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I will put you some forbidden knowledge

The Appleby Horse Fair was held today, as it has been for three hundred something years. King James II granted a Royal Charter in 1685 allowing the fair to be held ‘near the River Eden’. So they do. They wash the horses in the river, gallop them down the ‘mad mile’ and then have a big horse sale.

It’s pretty much just a Gypsy affair now. Um, and that’s where it gets complicated.

There are the Gypsies of Romany descent, who have lived in England for many hundreds of years. There are Gypsies from Romania, the kind Adolph had a thing for. There is a traditionally nomadic people of Irish ethnicity who are also called Gypsies. And there are a number of crusties, essentially rag-tag old hippies and acid casualties who have dropped off the grid and live out of vans. And they are all, confusingly for a foreigner, called “Travellers” now. And protected by the government so hard, bald eagles think to themselves “geez, that’s a little over the top, isn’t it?”

I asked Uncle B a question about this a second ago, and he was like, “oh, god, you’re not going there, are you?” No. I’m not. This is one of those giant sore nerve-ending societal issues that the wise foreigner keeps her nose out of. I just had to explain it enough to talk about the article.

The Appleby Horse Fair is Romany Gypsies, of the kind that have been here since forever. The old farmers around here traditionally rubbed along with them pretty well. They’d let them park their wagons in the fields and hire them as seasonal labor.

So anyway, go to the article at the link and look at the horses. Notice anything?

The horses are almost all paints — that is, black with white splotches. Or white with black splotches, if you prefer. We recently watched an ancient program about the country — a relic from those long, long ago days before political correctness — that explained that Gypsies and American Indians love paints above all other horses. Because they’re both horse-stealing cultures and paints are each so individually unique and easily identifiable, it’s as good as a serial number.

So now you know.

Remember, Dead Pool tomorrow. Six sharp!

June 6, 2013 — 11:10 pm
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