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Posted on Tue, Jul 11, 2006 11:42

British Life In The 1500's Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Sometimes people 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 to see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of : "holding a wake." England is old and small and the local folks started 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, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they were burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie a bell to it. 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 it was concidered a "dead ringer." And that's the truth... Now, who said that history was boring? :-p

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