You might think that a person ironing clothes at a naturist resort has a strange job. Maybe you can come up with something that, for you, is even weirder.
Let me tell you about something I learnt a few days ago.
For this we have to go back to the times of Henry the Eighth in good old England, around 1520 CE.
In those days people loved to eat, and eat well, especially in the courts of the royals. That food had to be prepared.
A fine tradition for meat-eating England in those days was roasting animals on a spit. You all know the contraptions; close to a fire and turning the spit before one side is black and the other is raw.
Back in those days there were no electric motors, so turning the spit was something done by hand. And who could do that better than children?
Yes, no one was scared of child labour in the swinging 1600s, so kids were recruited to work in the kitchen, turning the spit. The positive thing was that they were off the street, warm and near food. The negative thing was that ‘warm’ was taken to extremes because the spit was very close to a fire and so was the spit-turning child.
Naked in the kitchen
Yes, very often the children would be naked in the kitchen for that very reason. If they wore something like a loin cloth, that was often too much already.
Maybe it is clear already that not every naked job is one to be envious of, because the spit was large, the chunks of meat on them too, so the work was very heavy. Also, because the meat slab was so huge, the roasting took upto 3 or even 4 hours to get done well. Imagine standing near a blazing fire for that long, constantly rotating a spit. As a child.
Nope, not a healthy thing.
Adding clothing to the mix
At one point this practice came to an end. No, the children weren’t relieved of this job; they did well. The problem was that, at some moment, someone from the court entered a kitchen and saw a naked child.
Being the good royal, this was reported to Henry 8, who then decreed that funds should be made available to clothe those children. Which made their situation even worse…
This turnspit practice is referenced in several works:
The boy was taken into the King’s kitchen and made a turnspit. – “A Child’s History of England” by Charles Dickens
You’re nothing but a turnspit. – “Misalliance” by George Bernard Shaw