Whenever we had a picnic near a lake as a child, we were told to never EVER go swimming for at least an hour or you were going to have cramps and die. Each time I heard that particular ridiculous information, all I wanted to do was defy the whole big pile of bunk.

Who started all these myths, and why?

Once a month, on a Sunday, we used to drive down to St Albans,Vermont for the day. After lunch, like clockwork, the whole "no swimming after eating for an hour" conversation began. I sat there quietly, waited for about ten minutes, and then told everyone I was going to gather shells by the water. In the distance I heard my mother scream,

"Linda, don't you dare go into that water! "

Sporting a sinister smile, I knew I was going to defy the laws of nature that day. I would prove to the world this myth was wrong. Plain wrong. Truth be told, I was a little scared as I inched my toes into the water. Suddenly I was up to my ankles, and immediately felt a huge stomach pang. Maybe they were right I thought, and backed out of the water quickly. Two inner voices started telling me what to do.

One said, "Go in!"

The other said, "You're going to die!"

Ahh, to heck with it, and with that, I ran in up to water up to my knees. Suddenly there was a huge commotion, and people were running towards me in the water. Good old Vermont 911 rescue was on the way for a young boy that was just inches away from me screaming in the water.

The roar of noisy moving water, and my mother “having a cow” on shore, brought me in pretty darn quickly. The boy was carried out immediately, and people were saying it was probably because he went in swimming right after eating. There was my mother, arms akimbo, with a stern look on her face and said,

"You see what happens if you go swimming after you eat?"

Well, according to Snopes, I am debunking this myth right now. You will not die if you go swimming right after lunch. You might throw up, but you won't die. Now, maybe those egg salad sandwiches that fermented on the two hour drive down there in the 90 degree weather might have killed us all. But it's not the darn water. Always remember there will be times in your life when things defy logic and seem crazy--especially to your mother. When that happens, listen to your instincts and ignore everyone and everything else--except for those warm egg salad sandwiches. Now that is an immediate death waiting to happen.

Buy Linda's latest book on " vintage odd happenings" in Carleton Place, at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum, Amazon, Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place and soon to be available at the Mississippi Valley Textile Mill Museum in Almonte, Ontario

Read  Linda's column in theHumm

Read Linda's Stories in Screamin' Mamas

Books by Linda Seccaspina
Books by Linda Seccaspina




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Comment by Rob Campbell on October 19, 2014 at 12:06pm

i laughed when i saw this.  As kids we had our swimming lessons before eating lunch.. so we didntget cramps i guess..

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on July 11, 2014 at 12:57pm


Comment by Susie Lindau on July 11, 2014 at 12:48pm

I always wondered about that wives tale. Thanks for the info! Glad the little guy made it...

Comment by Shelley Smith on June 29, 2014 at 9:05pm

Ha! Ha! Your mom and my mom?. Always right... according to them. :)

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on June 24, 2014 at 2:27pm

man where did they get these things?

Comment by chuck wilson on June 24, 2014 at 1:53pm

Everytime I went Downtown, ( Cleve, Oh.) my parents told me: wear a jacket; It's cooler near the lake. These days; I tell people. (in summer,)  wanna sweat to death? wear a jacket.

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on June 24, 2014 at 1:31pm

You should have written the books Lois:)

Comment by Geezerchick on June 24, 2014 at 10:19am

Yup. I got fed the same nonsense. I went to the library. You wanna know the sum total of people who have drowned because they went swimming within one hour of eating?  It's ZERO!   I get it. When we studied biology, we learned that when there is food in your stomach, then increased blood flow goes to the stomach to help you digest your food, leaving less blood for your arms and legs, which is why people often feel sleepy after a big meal.  But, if you move those arms and legs, then blood flows to them, and all is at should be.  They just don't bother to teach that 2nd part in biology class, and somebody who didn't question the text book made up that silly rule.  


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