3Drinking Trash Juice out of a Toilet (For Love)
When you think about France, you probably think about rose petals, coffee shops, black turtlenecks, really long bread rolls and all the other things that American movies tell us about France.
All French people are hilariously incompetent. Every. Single. One.
You probably don't immediately picture a group of slavering wedding guests hunched over a table slurping garbage out of a toilet bowl. But that's exactly what occurs during La Soupe, a wedding tradition seemingly cooked up by cracked-out hobos.
Here's how it works: After the wedding reception, the happy couple are sent on their way to their marriage bed while the bridal party stay behind to clean up the mess. They do this by dumping all the leftover punch and cake and hors d'oeuvres and napkins and bits of trash off their shoes into a chamber pot, creating a garbage stew.
While the newlyweds are tangled up in bed preparing to do the nasty, half a dozen or more loud and presumably drunk people barge into the room with a toilet full of slop and don't leave until the bride and groom drink it.
Apparently France decided to out-"What the fuck?" Japan.
To be fair, these days the soup is more commonly just chocolate and champagne, but honestly, nothing seems particularly appetizing when served out of a toilet.
To give the new couple humping fuel.
Love is in the air. Also, the smell of garbage soup.
Sexin' takes energy and that's a scientific fact. What better way to provide a worn out couple with the sustenance they needed to finish their evening than to make them drink trash soup? Back when the tradition originated, the entire village would drink the garbage, and of course, these were the days when these very same chamber pots were actually used for pooping, and presumably some time before hygiene really came into vogue.
2Mop Weddings: So Adorably Demeaning
Picture this, ladies: It's your wedding day, and the only problem is that you're a housemaid in Ye Olde England. Not to worry! Just grab your mop, sneak out of the castle, and run down to the magistrate's office. You and your fiancee will hold the mop while the magistrate rants on for a bit about love and commitment and all that, but then you better rush back home quick because those chamber pots aren't going to empty themselves.
That's all it took to get hitched in England back then. No certificates, no rings, no formal registration or legal shenanigans required. That is, until the Marriage Act of 1753, which was specifically written so lower class trash like yourself couldn't get married without a clergyman and a license. Still, up until that fateful act, all you needed to forever bond yourself in matrimony to your equally dirt-poor mate was a mop.
We're talking about people so low in the pecking order that their entire identities were tied to the instrument they used to swish mud and pig droppings around.
In all likelihood, a couple participating in a mop wedding met at a mop fair, which was kind of a job fair for the working classes, usually held at the end of September. Skilled and non-skilled workers showed up in the village to sell their services to prospective employers. If you were, say, a cobbler, you'd carry a shoe around, or if you were a baker, you'd carry a spatula or something.
Likewise, mimes would carry around shame and their parents' disappointment.
But if you were unskilled, you'd just show up with a mop, which came to symbolize those on the lower end of the domestic service hierarchy, and it would become a part of them until the end of their lives.
These days it's like two laid off lovers grappling a bundle of food stamps while the preacher conducts the ceremony. Somehow, they'd come across as precious and desperate at the same time. What more could you ask for on the most important day of your life?