Friday, November 14, 2008

“And don’t forget to wash behind your ears!"

We’ve all heard that one, haven’t we? Our mums shouting at
us, in order to look presentable for school, or for some
boring relative coming to visit.

I’ve been wondering what on earth was that all about ~ whether
washing behind our ears was supposed to be of some health
benefit – an “old wives’ tale” – or perhaps mums were
terrified of having their kids being inspected by the nit
nurse, and being publicly shamed for sending them to school
unwashed? In the days when corporal punishment was commonplace
at schools, this also included having your ear yanked upwards
by a sadistic schoolmaster. So perhaps this was yet another
reason for going to school with a pair of clean and
sweet-smelling ears?

Fortunately I was never caned at the schools I went to ~ for
I was a goody-two-shoes, and was sometimes the teacher’s “pet”.
I was well known for swottiness, and even at med school I was
called a swot by someone who didn’t know me all that well.

I think I must have a highly swotty image ~ a high degree of
nerdiness as depicted in the Beano ~ The Bash Street School
comic strip
~ one of my favourites.

But to expand on my theme of dotty ideas that parents come out
with … I was taught a completely wrong way of brushing my
teeth by my mum and dad (well, it was my mum mainly) … brushing
them horizontally instead of vertically … well you have to do
a bit of both, don’t you? Anyway, you can imagine all that
gunk left between my teeth day after day, year after year,
and the terrible amount of dental decay that set in. I was
fond of eating sweet things as a kid, though not so much now,
except for ginger biscuits.

Numerous visits to see the dentist, masses of fillings, two
rotten teeth removed, and now most of my teeth are crowned.

It wasn’t until I was about 20 when a dentist queried my
brushing technique, when she was digging out the muck between
my teeth on one visit (you think one of my previous dentists
would have commented, but no, they didn’t). Since I took on
board that bit of advice, my teeth have been in better shape
… far less decay.

Another odd thing my mum taught me was to tie my shoe-laces
in a different way to most other people … don’t ask me to
explain how I do this, but my way does work just as well.
(If I get a video camera one day, I’ll have to you-tube it
for you, for a laugh).

And then there was the story about where babies come from …


Anonymous lom said...

Every body knows babys come from the baby shop

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Grumpy Keith said...

"...where babies come from ..."

Well don't stop there, I eager to know!

3:18 PM  
Blogger justin said...

I was told a load of porkies about that one, Keith ... but I'll have to keep "mum" about that for the time being.
Yes, LOM, you're well informed.

12:01 AM  

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