There is a time honored tradition, a rite of passage for Canadian Kids. It ranks up there with with skating on a pond for the first time, building a snow-fort or playing street hockey. For smart kids, it only happens once. Those kids who are less fortunate…well…it can be an annual school yard tradition as it was for my brother and sister. They were blessed with a sister who could talk them into anything…
And I did just that.
You may have seen it in film and TV and think it just isn’t possible, well I assure you it is. Not only is it possible, pride is at stake. The dreaded “Double Dog Dare” taunts most children into attempting this fate because no wants want to be labeled a “chicken” or WORSE a Leafs fan.
Years ago I had a friend who let me practice this dirty deed on her brother. He had a penchant for black licorice. I told him one frosty winter morning before school, the black wrought iron railing that led to his front door tasted like licorice. What do you suppose he did with that knowledge? Licked it of course. The number one rule for Canadian winters is NEVER EVER lick metal.
You would think that would be common sense. Clearly this is a skill lacking in Canadian youth. My friend’s brother licked the railing. The tongue stuck hard and fast to the railing.
If you find yourself with your tongue stuck to a metal flag pole, the first instinct is to rip your tongue from the metal it is attached too. This is not an optimum experience. Having your taste buds torn from your tongue has it’s draw backs, the first being the amount of blood loss. The second being starvation for the next few days while it heals. The third is the sheer pain of it. I have had many painful experiences, two of them being a mother, but the pain of ripping your tongue from a flag pole is one of the most excruciating experiences of my life. (Why did I do it? I was paid $5. Was it wort it? Hell to the Yeah!)
The alternative is to wait for an adult to come by and pour liquid on your tongue. That is less painful, but your friends have left you for dead. You likely have to go to the bathroom or a blizzard is on its way. Neither of those options are pleasant either.
Teaching in a school is always fun around this time of year. A fellow teacher explained the reason for coffee so eloquently. For all those parents who think teachers drink coffee while on recess supervision for the joy of it, think again. We use the liquid to free your child from the monkey bars, or slide. Either your child was double dogged dared or the genetic pool is shallow at your house. Whatever the reason, give us more coffee for Christmas…not mugs…just saying.