“The Pig”


It was an evening in November,
As I very well remember,
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a colleen passing by did softly say
“You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses” —
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

— Anonymous



Lawrence Sterne, after a lifetime of peculiarities, and becoming notorious as an eccentric, curious and able writer, at his death was buried in a graveyard near Tyburn, belonging to the Parish of Mary-le-bone, and the ‘resurrection man’ disinterred his corpse and conveyed it to the professor of anatomy at Cambridge where being laid upon the dissecting table, was at once recognized by one of those present who knew him well while living.

Bizarre Notes & Queries, February 1886

The St. Paul

On April 25, 1908, the American liner St. Paul collided in the English Channel with the cruiser HMS Gladiator, killing 27 sailors.

Ten years later the St. Paul was chartered by the Navy to serve as a troopship in World War I. While in Brooklyn to be fitted out and repainted, she heeled over mysteriously in New York Harbor. Divers found that a port had been left open, flooding the lower boiler room.

No one ever discovered a reason for this, but it was noted that the St. Paul sank at 2:30 p.m. on April 25, 1918 — 10 years almost to the minute after she had sunk the Gladiator.

“A Christmas Pie of Ye Olden Time”

James, Earl of Lonsdale, sent a Christmas pie to King George III, which contained 9 geese, 2 tame ducks, 2 turkeys, 4 fowls, 6 pigeons, 6 wild ducks, 3 teals, 2 starlings, 12 partridges, 15 woodcocks, 2 Guinea fowls, 3 snipes, 6 plovers, 3 water-hens, 1 wild goose, 1 curlew, 46 yellow-hammers, 15 sparrows, 15 chaffinches, 2 larks, 4 thrushes, 12 fieldfares, 6 blackbirds, 20 rabbits, 1 leg of veal, half a ham, 3 bushels flour, and 2 stones of butter. It weighed 22 stones, was carried to London in a two horse wagon, and if it was not as dainty as the celebrated pie containing four-and-twenty blackbirds, which, when the pie was opened, began to sing, it was, at all events, a ‘dish to set before the king.’

Bizarre Notes & Queries, January 1886

“Crows Lost in a Fog”


“The Hartford Times tells a curious story of a flock of crows in that vicinity who recently lost their way in a fog. They lost their bearings at a point directly above the South Green, in Hartford. For a good while they hovered there, coming low down, circling and diving aimlessly about, like a blindfolded person in ‘blind man’s buff,’ and keeping up a hoarse cawing and general racket beyond description. It was plain enough that of the entire company each individual crow was not only puzzled and bothered, but highly indignant, and inclined to utter ‘cuss words’ in his frantic attempts to be heard above the general din, and tell the others which way to go. Once or twice the whole flock swept down to a distance of not more than one hundred feet above the street. Finally, after going around for many times, they saied away in a southerly direction, evidently having got some clue to the way out of the fog, or desperately resolved to go somewhere till they could see daylight.”

— Frank H. Stauffer, The Queer, the Quaint and the Quizzical, 1882