May 23, 1618

On May 23, 1618, a new word entered the World’s lexicon. The Protestant citizens of Prague got mad at their ruling elite and decided to throw the two Regents and their secretary out of a third-floor window. The three men survived the 70-foot fall. This was not the first time that the bully boys of Prague had thrown their politicians out of a window. No, this was the THIRD time. The first time in 1419, the fall killed the judge, the burgomeister, and the councilers. The second time in 1483, the angry mob threw the burgomeister and the seven pre-killed dead councilors from the upper story windows. The fall did kill the burgomeister. After the third time, the Praguians decided they needed a word for throwing someone through a window. They realized it had become a ‘thing’ in Prague and might be used by angry mobs or disgruntled rich husbands worldwide and the action needed a name. For some weird reason they settled on defenestration, which is the action of throwing someone through a window. Not to their deaths, although that is the preferred result, but the action of tossing a man, or woman, through a window. Also, they can’t jump on their own or accidentally fall, but they have to be thrown out against their will. They can be dead before they are thrown and that still counts. To sum up, if you are a member of an angry mob, and your local politicians have upset you, and you have a multi-story building, defenestration is an acceptable method of angry mob justice. And for the know-it-all buttzinkis, yes. Yes you can throw them out of a first floor window and it counts, it just doesn’t have the oomph that a third-floor window carries, no matter how many Western barfights you’ve seen on TV.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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