Who do you believe?

I reached out my arm to grab a slimy vine. I strained hard to reach it. Finally, I had it in my hands and pulled down as hard as I could. Instead of lifting me up, the vine snapped in half, leaving me with a small branch in my hand and I, unfortunately, sank lower in the wet sand.  

I was in deep trouble.

If I didn’t get help soon, the sand and debris was going to be over my head. Of course, I was having my nightly nightmare of dying in quicksand. As a kid, I worried a lot about quicksand. Quicksand appeared regularly in 70s movies and television shows (Gilligan’s Island, The Incredible Hulk, and The Swiss Family Robinson to name a few), showing up anytime the writers needed a plot twist, and seemed to be a regular menace to society.  It didn’t matter that I lived in a mild region with coastal plains, plateaus, and mountains, you still had to be on the lookout for quicksand. Or so I thought.

As an adult, I can’t say it’s been much of a problem. Unless of course, you’re talking about the grains of sand that are still stuck in the sole of my shoe from when we went to the beach last year. Otherwise, I’ve been able to side step that challenge easily enough. 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about random things that make you pass for second, everything from fears that we have as kids like the fear of quicksand to truisms that we come across in life. Some seem to pan out, others not so much.  

  • If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times that life isn’t fair. I especially remember my brothers saying it to me, right before they pounded me on the shoulder just because I was smaller and weaker than them and because they could. Duh, check that one off as being true, no life certainly is not fair. Otherwise, I would still have the locks of hair that God gave me at birth, I would look like Brad Pitt, and live across the street from Bill Gates.
  • Why is the night before a day off more satisfying, then the actual day off? Along those same lines, why is the last night before returning to work like preparing for Pickett’s Charge? 
  • No one wants to deliver bad news – you didn’t get the job, you’re not getting a raise, we’re going to have to let you go – but why does everyone want to pat you on the back when you have good news. 
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Or does it. I ate apples pretty regularly over the pandemic and I’m finding that I still ended up packing on a few extra pounds and need to go back to the doctor. I wonder if the apple industry had something to do with this saying. Where’s are the pork producers? How about this saying: twelve pieces of bacon a day, keep the doctor away? Why has that become a thing?
  • I can look all afternoon for something and come up with nada. My wife comes home, I complain that it’s missing, she steps into the room and just like that the missing item shows up in the corner of the room. 

Like most things in life, I guess it depends on who’s offering up the truism. 

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