I wasn't aware of the significance of the red and white striped barber's pole until this evening when I was browsing the web for artifical leeches (which I'm mildy obsessed with.)

Apparently, in the middle ages, bloodletting was peformed by Barber-Surgeons.

The patient would grasp a pole so that the veins of the arm would stand out prominently. After the procedure, the barber-surgeons would hang the bandages from the top of the pole to dry, and the wind would wrap the bandages around the pole creating a striped pattern. The ball on top represents the leech basin.

**Krimson.Skye reminded me of Sweeney Todd, and Barber-Surgeons just became a little bit more sexy in my mind's eye... Of course, bloodletting is somewhat sexy to begin with, but I couldn't begin to tell you why.