Columnists

The Middle Ages

I’ve been reading old articles we’ve had around the house since the 1980s.

I keep a file folder near my desk that holds newspaper and magazine clippings. Some days I read about things that happened last year. Sometimes I read about inventions from 1975,

Yesterday I read about the Middle Ages (not mine, but the world’s). Those folks suffered nearly 1,000 years…and those were the rich ones.

What if you had no alarm clock? What if you had no toothbrush? What if you had no tooth?

How tough was it? Well, rich people owned the land, lived in a castle, and could afford to bathe once a year.   

Peasants farmed that land, and lived in houses made of wood, straw, and clay. Those dwellings had no windows, dirt floors…and sometimes farm animals slept inside. (That meant their wooden TVs had to remain at high volume.)

These people worked long hours, between sunrise and sunset. They had no wristwatches. Sundials were too heavy to keep in a pocket.

Many remedies were herbal. They were passed down from one generation to the next, mostly by conversation. (These were the first oral medications.)

Consequently, there were very few old people, because anybody over 30 with three or four teeth and most of his fingers was considered a geezer.

And nearly everybody had superstitions. Many believed in witches, and their ability to transform into werewolves at night. This made parties extremely risky, and curfew a lifesaver.   

– Got a question to ask Rix? E-mail him at rix@rixquinn.com.