Friday, 9 December 2011

New Wives’ Tales

Back in the day, before scientific studies cornered the market on partially true bullshit, it was the old wives who were responsible for warning all of us naive children about the dangers that faced us out in the real world.  You know what I’m talking about – if it wasn’t for those old wives many of us would have our faces permanently stuck with our eyes crossed, lips puckered, nose wrinkled and tongue stuck out from making too many faces at our annoying siblings.  I for one would like to thank all the old wives out there for saving me from blindness (if you don’t know what they say causes this, see below) and for helping me avoid the doctor via apple eating.  
However, as I inch nearer and nearer to reaching old wife status myself, I have realized that it is high time that us ‘new old wives’ come up with some tales of our own.  Because really, the main purpose of old wives tales are to stop children from doing things they’re not supposed to – like being rowdy in the house and breaking mirrors, swallowing gum and (as mentioned above) making faces.  And I for one am all for having some stories in my arsenal to use when my kids start texting at the table and dreaming about tattoos. 
Let’s face it – what with Google and iphones, the future generations aren’t going to be as easily persuaded by a warning that eating before swimming will cramp you up.  And unfortunately, it is no longer socially acceptable to simply scare the crap out of your offspring.  So us ‘new wives’ are going to have to be either be more creative, tricksy and super-awesome in order to pull one over on those tiny techies or, since the world is going to shit around us, we will sometimes simply be forced to tell the truth.  For instance, if you don’t wear sunscreen you will get skin cancer, don’t smoke cause it will kill you or at least keep you from competitive sports and don’t try to be famous when you are young or you will end up in rehab.
Personally, I think the answer to how to come up with our ‘new wives tales’ lies somewhere in the middle.  By creatively telling the truth we will most effectively be able to cram some sense into those tiny techie brains.  For example, I plan on coining the phrase ‘If you pierce something without permission it may fall off.’  This is partially true – it could possibly get infected and have to be amputated or turn gangrenous or something.  And it is certainly true that if I find out about said un-permissible piercing, appendages will roll. I also plan on telling my kids that it is bad luck to text during dinner.  This is totally true, because if I catch them they will have the bad luck to be grounded for the next week.
So while I will continue to inform my children that they must eat their carrots to improve their eyesight (although any idiot with google could tell you this is not true - vitamin A, which carrots contain, is good for eyes but eating more won’t help you avoid glasses -but will in fact turn you orange), I will throw in some of my own new wives’ tales for good measure to better address the needs of a new generation.  I encourage you to make up some tales of your own (whether you are an old wife or a new wife, or not a wife, it doesn’t matter).  I figure if you are going to have bullshit in your life, it might as well be your own.

Wives’ Tales Reference Guide:
Old Tales-Breaking a mirror will earn you seven years bad luck
-If you swallow your gum it will stay in your stomach for seven years
-It’s bad luck to open umbrella inside
-If you make faces, your face could get stuck that way. 
-Masturbation will cause blindness
-Carrots improve eyesight
-An apple a day keeps the doctor away

New Tales
-Too much cell phone use will give you brain tumors
-Bad luck to text during dinner
-If you pierce something without permission it will fall off
-If you don’t wear sunscreen you’ll get skin cancer
-Smoking will kill you or at least keep you from being a professional sports star
-Never Say Never (i.e. don’t give up at anything) and you too can be as successful as Justin Bieber

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