Everything You Think is Wrong Day

This Thursday, March 15, is National Everything You Think is Wrong Day. On every other day of the year we are know-it-alls, believing we have a superior understanding of the world. But on Thursday we are supposed to sit back and reflect on our lack of knowledge regarding everything. It’s true. Almost everything we think to be true is actually false. This unofficial holiday is really difficult for people, like me, who suffer from atychipiphobia, which is the fear of being wrong or rather the fear of being told we’re wrong. In anticipation of this holiday, I thought Unhinged Magazine should point out some of the things that we are incorrect about.

March 15 is also the Ides of March which is the day in 44 BC that Julius Caesar was assassinated. This brings me to the first fact that we understand to be true but isn’t. Caesar’s last words were not “Et tu Brute.” Shakespeare made that up. No one knows the last thing Caesar said while being stabbed by Brutus et al. It probably was, “Eeeyyaaauuugghhhh” which means the same thing in Latin and English.

It was hard to understand with all that screaming.

It also wasn’t the case that the former Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great, died while trying to mate with a horse. The Empress enjoyed a good roll in the hay and did a lot of horsing around, but with men, not barn yard animals. She was an avid rider who mounted many horses but was never mounted by any.

Meet you behind the barn?

American history is also filled with myths. For instance, on his midnight ride, Paul Revere didn’t warn the Colonists by yelling, “The British and coming, the British are coming.” Why? Because until the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Colonists were technically British too. Longfellow made that up. By the way, although we think of Revere as a hero of the American Revolution, he didn’t actually even finish the ride as he was captured by British soldiers. Some prefer heroes who weren’t captured.

Other things that didn’t happen the way you think they did include:

• Mrs. O’Leary’s cow didn’t start the Great Chicago Fire by kicking over a lantern.
• Witches in Salem MA were not burned at the stake. They were hanged.
• Marie Antoinette never proclaimed, “Let them eat cake.”
• Nero didn’t fiddle while Rome burned. The fiddle wasn’t invented until 1,000 years after the fire.
• Pocahontas (the original one, not Elizabeth Warren) didn’t save John Smith nor did they fall in love. She married a different English bloke, and
• Thomas Crapper didn’t invent the flush toilet.

It isn’t just in history that we are so misguided. We are wrong about everyday life as well. For instance, all men and some women believe in the five-second rule (three-seconds for the more fastidious). This rule maintains that if you drop food on the floor there is a short window where it is permissible to pick it up and eat it. Unfortunately, scientists have determined that the five-second rule doesn’t hold water. Studies show that bacteria can contaminate food that falls on your kitchen floor instantaneously. Try telling that to the hungry guy who just dropped his French fries on your not so clean floor.

Science at work.

Another thing that we believe is that we only use 10% of our brain and that awakening the other 90% would allow us to display extraordinary mental abilities not unlike what Stephen Hawking possesses. Given that Mr. Hawking clearly uses 100% of his brain, and since most of us can only understand about 10% of the things that Hawking has written, it made sense that the vast majority of us were only using 10% of our brains. But neurologists disagree. They say that we use virtually every part of our brain and our gray matter is active almost all of the time.

This sounds like good news until you remember that drinking alcohol kills brain cells. I’ve heard that three beers kill 10,000 brain cells which would mean that by Monday morning we are all a lot dumber then we were Friday afternoon because we have killed active brain cells. But, THANK THE LORD, this is also incorrect. Despite the fact that we do silly, embarrassing things when we consume large quantities of hootch, scientists have concluded that drinking causes no long term harm to our intellect. And even if it did, we have 86 billion brain cells, so losing a few, now and then, should be ok. If three beers killed 10,000 brain cells it would take over 25 million beers to kill them all. Let’s not consider what alcohol does to our other internal organs.

Ok, maybe not everyone using all of their brain cells.

These were just a few examples of how wrong we are about the world.

Don’t get too discouraged today knowing that everything you think is wrong because Friday, March 16, is Everything You Do is Right Day.

Spoiler Alert: Everything you do on Friday, March 16th, will not be right. You will just think everything you do is right (because of the hootch), but remember, everything you think is still wrong.

John Wade, a frequent contributor to Unhinged Magazine, is a retired Chief Financial Officer who lives in Wildwood, Missouri.

You can check out John Wade’s previous article about how Martians are trying to keep us from illegally moving there.

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published with permission of the author