The Invention Of Scrumpy
Way back in history – and I mean way, way back in history: we are talking about thousands of years ago, so it was long before any of us was born – there were no such things as cannonballs. And there is a very good reason for that, it is because nobody had invented a cannon to fire them out of. Of course, in them days things not being invented yet didn't bother folks like it does nowadays: they was more resourceful back then because they had to be, they just used whatever they could get their hands on. That is why you never see any cave paintings depicting folk sat around anguishing about the lack of cannonballs – they was quite content to use apples instead. Now then, back in those days the apple was not recognised as being an item of food, and there is a very good reason for that too: it is because doctors hadn't been invented either, which means that folks didn't have to eat an apple a day to keep the buggers away. So they had all of these apples growing on trees and no idea of what to do with them – until, that is, somebody suggested that they might be good for throwing at each other. And this is how apples became our ancestors' first attempt at inventing the cannonball.
To our modern way of thinking this may not seem like a very effective form of warfare – but you have to bear in mind that folks took life at a much gentler pace in them days. Not only that, but world domination hadn't been invented at that point in time so apples were quite adequate for the task in hand. Battles were more localised: what would happen is that two tribes would lob apples at each other across the battlefield. But they didn't do this to try and hit each other – in fact if someone got hit by accident a ceasefire would be called, just long enough for the ancient man who chucked the apple to run over and apologise to the ancient man who got hit. Incidentally, here we have a good example of how meanings get changed in the course of time: 'The apple of your eye' originally made reference to a very painful war injury. Anyways, back to our battle: for days on end it would rage - each side throwing carefully selected varieties, aimed to land at a particular spot amongst the enemy ranks. Come the fourth or fifth day, what with everybody running around and squashing the apples underfoot, they would all end up ankle deep in pure scrumpy. That was when they started getting a bit wobbly on their feet, it was because of the fumes getting to them y'see. At first this just made them wayward in their apple chucking skills: but it was not long before they began to fall over. So we can see how the tribe which was better equipped, meaning that they had the most apples and the best varieties for the strongest scrumpy, would be the winners.
This is how battles was fought for years and years until someone – and history has not recorded their name, but we know it was a Poole Prawnman – came up with a better idea. Namely, why not stop having all these fights, keep our apples and turn them into scrumpy for ourselves. He figured that it was a bit daft to make the best scrumpy and then let some other bugger have the benefit of it. They do say that this was a very significant moment in the history of the human race: it was the first time that folks realised about the futility of war. Not that anybody noticed it then, they was too taken up with fermenting to think about futilities.
So all of this goes to explain how it was that Poole Prawnmen invented the drinking of scrumpy – and why it is one of our traditions to drink it whenever we can.