Sat, 15 Apr 2000
Dear Mr Wonderful,
What is the origin of the necktie?
Dear Mr. Cravat,
Which one? This one with the knights on it was a gift from the stunningly intelligent Erika... um, this one I found in the street... the red one I think I got in high school, and the one with the Bat Signal on it is from my mom.
Oh! You mean the necktie, as in, in general. Ah. I thought everybody knew that. They were invented by Robin Hood.
Gather 'round, children. You see, one of the Merry Men - Saucy Pete or someone like that - had been arrested and was due to be hanged. The Sheriff of Nottingham had set up a trap, blah, blah, blah. This was before Maid Marion showed up, or maybe the Sheriff hadn't worked out who was boinking who. Doesn't matter. Point is, Robin Hood knew he could stand a thousand yards away, make the shot, cut the rope and free his Merry Man but the problem was escaping. Anyone running away from the scene with the remains of a noose flapping around his neck was sure to tip off even the thickest of English guards. So - Robin stole into town that evening and convinced all the men in the Tavern to wear "noose ties" around their necks. Of course everyone wanted to help brave Robin Hood, plus he paid them rather a lot and danced on a table while they threw flagons of ale at him. Anyway. The plan went perfectly. Robin took up position in a distant tree. His arrow split the rope, his man jumped down into the crowd and the guards found not one, but fifty men wearing dangling nooses!
Obviously, the Sheriff had all fifty peasants run through with broadswords just to make sure. But, and this is the good bit, the fashion caught on as a sort of political protest thing kind of like Che Guevara t-shirts. Eventually the rope was replaced by softer linens.
Now go to bed.