Perpetuating the myth

8 Jul

I didn’t see it coming but today I perpetuated the myth of the bogey ball. We all know about the bogey ball. It’s what generations of children have been told they will get in their stomach if they pick their nose … and eat it. Today was my turn to pass this age-old wisdom on to my 22-month-old daughter.

Me: Eugh. Don’t eat your bogeys!

Her: [blank look, finger poised, lips parted]

Me: They’ll make a big ball in your tummy and you’ll get a biiig tummy ache.

Her: [blank look and resumption of nose picking]

Clearly she doesn’t understand the peril she is putting her health in by consuming what she regularly announces to the world as her “MASSIVE bogeys”. Yet my own parents’ advice on this had a lasting impact on me. It is one of those myths that you carry through life and that will occasionally flit across your consciousness to make you feel like a child again – and an ever so slightly naughty one at that.  Like the apple tree that will grow inside of you if you swallow a pip. Or how the water in a swimming pool will turn purple if you have a wee because of the ‘special dye’ (I still genuinely believe this one …).

We all carry these myths through life and, yes indeed, we live by them. Adulthood does not necessarily bring with it the ability to separate genuine fact (drinking too much will make you sick) from the glorious fictions. I felt a real satisfaction in passing on the bogey ball myth. A true part of our cultural heritage that will now last another generation.

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