following breakfast: Owl's egg and powdered amethyst omelette; Fried canaries and cabbage; spinach tea; half a lemon to rub under your arm?

A: You got absolutely blasted last night.

Notes: The Romans thought that eating fried canaries would help alleviate your hangover, and that owls' eggs, if eaten regularly, would protect you always. The ancient Assyrians choked down a paste of crushed swallows’ beaks with myrrh, and the Chinese drink spinach tea (and occasionally horse brain). Some Puerto Ricans rub half a lemon under their drinking arm.

Bygone English hangover cures include pulped raw eels and almonds, although 19th Century chimney sweeps preferred warm milk with a teaspoon of soot.

To prevent drunkenness in the first place, the ancient Greeks believed that putting a piece of amethyst in the glass or in one's mouth while drinking prevented drunkenness, and indeed the name of the gem alludes to this belief (Ancient Greek: "a-methyst" meaning "not intoxicated").

Philo of Alexandria wrote two entire volumes on drunkenness. In Steinbeck's Cannery Row, the derelicts who found occasional work cleaning up in bars would keep a large tankard of all the dregs of the clients, and have a competition at the end of the week to see whose draught had the finest character.

According to Herodotus, the Persians would always make decisions of import when drunk on wine; reviewing their decisions when sober. If they weren’t drunk and a decision needed to be made, they made it sober and reviewed it when drunk.

It is also their general practice to deliberate upon affairs of weight when they are drunk; and then on the morrow, when they are sober, the decision to which they came the night before is put before them by the master of the house in which it was made; and if it is then approved of, they act on it; if not, they set it aside. Sometimes, however, they are sober at their first deliberation, but in this case they always reconsider the matter under the influence of wine.

The number one best selling item in Florida after a hurricane warning is not food or water or batteries: it's beer.


57066.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 7:53 am Reply with quote

Thanks to eggers for those last two snippets.

Maybe we could get Flash's Temperance Society photo in here too...

57069.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:00 am Reply with quote

Hey, no probs Gray - it's a team effort after all.

I wonder if we can fit in here about the fact that Burnley is the biggest per-capita drinker of Benedictine in the world. It's one of my fave all-time factoids that. :o)

During WWII, the East Lancs Regiment were stationed in the Normandy town of Fecamp, where the liqueur is traditionally made. They got a taste for the drink, and the town has been taken ever since.

The Burnley Miners’ Working Mens Club now gets through 1200 bottles a year, a third of the number sold in the entire country. Its speciality is bene’n’hot, a simple mixture of Benedictine & Water.

57070.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:02 am Reply with quote

To prevent drunkenness in the first place, the ancient Greeks believed that putting a piece of amethyst in the glass or in one's mouth while drinking prevented drunkenness, and indeed the name of the gem alludes to this belief (Ancient Greek: "a-methyst" meaning "not intoxicated").

In Greek mythology, Amethyst was a beautiful maiden who Dionysus (the god of wine) attempted to kill. Diana turned the girl into a statue made of the precious-stone to protect her from Dionysus. According to the story, Dionysus suddenly became overcome with guilt and either spilled tears or wine (depending on which account you read) over Amethyst, creating the purple colour we associate with the gem.

57257.  Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:50 pm Reply with quote

It's either that or chromium atoms.

57318.  Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:49 am Reply with quote

I think that Burnley factoid is glorious! I wonder if there are any other "highest per capita" larfs to be had?

Molly Cule
61114.  Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:27 am Reply with quote

Why did doctors waiting lists soar during Prohibition?

Whisky could be and often was prescribed by doctors to their patients as medicine. People flocked to the doc for a ‘cure’ and over a million gallons of whiskey was drunk this way per year.

61121.  Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:38 am Reply with quote

Here's a site which mentions the prohibition fact which I brought up yesterday:

Grape producers in California would ship bricks of dehydrated Zinfandel grapes east, to Chicago and New York in railcars. These concentrated bricks of sugary grapes came with a strong warning label: CAUTION! Do not add these grapes to 5 gallons of water and five pounds of sugar with yeast, or it will ferment into wine, which is ILLEGAL. It was a strange time to be a winemaker.

Frederick The Monk
61161.  Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:19 am Reply with quote

Communion wine was exempted from prohibition law.

Beaulieu Vineyards, founded in the Napa valley in 1900 by George and Fernande de Latour survived Prohibition by producing communion wine, much of which ended up either on the dinner table or in use at “Cocktail Masses”.



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