Sunday, March 15, 2015

God bless the Duke of Argyll!

I was scratching my back against a tree in the park when Husband exclaimed, 'God bless the Duke of Argyll!'

I've never known him to be particularly monarchist before so I queried his outburst. In reply he repeated his comment. Ever helpful. 
'Yes, yes, I heard what you said; I wondered why you said it.'
'Someone said it to me in 1968.'
'Now it makes perfect sense.'

In 1968, before university, Husband had a holiday job working in t'mill. Not actually weaving but building something or other. And one of his co-workers said it to him, I assume because he was scratching his back.

This particular Duke of Argyll was a decent sort. He spotted that his animals liked to scratch themselves - probably because of their parasites - but his land was typically bare of trees. So he had posts installed and ensured the passing of a law that any pasture used for cattle, if it were bereft of trees, should have scratching posts. Naturally soon the posts became popular with the animal herders, who quite probably were also infected with ticks and lice. And it became commonplace for any scratching to be accompanied with a grateful blessing on his lordship.

So now we know. Husband is such a fount of useless knowledge.


neil hinds said...

Excellebt bit of information. Though I would have liked to see trees instead of posts...obviously

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

What a legacy !
I've just seen a Two-in-One backscratcher and shoehorn in a 'bargain' shop ....

Graham Hunt said...

I might just win Pointless or Mastermind one day with this kind of knowledge- thank you

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Great story.

nick said...

But which Duke of Argyll are we talking about? I gather there are 13 altogether. And did the other 12 introduce similar useful devices? The first-ever selfie stick perhaps? Or new improved denture fixative?

Derek Jones said...

When I was a lad in the 1950's in South Wales, the phrase used was "God bless the Duke of Bedford"