Socially Distanced Drunk History: Safe from Swords

Drunk history, held Saturday at 10PM on the Alt History YouTube channel, is where everyone is wasted and the events recounted are mostly true but told with drunken flair. 

Hygiene in the Victorian Era as told by Lamia while drinking Gin from a Vortex mug 

Today, we have this idea that the Victorian era was flowers, kittens, and tiny boots. In truth, it was disgusting. Filthy. The ground outside of homes was caked in mud. Mud made of a variety of poo, vomit, soot, oil, and ash. A mix that congealed into a nasty slurry youd walk through in tiny boots. Then, those same poo slurries would side right up into the water supply.  

If you want Cholera, thats how you get Cholera.  

Photo by Alicia Pack

Initial plumbing in Victorian houses was a wooden plank with a hole in a water closet where the water magically traveled out to the river and Cholera. Even more fun was wiping. When you needed to, youd wipe your privates with a corn cob, newspaper, or rags.  

During that era, there was so much shame in touching yourself anywhere from boobs to knees. If you touched yourself there, it led to masturbation, which led to consumption, hysteria, and acne. Since you cant touch your nether regions, you were literally not bathing. 

It was, however, acceptable to have a warm bath if you had hemorrhoids or just had a baby. Otherwise, youd sit or stand in cold water and wash your hair with ammonia, onion juice, whipped eggs, or vinegar and lard. A mixture of honey and gin also acted as the first dryshampoo. 

To sum up: Everything leads to masturbation and Victorians stank.  

The Astor Place Riot or How Fancy People Stole Shakespeare as told by Nikki drinking a mysterious con beverage 

In the early 1800s, people recited Shakespeare to each other in the same way we quote memes today.  

The riot happened May 10, 1849, and the competitors were Edwin Forrest of the peoples people vs. William Macready of the refined and very British. Leading up to the riot, the two went around harassing each other. Like Forrest stalking Macready and hissing at him loudly during his second tour.  

The sentiment had turned in America. Being British wasn’t good for you in most of society. At one of Macready’s performances, half a dead sheep was flung at him, as you do, bringing half a dead sheep to a Shakespearean performance. Don’t leave home without one.  

Macready showed up for a farewell performance of Macbeth in New York, but a bunch of working-class people showed up to boo and scream loudly the whole time, so that no one could hear the actors.  

New York knew violence was coming as 10,000 people surrounded the opera house and were throwing rocks at the building and fighting the cops. They were also trying to set the place on fire. Somehow, Macready got through the performance.  

Troops were called in, and the crowd attacked them. At the end, 30 people were killed and 112 injured marking the first time in U.S. history that a militia was called against citizens.  

The riot resulted in regular people losing Shakespeare and the theater to people with money. Support live theater in your local theaters and stop the gentrification.  

To sum up: Shakespeare is for everyone.  

The Last Days of Calico JackRackham, Anne Bonny, and M. Read as told by Andrea drinking rum 

When he was in his 30s, Calico Jack, described as flamboyant with skill as a tailor, set off to the Pirates Republic, a place where the British were failing miserably to colonize.  

Pirate hunting was a big business, and you could reap a lot of booty if you bagged a pirate. Nothing was working to bring order until Woodes Rogers, a famous privateer, decided if we cant fight them, join them. He mass pardoned any pirate who came forward and apologized for being a pirate.  

Jack thought it was a good deal and got his pardon before returning to Nassau.  

Enter Anne Bonny, the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy man and his Irish mistress. She was raised with a lot of money, was very tall, and had long, fiery red hair. As a teen, she stabbed a servant.  

She fell in love with a poor sailor, but dad didnt approve, so she burned his house down and ran off to the Caribbean with her husband. While hes off doing sailor stuff, she got bored and started partying every night dressed as a man. She met Jack, and they fell in love and ran away together.  

Jack was okay with her dressing like a man and used his tailor skills to design more mens clothes for her. Jack is also credited with creating the first Jolly Roger flag design.  

They had no money, so Jack decided it was time to start pirating to make money. At some point they meet Mary, dressed as a boy, who had fought in the army, and often went by Mark Reed. Anne and M. became the lead of the pirate crew while Jack was designing the flags.  

Around October 1720, Rogers decided Jack and crew needed to die because their pirating went against his plan, and he wanted to make an example out of them. At that point, Jacks crew had like 10 ships and a thousand crew. They were hard to surprise and ambush, so Rogers puts out a huge bounty.  

Along comes John Barnett who decided this was how he was going to make his fortune. Thinking like a criminal, he decided to wait for the perfect opportunity. That came when Jack, Anne, and M. got a huge booty and drunkenly celebrated for three straight days. In the middle of the night, Barnett struck. Jack surrendered quickly, and the two who fought the hardest were Anne and M. Ultimately, they were overpowered. Like Dragon Con attendees, they were wasted and partied for days, so they lost. They all went to jail. 

Jack, Anne, and M. were sentenced to hang, but Anne and M. claimed they were pregnant, and you cant hang pregnant women. They didnt think Jack was pregnant, so they hanged him. M. passed away while pregnant, and Anne was let go before having the baby.  

Before he was hung, Jack asked to see Anne, and she left him with these epic parting words: Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hangd like a dog. 

To sum up: Anne got away with everything and had the best lines.  

Author of the article

Not everyone can say they watch television for homework, read novels for inspiration, and are paid to follow what’s trending. For Alicia Pack, it is all part of life as a writer and media enthusiast.  When she isn't lost in the world she is trying to create, you can find her with her nose in a book or catching up on her favorite supernatural shows.  She has a Master’s degree in Mass Communications and a Bachelor’s degree in Radio, Television, and Film.  Her nine years of diverse media experience include news writing, copywriting, website content management, social media, promotions, television production, and teaching.