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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, December 29, 2006

What I Know for Sure

Here we are about to embark on a New Year. Do we care? I think we do. We care enough to pause and reflect and watch shows about lists of people who died this year and the like. We at least think about making some resolutions to break. Or we think about how we're not going to bother making resolutions since we always break them. One or the other, if only because everyone will ask.

I'm thinking about what I know for sure.

Of course, Jesus died for my sins, an hour in Purgatory is worth sixty earth years, and the Pope is infallible.

I'm not talking about those things.

I'm talking about things like singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" all the way through when you wash your hands, otherwise your hands are not really clean. I mentioned this the other day and some readers told me they tell people to sing the "Alphabet Song". They went so far as to say they thought it was better because it may be a little longer.

Here's what I know for sure. Those two songs are exactly the same length because....brace yourselves....they are the SAME SONG. Seriously, wake up people.

So is "Baa, Baa Black Sheep", but before the nit-pickers show up, to make it long enough you have to repeat the beginning of that one at the end again, up to the 'three bags full" part.

One of my readers suggested saying the "Hail Mary" while washing hands. Fine. But say two. Better yet, an Act of Contrition. Remember, an hour in Purgatory is worth sixty earth years.

I only know a few things for sure. Those three songs are the same song. Aloe vera works better on burns than anything else ever and one more thing: If you blow your nose in a cotton hankie, you can blow it seven thousand times in a row and it will never get sore. I was told this amazing fact by a woman who was at one time my mother's next door neighbor, Bert. Bert gave me this gem when she was eighty years old and ironically, by the time Bert left us for her heavenly reward of cottony clouds, she had no nose to speak of due to skin cancer from her youthful days as a tennis star before the age of sun block. Anyhow, Bert told me somberly that your nose will always get sore when blowing in tissue, because no matter how much lotion they stick in it, you are still blowing your nose on hunks of wood.

I spent years testing Bert's theory. It's no theory. I know for sure that if you blow your nose in cotton, it will never get sore.

Bert, by the way, lived to be 108 years old. After she died I have since been fascinated with the idea that she had told me her useful information 28 years ago...when she was 80. If only I had thought to ask her what she knew for sure, besides the hankie thing.

Many people now days are loath to use a cotton hankie because they want to throw their germs away on the Kleenex. Fine. Have a sore nose. I will use a cotton hankie, have a comfortable nose and wash my hands while singing one of three songs that have the same tune and are the same length. I will end with an Act of Contrition in case my germs were spread before I got to a faucet.


Anonymous said...

I love my cotton hankies. Have you noticed that one cotton hankie can be used about as long as one box of tissues?

But my nose has gotten sore once or twice . . .

Monica said...

My husband prefers the hankies too, but it's been really hard to buy them. Penny's wanted $20 for a pack of 3, and target only has them at Christmas and with the wrong initials. Maybe I'll try amazon.com!

Mom said...

Maybe this essay is about tissues, but I see a deeper issue. Romans Chapter three:

10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

If this is indeed the truth, than how can the pope be infallible? Christ was the only person to walk the earth who was sinless and perfect.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Jan, no one said the Pope was sinless. The Pope is infallible in guiding the church because he is guided by the Holy Spirit.

He is only infallible when he speaks on matters of dogma and even then only when he speaks ex-cathedra. Popes have only made 3 infallible decisions: the Pope is infallible, the Ascension of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception.

So don't worry next time you play Scrabble with the Pope and he tries to float the word 'blotsnefad' that he'll win.

Anonymous said...

I've been singing "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy" for many years - many - ever since I heard a doctor suggest it. Sometimes I sing it aloud.

Rambling Speech said...

LOL- you know, I never noticed the similarity. Now I do and I'm feeling sheepish (baaaa--baaaa).

I think I'll just count slowly to 15. Happy New Year!

Sister Mary Martha said...

Rambling speech, it's not a 'similarity'. It's exactly the same song with different words.

Rambling Speech said...

Now wait a second. They are 'similar'. The five notes of "LMNOP" clearly do not match the triple notes of "what you are" and the cadence of the rest of the song differs from time to time. I'll grant that the basic song is the same, but rhythmic differences do make these songs 'similar', not 'identical'.

Regional differences in the way these songs are sung? Or did I count the length of the notes incorrectly? Musicians, step up and double check my musical math!

Why am I arguing with you? I'll probably have to spend more time in purgatory for arguing with a nun. And if mom and dad ever found out.... yikes.

Rambling Speech said...

Oh, but you are right on the length. Same number of stanzas. Of course, now I'm stuck humming twinkle and ABC's all day. Regardless, clean hands will result.

cattiekit said...

Well, it's off to the JC Penney catalog for me. I go through Kleenex like Grant taking Richmond (or Sherman taking Atlanta - choose your Southern allegiance).

I suppose I could always offer my allergies up for the souls in Purgatory. ;>)

Arkanabar Ilarsadin said...

The alphabet song is a variation on a theme by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart -- "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." In some places, two eighth notes were squeezed in where Mozart originally penned a quarter note.

Bet you didn't know you knew so much Mozart, eh? He wrote that one when he was a mere 4 years of age.