Strange Things & Filthy Lies – November 2019

The condiments are making our skulls shrink

November 2019

Wendy Parker


The road can be a wild and wonderful place. It’s like the internet come true, only with fewer cats and more “nekkid as hell” characters, most of which have no business being publicly nekkid as hell. Today’s crazy world may have satire taking a last, gasping breath, but there remain notable and mentionable strange things. Of course, you can’t serve up an order

of strange things without at least fair warning of the possibility of filthy lies.  For legal purposes, and all.

Here’s a word of caution from the “strange things” files to consider before sitting down to your next meal.

Condiments are making your head shrink.

Hey, I didn’t make this one up, but I just happen to abhor condiments so my head is probably in less peril of becoming a miniature version than the person who rolls their eyes at me when I ask for my hamburgers plain and well done.

We can thank the scientific discipline of osteobiography, literally the biography of bones, for catching this lovely little evolutionary tidbit.

See, bones aren’t the rattling old dead things a lot of folks think they are. Our bones are as alive as the rest of our body, full of pink gooey goodness that works hard to adapt to whatever current stupid evolutionary human trick we’ve accomplished.

Like consuming food without having to chew it.

Historically, bone mass has been found to be related to muscle mass. Ancient giant skeletons unearthed along the islands of Tonga in the South Pacific were a mystery until further research revealed that indigenous people were stone cutters who spent their lives doing physically taxing work for centuries. Generations evolved larger skeletons to support the abundance of muscle mass they put on lifting and maneuvering giant rocks all day long.

In turn, the bone mass in a modern human jaw seems to be shrinking, which indicates we don’t have to use the muscles as much to survive, and haven’t for a good while.

Think about it. How much of your food do you really have to work those jaws to masticate to the point of being ready to swallow? I’m not talking about the occasional shoe-leather roast at your in-laws. I’m talking about on a regular, daily basis.

Turns out the answer is: not enough to keep human skulls from shrinking on the average whole.

Which brings us to the filthy lies of our lavishly litigious ways.

Well thanks a lot, Steak Sauce Sally. Not only is our food too soft and easy to swallow to keep our heads from shrinking but lack of jaw muscle strength has also been linked to sleep apnea.

We may cook and season our food to perfection, but in doing so we prevent the jaw from developing enough to hold our tongue up out of our breathing hole when we lay down to sleep.

Of course, you could be one of the lucky folks who have already developed an external occipital protuberance from staring at your cellphone, which might offset your sleep apnea by giving you a handy little ledge on the back to prop your tiny skull on while you sleep, thus balancing out the breathing-hole blockage problem.

Or something like that.

If you think about it, it makes sense, although it may be hard to think with a shrinking skull. You might consider holding the mayo and chewing your turkey sandwich a little more thoroughly.

I will also insert here that this should in no way be considered medical advice. For legal purposes, and all. Of course, if you take your medical advice from a feature called Strange Things and Filthy Lies, a disclaimer probably won’t help you much. LL