Monday, November 28, 2011

Some things never change--"hunting the squirrel"

Well, it seems time has passed quickly and over a year has passed since my last post. Life, as they say, intrudes on life.

All the raging stampede in the stores this past weekend, not to mention the tear-gassing taking place in many venues for many reasons, reminded me of another kind of rage and riot that also has not changed. And you may be surprised at this.

In Liza Picard's "Dr. Johnson's London" (p. 31) we find that life then as now had a certain outrageous flavor:

Riding a coach had its own set of dangers, what with abysmal roads, wide carter wagons, and bad suspensions, "If the coachman was wicked, he would follow a 'one horse chaise . . .passing so close to it so as to brush the wheel, and by other means terrifying any person that may be in it.' This incitement to road rage was know as 'hunting the squirrel'." (taken from Francis Grose's "A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue", London 1785).

On a different note: check out the latest NAVC Gathering in Winnipeg.

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