In times of olde, drunks were punished by being forced to wear a barrel in public

Sounds like a lark next to “death by the boat”.

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Is that what that old-timey meme we used to see in cartoons was all about?

I always thought it was meant to imply poverty; losing everything, including the clothing off of one’s back…

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It usually was, although there was sometimes the suggestion of having passed out in an alley and been robbed of everything, so there was a drunkenness connection.

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I’m wearing a barrel right now.

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This individual is being forced to dress in barrels as a humiliating punishment for a traffic speeding offense. He was caught doing the tun.

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This individual is not entirely clear on the concept.
image

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You’d probably have to be a pretty serious drunkard to be punished for drunkenness in 16th century England.

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Man, BB today: whipping boys, drunk barrels, end of “free filing”, someone launching their car off the highway, and Ivan the Terrible dealing with the shock of murdering his son.

We’re really off the “Wonderful Things” brief today, folks. Are the editors… doing okay?

We’re going to need one of those unicorn chasers pretty soon.

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Perhaps to immobilize the hands?
Likely part of the punishment was that your head was vulnerable and, as with the stocks, people could “join in” the punishment and toss garbage at you.

But, does this “punishment barrel” have any relation to the modern-ish “bankruptcy barrel” meme?

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Ahhh. That’s the stuff.

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Any players of “Fallen London” by Fail Better Games will recognise this as the Renown Bohemians 10 Item: A Barrel With Leather Straps (giving +1 Scandal when worn). Useful in certain specific situations.

I know! It’s firkin humiliatin’, ain’t it!

It’s a mild punishment that pales in comparison to others, but that barrel did make them look stout.

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A barrel of laughs?!

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Most people would jump through hoops to avoid being seen in public in a one-size-fits-ale, prêt-à-porter garment like that.

It would take a mild-mannered person indeed to endure the vulgar taunts and stave off the urge to give someone a puncheon the face.

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That certainly chimes with me.

But don’t bung me any more of your bilge unless you want to be cooped up in a barrel too.

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One of my uncles was so drunk on the subway once that they cut open his front pocket to steal his wallet.

A heluva town.

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