Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Mailbag #1

Hi there,

Barry Chindouche here. Every day, I get over 15 letters from my avid readers, seeking the answers to the biggest questions in life. I1 try my best to answer them all personally. Some answers, however, are too useful to the human race to be kept between just questioner and the questionee. Here are some of those answers.

Hi Barry,

Big fan of your blog mate, you bloody genius! I wish I knew just 1% of the things you did, then I'd show them! Got a question for you mate: Where does the phrase "There's more than one way to skin a cat" come from, and what does it mean?


Davey Quadright

Hi Davey, many thanks for your letter. Glad you are a fan - though don't call me mate. That's just presumptuous. In answer to your question, the phrase dates back to Tudor times. Britain was awash with cats and dogs (though, ironically, this is not the origin of the phrase "raining cats and dogs".) The epidemic grew worse with each year, until the cities reached (metaphorical) breaking point.

The then monarch, Henry VII, decreed that the summer of 1503 was cat hunting season (as dogs were his "fav animal").  Initially, the peasents of the time were superstitious of cats, and were too afeared to attack them. Henry published a guide called "Ye many wayes to skyne a cat". The methods listed included:

  • The Thomas รก Becket: Four peasants, with drawn swords, had to lop off the top of the cats skull and scatter it's brains around the floor.
  • The King Harold: Shooting the cat through it's eye.
  • The Caesarian: Several peasants stabbing the cat. Had to be done on March 15th.
  • The stomp: Self explanatory.
Modern day usage of the phrase remains the same. There are still many ways to skin a cat.

Hi Barry,

Love you, love your blog! I have a burning question (excuse the pun!): Which religion is correct?

Yours if you want me,

Lind LaBelle

Hi Linda, glad you love my blog. Religion is a sticky subject in this post 9/11 apocalypse. However, I have studied each of the 12 major religions, and have concluded that the only rational religion would have to be an amalgamation. I'd call it Jewslamity2.

Dear Mr Chindouche,

I am an avid reader of your excellent blog. I have a question: What is love?

Grey Finchingly

Hi Grey, glad to know you are an avid reader. Your question has been considered by philosophers even greater than I. I'll leave the answer to them.

B. Chindouche

1/my wife Debby
2For further thoughts on religion, see future post "Religion. It's not just an anagram of 'I, Reg, Lion'"

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