Reading this post over at BoingBoing, I was reminded of my Africa post from the other day. Back in Victorian times, we hear, because a) cheap timepieces had not been invented and b) labour was still incredibly cheap, the job of “knocker upper” actually existed. And it was nothing to do with getting pregnant, the job was to run round town in the early morning and wake your clients up at the time they prescribed, by using a pea shooter to fire peas at their windows. Honestly: you couldn’t make it up.

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