Sunday, August 26, 2012

Killing the Pain or Tourettes?

I like reading articles about studies that produce statistics. Statistics that don’t mean anything, or how to apply the findings to your own experiences.  When this happens, I am forced to come up with a few of my own worthless findings. I wonder if anyone has made a study of those who are fascinated by studies?

I read an article the other day about the discovery of a natural painkiller. Swearing. Really. Swear words can actually produce an opiate effect. It seems a professor of a prominent UK University discovered that students could plunge their hands in buckets of ice water and keep them there longer if they swore. Turns out it was an average of 31 seconds longer.  He also found that the more his subjects swore in everyday life, the less strong the pain relief effect was for them.

This made me wonder again, how much swearing is too much? What if we are actually allotted a certain amount of swear words when we come into the world? Do different swear words produce more opiates than others? Who keeps track of how many times we utter a profanity? Does the Thalamus keep a tally or are they just recorded in the Akashic records? Are swear words more potent when used around other people or while you are alone?

When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the kitchen and I whack my toe on one of the end tables in the living room, I generally use the same nine curse words delivered through clenched teeth. What if I change the order or add new ones to see if I am happier with the results? What if curse words in different languages are more powerful than English swear words?

More study was needed. I asked my husband to be my subject. He reluctantly agreed. He’s such a good sport. The bucket of ice water didn’t produce enough pain because he is hot blooded so he didn’t feel the need to use an obscenity. He just wiggled his fingers and smiled. Another test perhaps. I tapped him on top of the head with my Cuisinart waffle maker.  He instantly felt the urge to curse. Only one four letter word though. When he came to, I asked him if it helped to swear. He just gave me a snotty look. 

I was only able to perform one more test because he was close to escaping from the duct tape I had wrapped around his ankles and wrists. I had to make this one count and apologized profusely just before I used a Truemark slingshot to shoot his foot. Don’t worry, I didn’t use glass or steel ball bearings, nothing like that. I love my husband. I used an unshelled walnut.  This produced an array of naughty words in English, Spanish, Italian and I think it may have been Farci, but I won’t swear to it.

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