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Thursday, November 07, 2002

Jerry's on the Run

Last night I watched "1940s House", a "reality" show in which a modern-day British family agrees to live in London under World War II conditions.

They dress in period clothes, eat only what their ration coupons will allow and take to their air raid shelter at all hours. (The show's crew sounds a siren, and during one simulated V-2 attack, they scatter dust and plaster around the house.)

Stuff I learned:

Many London residents had to kill their pets because there wasn't enough food for humans and animals. One kind-hearted woman was even fined for feeding bread to birds.

You could get a hefty fine for not properly blacking out your windows at night. (Even a small amount of light could alert German flight crews at night to an inhabited area worth bombing.) I knew blaking out was important, but I didn't realize an infraction could result in a fine worth one-third your weekly pay. I figured you'd a least get a stern warning before a fine.

The 1940s House Family

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