"Life in the 1500s" e-mail --- any of this true?

Here’s one of those things where it seems like one would have to be pretty gullible to believe all this stuff, but I can’t say I can disprove any of it either.

Can anybody out there prove to me that the following message from an e-mail is fake? Can anyone prove its validity?

> 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 still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to
> smell
> so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
>
> Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house
> had
> the privilege of the 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 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
> dogs,
> cats and other small animals (mice rats, and 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 droppings from coming into the house. This posed
> a
> real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really
> 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 on the floor to help keep their footing.
> As
> the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the
>
> door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in
> the
> entry way–hence, a “thresh hold.”
>
> 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 the 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 “would 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, causing lead poisoning and
>
> death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years
> or
> so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
>
> Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood
>
> with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from
> stale
> pays and bread which was so old and hard that they could use them for
> quite
> some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold
> got
> into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy moldy trenchers, one
> 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 “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 out 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, one out of
> 25
> coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
> they
> had been burying people alive. So they thought 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.”

Here you go, a link from Snopes that talks all about this. Someone just made this stuff up.

Crunchy Frog’s already got the link to the best answer.

And in case you didn’t know before, ‘Snopes’ (www.snopes.com)is one of the best web sites to go to for information about the veracity of urban legends & popular e-mail forwards (esp. the latter). It’s highly regarded as being very correct, and it’s rather extensive.

Once again, you’ve come through for me, Crunchy Frog. I’ve already been a nerdy spoil-sport and sent a link to snopes to the fella that sent me the e-mail. BWAHAHAHAHA!!

That’s not being a “nerdy spoil-sport,” Pez, it’s signing up as a full-fledged warrior against the forces of ignorance.

Thank you, and welcome to the force!

Speaking of which, how often do you listen to that tape of the Muppet Movie Soundtrack? (That was you right?)

You sent the tape? Drat, I haven’t recieved it.

Well, thanks for trying anyhow, Crunchy Frog.

Man, the Muppet Movie was good. Can’t bring that up enough. :slight_smile:

Email me your address and I’ll send another one, it’s no trouble really.