You know when you drink way too much, do something stupid, and then have to face down the people you did said stupid thing in front of the next day? Evidently, peeps were having the same experience back in 9th century China. A form letter was recently found in western China, created by the Dunhuang Bureau of Etiquette, which made it easy for public officials to excuse themselves after drunken escapades. The translation is poetically amazing:
“Yesterday, having drunk too much, I was intoxicated as to pass all bounds; but none of the rude and coarse language I used was uttered in a conscious state. The next morning, after hearing others speak on the subject, I realized what had happened, whereupon I was overwhelmed with confusion and ready to sink into the earth with shame.” [Neatorama]
Human beings came up with those brilliant words over 1,020 years ago, and we still don’t have floating space condos! We don’t even have eloquently scribed form letters anymore, do we? I guess that’s because we’ve been too busy drinking ourselves silly and looking for creative ways to get out of work. So, we haven’t really had the time to invent anything good? Let’s all give this a try and see if people are as forgiving as they used to be. First round’s on me!