Remember when you were little and believed everything your mama and ’em told you? Sure you do. So do I. If your mama said it, it was gospel. Now each and every one of us had an aunt or an uncle who might be bad to lie — and they were the ones who were always fun to hang out with — but what your mama said you could take to the bank.
You know what, though? The older and older I get the more I realize that a lot of the stuff my mama told me for my own good was really and truly much ado about nothing. For instance — know what I’ve been doing a lot of lately? Running with scissors!
I decided here a while back that I felt like living dangerously. Maybe I was having a midlife crisis — or a death wish because Georgia’s football team has been so sorry this year. For whatever reason, I grabbed up a pair of my lovely wife Lisa’s sewing scissors one day and went out for a jog.
Now according to what I heard growing up, that was a recipe for disaster. All sorts of mayhem was certain to occur if a fellow went around running with a pair of scissors in his hands. He might fall and job them right into his gizzard — or worse.
You know what? Nothing happened. Nothing at all. Zilch. Nada. When I got through running the scissors were right there in my hand and I was none the worse for wear. Things went so well the first time that I decided to try it again — and then again and again. Every single time I came through unscathed.
In fact, things went so well with the scissors that I decided to graduate to a sharp stick. I spent a week or two running with a sharp stick and didn’t even come close to putting my eye out! All that running did cause me to develop shin splints, though, so I have given running — with or without sharp objects — up for Lent. And, yes, I realize I am about three or four months early.
Intrigued by the dispelling of these two myths I decided to test out a few more. I went out and bought myself a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun and have been shooting it every day for a month. I still have both eyes and have come no closer to putting one of my baby blues out with the BB gun than I did with the scissors or the stick.
This went so well that I decided to start talking to strangers. I have met some really interesting people, too, although there was this one ol’ gal who wanted to slap me because she misunderstood my intentions. I even accepted candy from a couple of strangers — and an awful tasting energy drink. It was perfectly fine. No problems whatsoever.
Last week I decided to live really dangerously. I ate a big lunch then put on my bathing suit and headed for the Johnson Park pool. Exactly 59 minutes after consuming the last bite of my meal I jumped in the water and swam a couple of laps. For the record, 59 minutes is less than an hour and I did not drown and did not catch a cramp. Each subsequent day I have gone to the pool a little earlier, and Thursday I went swimming 23 minutes after eating. Not a cramp in sight.
I hate to disillusion you, but these are the facts. I know. I know. I am a little disappointed myself. After all of this I am convinced that the tooth fairy was made up, too, and have grave doubts about the existence of the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I could walk across the Yellow River bridge at night without Soap Sally catching me up and throwing me in her tow sack, too — but I am not willing to take that chance. I may be bold, but I’m not crazy.
I am not willing, however, to concede that everything my mother told me was false. For instance, I may not ever go blind, but I do need rather strong glasses. I must also confess that as hard as I have tried — and I have tried mightily — I have never, ever, ever been able to add up two wrongs and make them equal one right. So I’ll concede her a couple of points.
There is one other mama myth that has been dispelled this week, though. Sometimes, unfortunately, cheaters really do win. Just ask Cam Newton and Auburn.
Darrell Huckaby is an author and teacher in Rockdale County. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.