"No ticks on you. Now you check me. Oh, hi honey!"
I'm talking about some major health-related tales of garbage that mothers have been spoon-feeding their offspring ever since the Ingalls moved on to the prairie. That really happened, right?
Lies like these:
1. Put on a jacket or you're going to catch a cold.
This lie was a little more forgivable a few hundred years ago when we didn't understand about germs or the importance of washing our hands or routinely applying hand sanitizer every five seconds. The truth is that the only thing cold is responsible for is teeth chattering and shrinkage. Two serious issues in their own right, but at least you won't get the sniffles.
I take hygiene very seriously.
2. You have to wait to go swimming for at least an hour after eating.
According to my mother, if you eat and then go swimming, your body will immediately seize up into a full body cramp and you will plunge into the depths of the ocean never to be seen or heard from again. The presumption apparently being that the combination of food and water are some kind of lethal cramp-inducing cocktail. But the truth is to the body, swimming is no different than say running or a vigorous masturbation session. And you're much more likely to cramp up while tugging your gerkin than you are doggy paddling across the shallow end.
A moment later his body seized up and he died instantly.
3. Don't eat any sugar or you'll get hyper.
Moms have a clever way of making getting hyper seem as disastrous as say losing your arm in a thresher or coming down with syphilis. And sugar is the gateway drug to hyper-town. Except it's not. Seriously. Google it. There's been a kagillion studies that show that sugar doesn't cause anything but tooth decay. Now when that sugar is accompanied by caffeine, like in every awesome soda ever, then you've got a problem. But if you come home and find your kid free-basing from the sugar bowl, don't freak out. Take a deep breath. It's going to be okay.
Trick or treat, mister! I'm jonsing for a Snickers.
4. Put on a hat!
This is one of my favorites. According to my mom, you can leave the house completely naked during a blizzard as long as you're wearing a hat. The assumption here that almost all of your body heat escapes through the head. But if this were the case, we wouldn't need hot plates. We could just fry up whatever we needed on our steaming noggins. Heat escapes from any uncovered body part. Why right now, you could roast chestnuts on my junk.
Above: Visual representation only of my testicles.