Thursday, May 12, 2011

How did that come to be said???

The year was 1096.  The city of Jerusalem had been taken by the Turks, thousands of Christian Pilgrims had been massacred, and Pope Urban II and his Council of Clermont called for a crusade against the Infidels.

In England, the tyrannical Lord Acken, Regent of Spiffingham, was gathering his knights prior to leaving for the Middle East.  The peasants were at first delighted with the prospects of a having few years of relief from the abusive rule of Lord Acken.  But then they learned that the most ruthless overlord in all of England, Caruthers Smythe, Earl of Aldershot was to rule the fiefdom in Acken’s absence. 

After Lord Acken’s departure, the peasant’s lot went from bad to worse.  Smythe levied additional taxes, increased their workweek from 6 days to 7 and perhaps cruelest of all, cut their daily ration of Mead.  Now the peasants couldn’t even drink their sorrows away.

But as luck would have it, Smythe was killed in a hunting accident a few months later. The peasants realized that this could be their big chance.  It was decided that they just wouldn’t tell anyone that Smythe was dead.  They quickly buried his body deep in the forest where it could not be found.  Since they did all of the work anyway, the peasants just set about to farm the fields, bring in the harvest, play the taxes as if Smythe was still there.  Best of all they could now make all of the Mead they wanted.

Over the years, things went along very well for the peasants. They worked 5 days a week and partied all weekend.  The seasons came and went, the king’s tax collector was paid on time, so no one was the wiser.

Late one Friday afternoon as Ben, the brewmaster, lugged a heavy keg of the peasant’s favorite beverage along the road to the Great Hall for the weekend’s festivities, he heard blaring trumpets and saw the billowing flags and marching soldiers of a large precession. 

It was at that point that he uttered the famous words that we often hear today:

            “Oh, my! Acken’s back!”

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