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The Guillotine- The Original Mean, Lean, Killing Machine

They have many names for it – The Regretful Climb, The Patriotic Shorten-er, The National Razor, The Widow… I was in many different countries before France. The Guillotine was a wooden structure with a blade for cutting off heads from bodies and killed over 44,000 people. Everyone came for days on end to watch and cheer for the executions. In short, this mean lean killing machine is impossible to be made boring (though many people have made sincere, earnest attempts).

The Guillotine was the fearful, terrible climax of the practically unsuccessful French Revolution (though more successful than the American one) It was a tall, imposing machine, kept in the center of the square and with people all around. No trial, only executions. All the French nobles were sentenced to death by guillotine. The last chapter of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities describes this tragedy at it’s worst. Certainly, many of the people killed this way probably deserved it, but even then how can you condone this kind of evil…and what about the rest?

The French Revolution called through its streets for Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite. They decided enough is enough, and they will overthrow the cruel French Aristocrats, and behead them with this machine as true bloody revenge, and replace the vermin upper class with another group of equally cruel people. Le Bon!

See, the guillotine may be weirdly sadistic and cold, but at least they got rid of those exploitative rich people! It was pretty gruesome, by the way and also (since my head is on the chopping block) really, really efficient.

The Guillotine did bite your head off, but the heads that were bitten lost hearing and sight FIFTEEN MINUTES later. So the dismembered head was alive for a quarter of an hour before it died along with the rest of the body. Also, the bodies piled up together and really stank up the place.

Oh, and the  French aristocrats in question were something of a cross between Effie Trinket in the Hunger Games, and after they were guillotined, the headless huntsman from Sleepy Hollow,