My writer friend Vivra Beene has a quirky sense of humor. When she published her first book some time back, I thought she and her publisher came up with a catchy title, A Baker's Dozen... (http://amzn.to/2D4JgAZ). It's a collection of stories with a paranormal twist to the endings.
I got to wondering about that phrase - a baker's dozen. So, never one to deny satisfying my curiosity, I reached for a book I keep handy just for this purpose and found the following...I paraphrase:
"By the middle of the Twelfth Century London bakers had formed an official brotherhood which later split into the Company of Brown Bakers and the Company of White Bakers. (Does this mean they had to choose between white flour or whole wheat flour?) A law passed in 1266 stipulated that exactly eighty loaves of bread were to be baked from a standard sack of flour. If found selling underweight loaves, thereby getting more loaves from the sack, there were dire consequences.
So bakers added an extra loaf of bread for every twelve they sold to make up for any underweight loaves. Small price to pay since they could have their ear nailed to their shop's window if caught under-weighing their loaves of bread.
That information came from an interesting book called The Book of Totally Useless Information by Don Voorhees. It's just jammed with the kind of information you need to be successful on the TV show, Jeopardy. And you can check out my friend's blog & book here: www.justvivra.com
Now...aren't you glad you stopped to read this?