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Showing posts from May, 2024

Rake Daddy Rake

  As with lots of good stories, there are many versions. Basically this one's about a pair of Wiltshire yokels raking a pond for kegs of smuggled brandy.  They feigned lunacy when surprised by the excise men, saying that they were trying to rake out the full moon which was reflected in the water.  Their ruse was successful. The officials had no trouble in deciding they were lunatics, so left them to their raking. Interestingly, the Lunacy Act of 1842 defined a lunatic as someone ‘afflicted with a period of fatuity in the period following a full moon’. I suppose any time falls into the category of a 'period following a full moon'.  As for fatuity, that might include all of us on certain occasions, not least since it's not stated how long 'a period' is.  Perhaps then we're all occasionally lunatic... Be all that as it may, on this occasion the lunatics (I've put inverted commas round the word and taken them out several times) outwitted the sober and sane,