We keep hearing about all the supposedly ‘bad’ things which are actually good for you – chocolate, red wine, pot (for staving off Alzheimers, which is good news because I’m a big fan of the Degree Ultra Clear deodorant, rich in Alzheimer’s-inducing aluminum), coffee, beer, and sunshine. I think we can all agree: Their role-reversal is old news.
But what about the silent dangers? The things you thought were innocuous but are actually messing you up? No, not molds, radon, and eating the occasional lead paint chip. I’m referring to something far more benign and clearly non-toxic. You see, in the last couple days I have come upon two things I never suspected as the cause of my troubles: I am too smart, and I talk too much.
Okay, okay. Perhaps taken in combination this sounds obnoxious enough to be the clear source of its own kind of trouble – smart aleck, know-it-all, running my mouth when I would be better served by shutting up… I’m not denying it.
However, it turns out more damage is done than that. On a hair care web site where I was trying to figure out how to prevent split ends and which cited no scientific source and may possibly be something the author made up or dreamed, I found the following shocking revelation: “Excessive body heat and the heat generated by constant mental activity can lead to premature greying.”
Wha…….!? My constantly whizzing ‘monkey mind’ is not just the cause of me getting on the wrong plane, finding myself in the mens room on a regular basis, and talking to myself in public, but it’s making my hair grey (or white, more accurately)!? I should’ve known my genius would be my downfall. Seriously though, there must be some way to prove this? I’m specifically thinking of smart people from the time before hair dye.
Maybe they were on to this in the 1700s and that’s why all the powdered wigs? You can’t pick out the idiots from the savants when everyone is wandering around with white hair. My highly scientific Google search resulted in the ‘facts’ that Sir Thomas More and Marie Antoinette supposedly went white overnight. A sign of genius or just shock? We may never know. Albert Einstein had some seriously white hair. I can’t recall a picture where his hair was dark. Hmmm….
As for the talking, this one comes from my doctor. I went to get my final Hep B vaccination last week, and I couldn’t come up with a single bizarre health concern to bring to his attention. Usually I show up wondering if I might have a tape worm or Tuberculosis or possibly diabetes. To fortify my claims, I bring a list of strange observations and “one time this weird thing happened…” anecdotes. However, I wracked my brain, and I guess the nomadic lifestyle suits me, because I kept drawing a blank. I feel good. Everything seems to be in working order. But then I remembered how my jaw makes a popping sound if I open my mouth wide, and sometimes it does this when I’m talking. When that happens, it’s annoying (because I can hear it and it distracts me the way that hearing your own voice echo back on a bad cell phone connection distracts me. Actually, that drives me f–king nuts, but that’s a topic for another day) and kind of hurts a little.
Anyway, I figured maybe there was some kind of massage or a quick and relatively painless “jaw realignment” that could be done? A quick fix he could apply right there in the room? Maybe some type of head device I could wear when sleeping or a form of physical therapy to correct it? Wrong.
Apparently, it’s an overuse injury seen in either heavy meat eaters (doing lots of chewing) or big talkers (like people that give speeches for a living or just like to run their mouths). I honestly don’t think he was screwing with me, but he said if it persisted, the only “cure” is rest and they would wire my mouth shut and put me on a liquid diet!!! Seriously. With visions of the Hannibal Lecter mouth grate (which you can buy online for as little as $9.70 USD) dancing in my head, I immediately started backtracking about how it wasn’t that bad or who’s bothered by a little popping and cracking anyway? I LIKE the clicking. I would MISS the sound of my facial muscles malfunctioning if it went away.
So there you have it. If only I could think less and shut up more, all my petty problems would be solved. More and more, a vow of silence and plenty of mind-altering, haze-inducing, thought-suppressing substances is looking like the way to go. Who knew?