Top Ten Things Not To Do During the French Revolution

Ten Things not to do

FRANCE – JANUARY 16: Execution of Marie Antoinette on October 16, 1793, painting from that time by an unknown Danish artist. France, 18th century. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)

 

The inspiration for this list was a suggestion by Maria KethuProfumo that perhaps I could do some historical Top Ten Things Not to Do. I asked Y’all if you would enjoy such a fantasy trip and the majority said, “Yes.” So here is the first edition. Thank you, Maria, and I hope you get some visits to your beautiful blog.

The Top Ten Things Not to Do During the French Revolution

10 If you were in France during the revolution, do not wear your best clothes while walking on the street. If you do, at best you will be suspected of being a monarch supporter. At worst, you will be arrested, tried, convicted, and face the guillotine. (You have to admit it, Frank. These folks have no patience with cleanliness or fine clothes. Get ready for a really close shave.)

9 If you were in France during the revolution, do not accept a ride on a two-wheel wagon driven by Tiny the Revolutionary champ who just got an award for loyalty. If you do, at best you sneak off before you reach the plaza. At worst, you have a difficult time trying to convince Tiny that you are not part of the monarchy and are now trussed up like a turkey. (Those wagons are for transporting prisoners to the guillotine, Felix. What were you thinking?)

8 If you were in France during the revolution, do not wear your “I Love Louis XVI” pin. If you do, at best most folks will think you are joking. At worst, a mob of villagers will ensure you are no longer a threat to the revolution. (What do all these people want, Fredrick. Why do they continue to yell “Off with his head?” This is not Wonderland.)

7 If you were in France during the revolution, do not take the tour of the Bastille even if you paid in advance. If you do, at best the tour will be quick, and you’ll be out before the storming. At worst, you will be mistaken for a defender of the Bastille by the storming crowds. (I would try to remember how to use that saber, Flynn. You are not going to convince that crowd that you are a tourist.)

6 If you were in France during the revolution, do not forget to wear your Liberté, égalité, fraternité T-shirt whenever you go outside. If you do forget, at best you’ll still look like a peasant. At worst, your judgemental air will get you into court. (There doesn’t seem to be a whole bunch of innocent until proven guilty thought around this place huh, Fabio. Next stop the ultimate haircut.)

5 If you were in France during the revolution, do not wear your “I’m With Robespierre,” shirt past the expiration date. If you do, at best you’ll be reminded that he is now thought of as a traitor. At worst, you and Robespierre will become fast friends before the blade falls. ( You gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em, Federico. Don’t be a fool let Robespierre go first. Who knows a miracle could happen.”)

4 If you were in France during the revolution, do not tell folks that you really prefer cake. If you do, at best you might be looked upon as a fool. At worst, those you talk to might think you are a supporter of Marie Antoinette. ( you know exactly where this is going to lead don’t you, Finlay?)

3 If you were in France during the revolution, do not continue to joke about wanting a Napoleon for dessert. If you do, at best you might need a steak for that black eye. At worst, you might need a priest for that long walk to the guillotine. (When no one laughed the tenth time you might have gotten the hint, Finian.)

2 If you were in France during the revolution, do not continue to tell everyone how beautiful you think the Palace of Versailles is in the sunlight. If you do, at best they will be too busy to take you seriously. At worst, you and one hundred of your closest Versaille resident friends will be marched into Paris. (Another trial, Finian. This is getting tiring. The good news is this is tip the executioner free day at the guillotine.)

1 If you were in France during the revolution, do not assume the flag you are flying is that of the revolutionists. If you do, at best you picked right. At worst, your three gold fleur-de-lis on white background although beautiful will attract bullets. (Never believe a guy on the street who sold it to you, Fitz. Now you need to take cover.)

As a reminder, this is my last post until I recover from surgery.

66 comments

  1. Minor point on 4, John. Marie-Antoinette did not say ‘let them eat cake’. She said, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”. However, as brioche was (and still is) a bread enriched with butter and eggs (much nicer than the usual baguettes or pains, in my opinion), it would still have been a luxury beyond the means of the peasantry. Thus, although popular history has screwed up the translation, it probably makes little difference to the dismissive sentiment behind it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Keith

      Like

  2. Great post, John. I’d also advise men and women not to wear large elaborate wigs. Those might end up in the basket with their heads. All the best in the coming days. We’ll be happy to see you back when you’re ready. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha haha. Thanks, Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll keep you in my prayers, John. I’m sure you’ll be fine and back with us soon. 🙂 — Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you, Suzanne. I appreciate your good wishes.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gwen Plano · ·

    I started laughing at #10 and continued through #1. How did you think of all these points? And, then I read your final line. My goodness, it is very real. I’m sending forth my supplications for a successful surgery and full recovery. May blessings abound! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Gwen. I appreciate your good wishes.

