Travelling up the motorway in the rain this morning I found myself trying not to look at the windscreen wipers, a tricky thing to do when you are the driver. In the back of my mind though was the fear of hypnosis.
I blame my mother.
As a parent, you say a lot of things that aren’t really true, I appreciate this now I have my own children. Most of the time you don’t even mean to lie, it might only be a joke or an exaggeration, but it’s amazing the weird things that stick in a child’s mind.
Here are five things my mum told me that stuck with me but that I suspect may not really be true:
Myth: you can get hypnotised by windscreen wipers
Truth: you cannot. At least it has never happened to me, even though I have tried hard sometimes. I can’t even remember how this one came about, I just remember being in the back of the car on a rainy journey one day and being told it might happen.
Myth: going over the cord when you are hoovering will result in death
Truth: the chances are that even if you go backwards and forwards over the cord a few times, you’re not actually going to die. I lived in fear for many years before experimenting with just running over a little bit with the corner of the Hoover. I am still here to tell the tale.
Myth: any sort of physical activity, including cartwheels, handstands and forward rolls, will result in a broken neck
Truth: it’s actually very hard to break your neck. You’re certainly not likely to do it jumping into a bit of foam.
Myth: you can only leave scrambled eggs unstirred ONCE during the cooking process
Truth: after 20 years of scrambled egg experience I have come to the conclusion that it’s OK not to stir continuously – the eggs will not be ruined, no one’s neck will break. If you need to leave the eggs unstirred twice or even three times then you’re still going to have a decent breakfast at the end of it.
Myth: politics is straightforward
“The conservatives are the party that believe everyone should keep everything to themselves and never share anything,” my mum explained to me when I was small, “the Labour party think everybody should be made to share everything, and the Liberal Democrats want people to share some things but not everything.”
If only it were that simple.
What funny things did your parents tell you that have stuck in your mind?
Image: scrambled eggs from Vezzani Photography/Shutterstock