So, Jim and I were having this conversation with a dear friend yesterday, who I shall call Dear Friend to protect her identity, when she made some comment about "ostrich lips," and Jim replied, in jest, "You know ostriches don't have lips, right?" I mean, I think we both assumed she knew that -- people know that, right? -- but rather than joking back, she got this flummoxed look on her face and said, "What?" Like, what do you mean birds don't have lips? And then this whole conversation unspooled on the subject of beaks and lips and teeth, concluding with the shocking assertion, made by us, that BIRDS DO NOT EVEN HAVE TEETH!
And Dear Friend asked, "But. . . how do they chew?"
This was all great fun, especially when she whipped out her phone, called a friend in Boston, and unceremoniously, without context, demanded, "Do birds have teeth?"
He was on speaker phone, and to his credit, took the question entirely seriously and said something like, "I believe fossil records suggest that they once did, but no, birds, to the best of my knowledge, do not have teeth." (which is right, by the way)
And Dear Friend promptly hung up on him. I believe she spent the rest of the day quizzing people in order to discern whether she was the only person who did not know this. I haven't heard a tally yet, but this morning she sent me the above photo as "proof" that she was right!
The whole conversation was much fun, and it serves as an interesting example of how many common everyday things we might discover one day we have just never spent a moment considering. Well, this is an extreme example perhaps, but last night, out with another dear friend, another topic came up: hypnotism.
And I realized I actually had no idea if it is real, what it really is, and if I believe in it or not. Having not yet researched it, I will say that I DO think I believe in it -- which is horribly unrigorous of me, to say "I think I believe in" something I have not looked into, but whatever -- but I am expecting it is not mind-control like in the old movies, and it is not like a direct telephone line to your subconscious either. But the sudden discovery that I have NO IDEA what hypsosis really is, it's like a conk on the head. Do you know what I mean? Does that happen to you? The realization, all of a sudden, that you've never thought about some ordinary thing?
[By the way, I had said I was going to write a post on what it means to me to be liberal, and I still am going to, I just haven't had time yet. If you care.]