One of Ashley's and my favorite private jokes is for one of us to lie on top of the other one, then whoever's on the bottom defiantly gasps "More . . . weight!" The first time Ashley said it, I, great student of history, had no fucking clue what she meant. Then she told me the story of Giles Corey, who was crushed to death by order of the court in Salem, Massachusetts, for refusing to plead after being charged with witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. He was stripped naked, laid down in a pit, had a board laid over his chest, and had heavy stones piled on the board. After leaving him like that for two days, giving him a mouthful of bread and water every once in awhile, the court officials asked Corey if he wished to plead to the charges. Each time they asked him, he replied "More weight!" Which the court then obligingly provided.
He was nearly 70 years old when this happened, I should mention. A proto-American court crushed an old man to death with big rocks for refusing to answer charges that he worked black magic. This court was actually ahead of its time; the Patriot Act wouldn't be passed for another 300 years.
Giles Corey's last words were not "More weight!" as it turns out. Last thing before he died, he shouted to his captor Sheriff Corwin, "Damn you. I curse you and Salem!" Which has its own special ring, I think. He died on this date, September 19, in 1692. Ashley and I have been mocking and laughing at his defiance and courage for nearly three years now. Thanks, Giles!