Uncle John’s Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader® by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Uncle John’s Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader® by Bathroom Readers’ Institute

Author:Bathroom Readers’ Institute [Bathroom Readers’ Institute]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Bathroom Readers’ Press


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“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.”

—Dave Barry

World’s most expensive wedding: Prince Charles and Lady Diana ($48 million in 1981).

THE REAL SCROOGE

One of the hallmarks of the work of 19th-century author Charles Dickens is his oddball characters and their fanciful names: Uriah Heep, Martin Chuzzlewit, Lady Honorie Dedlock, Pip Pirrip, Abel Magwich, Miss LaCreevy, and Bardle the Beadle, to name a few. Perhaps Dickens’s best-known character is Ebenezer Scrooge, from A Christmas Carol—who, it turns out, was inspired by a real person.

THE MISER

John Elwes (1714–1789) was born John Meggot. He was orphaned at an early age. His father, a wealthy London brewer named Robert Meggot, died when the boy was only four. His mother, Amy Elwes, followed not too long afterward. When she died, the family fortune, an estimated £100,000 (about $29 million today), passed to her son.

John was educated at the Westminster School, an exclusive boarding school at Westminster Abbey in London. He spent more than a decade there, then lived in Switzerland for a few years before returning to England. When he was in his twenties and thirties, Meggot gave little hint of the man he would become. He dressed well, spent money freely, and moved among London’s most fashionable circles. He developed a taste for French wines and fine dining. He was a skilled horseman and fox hunter, and he had a passion for gambling—he bet, and often lost, thousands of pounds in card games.

THE FAMILY WAY

Unfortunately for Meggot, hoarding money seems to have run in the family, at least on his mother’s side. If contemporary accounts are to be believed, Amy Elwes went to her early grave because she refused to dip into the family fortune to buy food, and literally starved herself to death. Her brother, Harvey, was a miser in his own right. He lived on a country estate inherited from his father’s side of the family, and though he would grow his inheritance to more than £250,000 ($72 million), he allowed the estate itself to fall to ruin. The manor house’s roof leaked, and rainwater stained the crumbling, mildewed walls. Broken windows were “repaired” with paper, and the furniture was infested with worms.



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