Old wives laying it down.

Just yesterday, I was thinking about a friend who was stung by a jellyfish. It was many, many years ago, and our families were vacationing down at Virginia Beach. The waters were teaming with those creatures. On the second day, she was splashing around in the surf. Suddenly, she came flying out of the ocean, like I had never seen a person move before. She sprinted right past the whole lot of us on the beach, and continued to run toward the beach house. She had retreated to a hot, hot shower. We heard the details later of the mighty sting which sent a convulsive ripple of electric sting through her body.

Since that time, I have heard people say that peeing on a jellyfish sting will cure it. As it turns out, I just read an article this morning stating that this is “An Old Wive’s Tale.”

I don’t doubt it. Some drunken fool on some beach probably peed on someone after being stung, and they were so completely shocked by the incident, that they entirely forgot about the jellyfish. And that’s the way these things start.

For the record, you are supposed to remove the tentacles with something other than your fingers. Then to disable the stinging cells, pour an acidic compound, such as vinegar, on the sting. Finally, use a flat object to scrape off the stinging cells.

Enough about jellyfish. What I am interested in are the Old Wives Tales. First, how did they get that name?

It sounds sexist to me. And slanderous. Like, Old Wives just sit around kitchen tables on Tuesdays, making up tales?

Regardless, there are a lot of Old Wive’s Tales out there. Which of course, are just silly.

People say that if a pregnant woman is carrying her load low, it will be a boy. High, will be a girl. While women always tend to take the high road, there is plenty of scientific evidence to prove this “load balance” otherwise.

Or what about our parents and this age-old warning? “If you cross your eyes for too long, they will get stuck that way.” I’ve looked it up. And found this. According to Stephen Kronwith, MD, PhD, Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology at NYU Winthrop Hospital, “Children cross their eyes for fun, but they can’t hold the position for long, and it’s not dangerous. They’ll see double, but it won’t leave any permanent issues.” Cross away, if you like. I do. Sometimes, when I’m feeling goofy, or defiant.

But. You should know. There is breaking news on a whole lot more.

Bees are not only attracted to yellow.
Bulls don’t get mad when they see red.
You really can swim right after you eat.
It doesn’t take seven years to digest a piece of gum.
Chocolate doesn’t give you acne.
Coffee does not stunt your growth.
And humans use way more than 10% of their brains.

Well. They say that humans use more than 10% of their brains. And in fact, the entire human brain is constantly active — even when we are sleeping. However, I have met a few people in my day who have given me cause to question if there is ANY activity up there, swirling around in their gray-matter-soup.

In the truth of things, Old Wives Tales, should be called something else. Fact Checkers seem to be popular as of late. And then there is the President, letting us know that anything he doesn’t agree with is Fake News.

What are we to believe these days? Who are we to trust?
I’ve said all of this in jest, but these last two are very good questions. We have become a nation divided here in our United States of America. On everything from A to Z. And, all of us, are absolutely certain we are right.

Well. I can only suggest that we find our information from more than one historically trustworthy resource. And also, that we give accredited journalists the respect they deserve. Most of them take the vow of honesty very seriously in their reporting.

And finally, that we open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts to see the world around us. And understand that we are all humans, and we are in this thing together. Ten percent of those brains, or not.


“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
― Aldous Huxley, Complete Essays 2, 1926-29


“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
― Flannery O’Connor


“When truth is replaced by silence,the silence is a lie.”
― Yevgeny Yevtushenko