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  4. Love this post. Needed the laugh. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad. 😀

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  5. I’d deem it best to avoid the revolution all together!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Omg, you kept Tiny in your list! I love it: Revolutionary champion! 😂 Great list, John, and I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you go through your surgery and recovery. You’re always in my heart 😘

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    1. ThanK you, Marie. You are the best. ;-D

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You are so funny! This was hilarious, John! I’ll be praying for you, friend. ❤

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    1. Thank you, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Who booked my vacation in this place?

    Great list John. I particularly like the “I’m With Robespierre,” tee shirt. With my tendency of wearing old tee shirts forever, I could be vulnerable to that one.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during surgery and throughout your recovery. Make sure “Cut Here” is on the correct knee.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dan. I appreciate your good wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. All the best for your surgery, John. Guess I’ll use my headphones for my Beatles playlist when Revolution comes around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Craig.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Now I’m humming “There is nothing like a mob” to the tune of South Pacific‘s “There is nothing like a dame.” Great post. Best wishes for your surgery and recovery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Linda.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Marie and I were engaged at the time! Who Knew! ♥ Heal well and fast, good John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Billy Ray.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you , Bryan

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  12. Yikes, lots of things to beware of here, least of which is Tiny at the wheel. We’ll miss you, John. Prayers for a successful operation and a speedy recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie.

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  13. I was going to mention the over-the-top wigs but Suzanne beat me to it… Great F list, John.
    All the best for your surgery and recovery – sending you all the positive vibes you do and don’t need!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dale. I appreciate your kind wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Really enjoyed this one, John!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    Love the historical laugh:) Sending prayers and healing thoughts. Looking forward to your return!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Denise. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh the many challenges of being in France during the French Revolution. I am glad I missed out on that one. Best wishes for an easy surgery and quick full recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan

      Liked by 1 person

  17. haha never start The French Revolution 😉☕️

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Mon Dieu! “Minuscule” est sur la liste! (Thank you Google translator. I’m only fluent in two languages — English and Southern American.) It that situation any mention of “cake” at all is probably a bad idea. Horsefeathers… now I want cake.
    Virtually watching over you — hugs and prayers on the wing, John. Feel fabulous Fast.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, fo the nice wishes, Teagan

      Liked by 1 person

  19. John,

    More of my very best wishes to you as you recover from surgery . .

    As for the “I’m with Robespierre” t-shirts, I heard they’re a HUGE seller in the white house gift shop!

    Peace and good wishes, funny man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha ha. The sales should go well too.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    It’s another top ten list from the mind of John Howell. This one is The Top Ten Things Not to Do During the French Revolution from this post on his Fiction Favorites blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thsnk you for the reblog, Don

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  21. I LOVE this one and look forward to more historical posts, John. Wishing you all the best with your operation and hope you will be feeling top notch soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Darlene.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. This is a great post, John. Well done. All the best for your surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. John, I love this one! Meaning all ten were even more hilarious, because of the historical reference. Even #8 with a modern pin twist brought the house down. And Tiny driving the wagon. You’re on a roll, John.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jennie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, John.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Best wishes for your recovery, John.

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    1. Thank you, Sue

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Dadblameit. I want to wear my pins.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fish them out of your bag and put them on.

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      1. But I always get the pin side first in my finger.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Steel gloves needed here.

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  26. I don’t know how you come up with these hilarious lists week after week, John. Well done on them all. Even the French Revolution can’t beat you.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery after your surgery.
    My best wishes to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Hugh. Kind words indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Brilliant, dear John! And thanks for your promotion! I appreciate it so much! I will definetely use your 10 Top things for my historical articles when the time to write about the Revolution will come. And for my historical research. 🙂 😉 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be careful most of my stuff is fiction. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know that and that’s what I need. As I fight against inventions of the Revolution, your irony will suit perfectly to the topic!

        Liked by 1 person

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