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Antiques Roadshow has been a television staple in England since the series began airing in 1979. As with any show that's been on for so long, there have been a whole host of wonderful finds that people have brought to the show's experts in order to see whether or not the items are of historical importance. When I say "wonderful finds" I mean anything that ranges from sentimental value only, to those things worth goo gobs of money or even items that are as oddball as they come. And, by "oddball," I mean gross. Get ready to read about the expert who accidentally drank some old urine!
Antiques Roadshow glass expert Andy McConnell recently found out that one item he got very close to in 2016 was way less appetizing than he'd originally thought. During the taping, McConnell was presented with a corked brown bottle which a guest had brought after finding it buried under the threshold of his home. Well, McConnell stunned onlookers as he inserted a syringe in the cork (which he said dated back to the 1840s), drew out some of the liquid and tasted it. In a recent episode (via the Independent), host Fiona Bruce revealed to McConnell that the liquid, which he thought to be port or red wine, was really super, duper old urine. UGH!
Alright, as much as I would never dream of admonishing an Antiques Roadshow expert for being so overly enthusiastic about a find that they forget that people over the age of 10 should know better than to drink random ancient liquids, I do have some questions. Firstly...why? Why on Earth would Andy McConnell, who must know that all types of things can be put into bottles and sealed, assume that it would be A-OK to drink some (potential) nastiness that a dude found in an old bottle that was buried under his house?
I mean, does Any McConnell never think about his health in situations like this? Really, how does one simply assume that what's in a bottle is actually drinkable? Even if the liquid within had been meant to be ingested, that doesn't mean that it wouldn't be rancid and / or bacteria-filled as hell by the time he got to it. Friends, that urine was 180 years old! He could have died!
After Fiona Bruce told Andy McConnell that he ingested urine, she decided to just twist her antique knife and reveal what had been stewing in that bottle of urine for ages. Back when McConnell took his ill-advised sip, he did remark that the "very brown" liquid actually tasted a bit of "rusty old nails." Well, you guessed it, they did find brass pins, all dating from the late 1840s, in that bottle. But wait! There's more!
Along with the urine and nail cocktail, the bottle also contained one human hair and a small, cockle-like creature known as an ostracod. Oh, and what Bruce called "a tiny pit of alcohol," which absolutely does not sound like enough alcohol to kill all the germy madness that was floating around in that bottle for nearly 200 years. Bruce then said that the contents were meant to ward off witchcraft, curses and general misfortune to keep the house's inhabitants safe. Considering your life choices yet, Mr. McConnell?
I think it's safe to say that two lessons have been learned this day. One: never drink random shit you dig up, and, two: when the apocalypse comes, we all need to find Andy McConnell, because that mofo can clearly survive anything.