For centuries wives have had the coveted job of nagging their families about all the things they should and shouldn’t do. These fussy sayings are lovingly called "old wives' tales." Originally an evolutionary tool to deal with snot-nosed children and passive husbands, these axioms have morphed into lessons for living, stemming from a fear of the unknown and an ancient desire to explain the unexplainable.
But trusting some old woman who just wants to keep you under her thumb is dumb, even if that old broad is your mom. That’s why we’re debunking these old wives tales for your lazy asses. Because who really wants to wait thirty minutes to swim after a sandwich if they don’t actually have to?
1.) Dumb old wives' tale: Going out in the cold with your hair wet will make you sick.
Truth: People who say this don’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom. This is another way for moms with filthy, virus-infected kids to pawn the blame off on the weather. What makes you sick is when your toddler wipes their common-cold laden boogers on the child next to them, not having a towel-dried scalp in a snowstorm.
2.) Dumb old wives' tale: You can’t go in the pool for 30 minutes after eating.
Truth: Let’s all take a lesson from Jaws with this one. If a two-ton aquatic monster can eat scores of people and not require a Pepto-Bismol IV drip, than a child should be right as rain after a slice of pizza. Hell, I say take a whole pie in there and enjoy it on your floating lounge chair. Pizza party in the shallow end!
3.) Dumb old wives' tale: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Truth: Since when do doctors care about fruit? Sure, apples have Vitamin C and other unexciting-sounding nutrients that keep you from taking sick days, but so do Flintstones chewables – and I for one really enjoy biting the head off Wilma a lot more than I enjoy sinking my teeth into a mealy Granny Smith.
4.) Dumb old wives' tale: Don’t cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way.
Truth: This is offensive to lazy-eyed people everywhere. First of all, what’s wrong with having eyes that drift a little inward? Secondly, permanently crossed eyes are caused by an unfortunate medical condition called strabismus. People who cross their eyes for fun have an unfortunate medical condition called stupid.
5.) Dumb old wives' tale: Shaving makes your hair grow back longer and darker.
Truth: If this was true, don’t you think staving would be the cure for baldness? Think about THAT America!
6.) Dumb old wives' tale: Knuckle cracking will give you arthritis.
Truth: Businessmen everywhere, you can stop worrying about the strength of your handshake. Your stress-induced knuckle cracking will not cause arthritis, but it will infuriate the person in a neighboring cubicle, increasing your chances of an early death due to skull bashing by stapler.
7.) Dumb old wives' tale: Sitting close to the TV gives you bad eyesight.
Truth: Sitting too close to the TV may result in slow, dopy children who quote old Family Ties episodes and get their parenting from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but it will not produce kids who need glasses. Just kids who need counseling.
8.) Dumb old wives' tale: Gum stays in your stomach for 7 years.
Truth: Imagine you go in for an MRI thinking you have cancer or some other awful C word and what shows up instead is a big wad of Juiceyfruit. Wouldn’t you be so relieved? So even if this one was true, I say what’s the harm. Go forward into my intestines gum! Mingle with my acid and stomach bile. I welcome you!