Thursday, January 6, 2011
Manners and shit
It almost certainly dates from way back when cities did not have sanitary sewer systems or inside toilets. Citizens would use chamber pots at night and in the morning they, or their servants, would often avoid a trek down to the cess pit (in many houses this was basically just the basement) and fling the contents of the chamber pot into the street from an upstairs window. Streets were pretty much open sewers then anyway but this certainly didn't help. The custom evolved that gentlemen, when escorting ladies, would position themselves closest to the street nearer to where the sewage would hit the ground thus preventing their date from being splashed, or, worse, hit. Of course the downside was that you would end up covered in excrement yourself.....
Some people long for the simpler times of the past. I like the twenty-first century just fine.