What are Pub facts?
Over the course of writing Brewing Britain and throughout my drinking career I have heard many a tall tale, always told most earnestly and always told at least two or three pints into the evening. I’ve started to call these tales pub facts, they sit on that line between total crap and the truth. This is the start of my collection of some of my favourites and I hope that by immortalizing them as the written word these tales and facts will stay alive for a lot longer.
The Animal kingdom – Pub Facts
This pub fact always starts about a friend of a friend and he or she notices that their pet Boa constrictor has been not been eating any food for the last week or so. Slightly concerned they both visit the vet who reassuringly says that the snake is showing no signs of ill health and that as a precautionary method they should keep an eye on it and report back if there is no change.
Being a pampered snake it is allowed to go where it likes in the house and is not kept confined. Just like a beloved pet dog the snake normally sleeps at the bottom of the owners bed. After a further week the snake is still not eating and to add to the strange behaviour it has started to sleep like a human, head on a pillow and outstretched on the bed beside its dutiful owner.
This time an old and wise snake expert who lives down the road is called upon. He solemnly listens to the snake owner as he tells him how the snake has now gone three weeks without eating and is lying prostrate on the bed. Looking alarmed and animated the old and wise expert tells the owner that he must get that snake out of the house immediately as his life is in great danger.
The wise expert explains how the snake is measuring himself up against the owner to ensure that he is long enough to ingest him. Content that he is he is making room inside his belly by starving himself as soon as there is enough empty space, probably in the next day or two the snake will turn on the person that has nurtured him for all of these years and the owner will be slowly digested!
The next day the snake is put down and the owner has a lucky escape.
Human Achievement – Pub facts
There is always someone who has done something better, bigger or more impressive than you or I. This collection of stories takes that a stage further and explores the far reaches of human achievement some of the stories question the very fundamentals of what it is to be human.
Food for free
Prahlad Jani is an 85 year old man living in India. Whilst his age is impressive it’s certainly not something of extraordinary merit. What is that seemingly unremarkable Hindu holy man has managed to go without food for the last 70 years. On top of that he says he can walk for hundreds of miles without feeling in the least bit tired.
Instead he had trained himself to get all of his energy from the sun hitting the back of his throat. He needs only open his mouth for 20 minutes a day facing the sun and he is fully sated.
A few years ago NASA got wind of this and were of course very interested. This could make a huge difference to space travel, imagine if astronauts didn’t have to eat anything. Think of the possibilities, we could live on other planets and not have to worry about growing food, we could use the stars to feed ourselves. Under the guise of a press conference, allowing the worlds media to also be present to keep everything under wraps, NASA persuaded Jani to be put under lock and key for two weeks without any food or water in order to run a series of experiments on him. He agreed and after two weeks without any nourishment he said, ‘I am strong and healthy, because it is the way God wants me to be.’ He put his ability to go without food down to a religious experience he had at age 11, when he decided to devote his life to the Hindu goddess Amba. In return Amba feeds Mr Jani with an invisible ‘elixir’ that gives him everything he needs.
NASA could only conclude that this man was an evolutionary mutant. He was the next step in human being, something we could become. They also concluded that he was lying about his age and that this man was over 200 years old. They are currently looking for astronaughts from around the Indian sub continent.
Half my lies are true – Dennis Hamilton, 1823-2004
Man who hasn’t slept
There is a pig farmer living in Vietnam called Thai Ngoc who in 1973 came down with a fever. He never truly recovered from the fever as it robbed him of the ability to get a decent bit of shut eye and as such for the last 40 odd years (and they have been odd), Thai hasn’t slept a jot of sleep. He has tried everything from sleeping pills, mediation to drinking until blackout. Nothing works.
If you or I went for longer than a couple of nights without sleep we would start hallucinate and possibly start losing our mind too. Thai seems to suffer no ill affect from his lack of slumber, both physically and mentally. Indeed, he can even carry bags of rice weighing the same weight as a grown man two miles every day.
The 256 year old man
Anyone who has ever studied Tai Chi will be away of the benefits. Greater relaxation, higher levels of fitness and suppleness but your £5 a session down the local village hall could be adding years onto your life, 200 years to be precise. A fella called Mr. Li Qing Yun who was born right back in 1677 and lived through the reign of nine Emperors until 1933 would testify to that. He also put down his longevity to a drink of “wolfberry juice” that he had every day. Also known as gogi berries these berries do indeed contain a whole host of good stuff for lowering cholesterol, removing toxins and helping to maintain good functioning of the organs.
Perhaps mine should be a pint of gogi berry juice next!
Let me know in the comments below if you liked these pub facts as I have a load more!