that time in pre-Revolutionary France where bleeding from your anus was a fashion statement

No, really.

I’ve told this story before, but it never fails to amuse me. Strap in, boys and girls: it’s time to learn about that time in pre-Revolutionary France where bleeding from your anus was a fashion statement.

In early 1685, King Louis XIV of France developed a fistula: a small channel near his anus, resulting in great pain. Fistulas, much like the Wu Tang Clan, ain’t nothin’ to fuck with. Eventually the pain got so bad that he couldn’t ride a horse, sit for long periods (which is kind of important when you’re a king) or even make a bowel movement without regretting it immensely. The normal remedies were applied; enemas and poultices from morning until night, with zero effect. Louis decided, ‘You know what? Fuck it. Let’s go down the surgical route.’

Unfortunately for Louis, at the time there was no surgical route. He hired a surgeon barber named Charles-François Felix and asked him to fix him. Not entirely stupid — and not willing to risk fucking up a novel surgery on the king of France — Felix requested six months to practice, which he did on prisoners. Live prisoners. Live, healthy prisoners — sometimes as many as four a week, in an era where antiseptics and anaesthetics didn’t exist. The success rates were about as you’d imagine — although at least some of the prisoners survived — and eventually Felix felt confident enough to perform the surgery on the king.

And it worked! Within three months, the king was riding his horse like nothing had happened, and Felix was the talk of the town. People were desperate to emulate the king so badly that people who were entirely healthy would pay Felix to perform the surgery on them, and those less willing to suffer (or at least, less willing to pay) would fake having the surgery, wearing bandages known as le royale to mimic the king and pretend that they too were cool and with it… even though ‘with it’ meant suffering from a painful condition of the anus.

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Paris opens its first-ever naked restaurant

Ooh-la-la!

A country known for its laissez-faire attitude to nudity, France already boasts stacks of beaches, campsites and pools that can be enjoyed in the nude.

But now, Paris has opened its first-ever naked restaurant where diners can bare all while tucking in to dinner, Le Parisien reports.

Aptly named O’naturel, the restaurant opened to the public on Friday after a successful private dinner reserved exclusively for the Paris Naturist Association on Thursday.

Cocaine ‘worth €50m’ discovered at Coca-Cola plant

Amusingly appropriate

Cocaine with a street value of up to 50 million euros (£42m) has been discovered at a Coca-Cola plant in France.

The drug, hidden in bags among a delivery of orange juice concentrate, arrived in a container from South America.

An investigation is under way in Signes, a village in southern France.

The seizure of 370kg of cocaine makes it one of the largest finds on French soil.

The prosecutor of Toulon, Xavier Tarabeux, said the delivery “has a street value of 50 million euros” and referred to it as “a very bad surprise”.

Employees at the Coca-Cola plant have been ruled out of any involvement as investigators attempt to trace the origin of the drug.

“The first elements of the investigation have shown that employees are in no way involved,” Jean-Denis Malgras, the regional president of Coca-Cola, told local news website Var-Matin.

The original Coca-Cola formula, created in 1886 by US pharmacist John Pemberton, is believed to have contained traces of cocaine derived from coca leaf extract.

Well it wasn’t called ‘coca-cola’ for nothing; was supposed to be a mix of coca leaf extract and kola nut extract…

Flying ants at French church cause fire alarm

Oops!

Firefighters rushed to tackle what seemed to be a blaze at the imposing basilica in Lisieux, northern France – only to find that it was a giant swarm of flying ants.

A local resident had raised the alarm after seeing “smoke” apparently billowing from the church roof.

Police also rushed there on Wednesday.

Laurent Boivin at the town’s centre for emergencies said “we quickly identified the cloud as flying insects”. “We had feared a big fire inside the basilica.”

He told the BBC: “It was sheer coincidence that the ants chose to swarm above the basilica.”

French police asked to ‘test’ cocaine quality

She must have been high…

TOULOUSE (FRANCE) (AFP) – 

A woman was arrested in France Tuesday after she waltzed into a police station, put three bags of cocaine on the counter and asked officers on duty to test its quality.

It was around 5:00 am in the southwestern city of Toulouse when police officers were confronted with the strange request from a known 45-year-old drug user.

A police source said the woman went to the main police station and placed the bags — two containing cocaine powder and one crack cocaine — on the counter.

Asked why she did so, the woman replied: “so that officers at reception could test it” and that “she wanted to know if it was good quality as she didn’t want people to die of an overdose.”

The woman was taken into custody and a court ordered her to attend a hearing in January.

Perhaps she read Depoetic’s answer, here.