Thursday, October 3, 2013

Myths and other tid bits

How many of us grew up believing the reason we say God bless you when someone sneezes is because your heart stops and you are essentially “dead” for just a second?  I know I did………….but the truth is when you sneeze, your eyes close, your chest contracts and your lungs expel air, but your heart keeps beating.   So just say……………Hey, you’re good lookin as suggested by Jerry Seinfeld, it makes just as much sense.

Better not make a silly face or your face will freeze that way.  Unless you have a stroke at age six it isn’t likely your face will freeze.  But I guess it isn’t entirely impossible.  Of course if you died while making a silly face rigamortis would set in and freeze it that way but you won’t be around to enjoy it.

Did your mother tell you to wait an hour after eating before swimming?  Mine did………..but the truth is you won’t sink like a lead weight.  No one is quite sure when or why parents began telling their children to wait an hour after eating before setting so much as a little toe in the pool or lake but two popular theories abound, one biological and the other social.

First, it seems to have been believed that upon eating, most of the available blood in one's body would flood to the stomach to help with digestion. Thus deprived of proper blood flow, the limbs wouldn't have enough of the precious fluid in them to be able to execute even a simple backstroke, leaving the young swimmer to seize up with cramps and sink like a frozen ravioli in a pot of water.

The second possible origin of this myth is, perhaps, more likely. Water safety concerns were much more lax in the '50s and '60s when there were few lifeguards watching the water for potential accidents. So, parents had to maintain a constant vigil. What better way to get a respite than to tell little ones the take-an-hour-break tale? This would allow parents at least 60 minutes of peace when they most needed it -- after their bellies were full of a torpor-inducing lunch.

Chewing gum stays in your body if swallowed.  That would mean that every single person who ever swallowed gum would have evidence of the gum in the digestive tract.  No such evidence exists....ever had a colonoscopy????

Hats keep in heat.  Sorry, if mom told you this she meant well but 40 to 45" of your body heat doesn't escape out of your head like a boiled kettle.

Nails and hair continue to grow after you die. Nope, the myth comes from the fact that skin recedes form a dead body, making nails and hair appear longer.  

I had my kids believing some doozies when they were young.  I told them the street lights knew when to come on because a little man lived in the light and he was always looking outside to see if it was getting dark.  First sign of darkness he pulled the chain and the lights came on.  It was the only work he could get since he was only 3 inches tall.......

They were also told that when the ice cream truck rang its bell it meant he was out of ice cream.   


Olga said...

Oh, good one about the ice cream truck. My daughter used to pick on me for all the lies I told her when she was little. Now she finds herself doing the same thing with her own kids.

Paisely Brook said...

you are hilarious. How long did it take the girls to figure out that the ice cream truck still had ice cream even when the bell was ringing?

I used to think that someone manually made the stop lights change from red to green, so if I had to sit at a stop light for too long I would curse that person to pay attention and flip the switch.