There are no Chuck Norris jokes; only Chuck Norris truths.
Remember them? You know, the Chuck Norris ‘facts’? They were all the rage 10 years ago. They are still going strong, even. Why, I remember back when I was just a young’un out on my own for the first time and trying to earn my living in the town of Crossroads. You see, back then the Barrens was the place to go to gain the experience needed to survive in the real world. And along the way you heard the stories of the local deity, Chuck Norris.
- “Chuck Norris doesn’t have a mullet, his beard has back hair.”
- “Mary had a little lamb, Chuck Norris ate it.”
- “The Mayans predicted that on December 12 2012 Chuck Norris would fail at something.”
- “Chuck Norris doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, the Dos Equis guy serves him while wearing a dress.”
- “Napoleon Dynamite gave Chuck Norris his tots.”
All bow down and give praise to Chuck Norris.
This just in: An international team of scientists have just released a statement! “After years of painstaking research we have finally figured out why there are so many jokes about Chuck Norris, but none about Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is no joke.”
Alright....never mind. So, why the Chuck Norris bit? Well, to be honest, I was researching todays subject and I came across a fact that I just couldn’t believe. If it were true, I would have the best post ever. But, since I try to keep everything I write true and accurate, I did some research. And it was a fake fact. It irks me that I was fooled, even briefly. The source where I found it was a usually reliable source.
The fact in question was: “May 6 1945 - Chuck Norris born. May 7 1945 - Nazi Germany surrenders.”
Ohhh.....if only it were true. A two second search showed me Chuck was actually born on March 10 1940. But the fun I could have had.
Instead, I had to do more research. So I did. And I found some more stuff. Most of which I decided wasn’t oddity materiel. Oh, there was the dinosaur lip thing. But I was scooped on that by an actual blogger. So instead I decided to use this fact.
It involves spit. And food. But mostly spit. But the good spit. Not the horked up goobery spit. No, I’m talking about the oral cavity lubrication known as saliva.
Have you ever been making something to eat, something that is one of your absolute favorite things to eat, and you notice your mouth seems to be getting rather wet? Like, you almost start drooling? Why do people do that?
Well, Pavlov rang a bell, and then fed his dogs some food. He did that so often that the dogs began to associate the ringing with food, and as such, they started to drool when they heard the bell. It wasn’t the ringing of the bell that made the dogs drool. It was the anticipation of the food that was about to appear. The bell was the trigger that started the reaction. Just like walking through a parking lot towards your favorite restaurant makes you think about your favorite dish, and your mouth starts watering and you can just swear you can taste it. The walk through the lot triggers the memory of the meal which causes the *ahem* juices to start flowing. (sorry)
And that’s because taste is a very complicated thing.
Most of you know that the tongue is only a part of the taste sense. Smell plays a large role in it as well. Without the smell of a food, most of the taste is gone. For example, if you plug your nose and wear a blindfold, most people can’t tell the difference between an onion, a potato or an apple when biting into one.
That’s why when you’re around a really powerful smell, like rancid food or a rotting corpse, you can taste the smell.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
There is a third major component to taste along with the tongue, (taste buds), and nose. (olfactory receptors). And that is saliva.
For a long time everyone thought saliva was produced to lubricate mouth and keep the food moist to make it easier to chew and swallow.
But we now know that saliva plays a vital role in taste. Your taste buds require moisture to work. It’s a very easy fact to test for yourself.
Just dry your mouth out. I don’t care how you do it. Heck, use a hair dryer for all I care. Just dry out your mouth. Once your mouth, and tongue especially, is dry, sprinkle salt on your tongue. Then try pepper. Then garlic powder. Then paprika. Then sugar. Then ascorbic acid powder.
You’ll notice that they all were exactly the same. You could not tell what was on your tongue until moisture was introduced. Only then could you tell what it was you were tasting. That’s why, (well....one of the reasons), we produce saliva. It’s so we can taste our food better.
And that’s why you start to drool when you’re anticipating something tasty. Your brain knows that something really good is coming so you start to produce saliva so your taste buds are working at peak performance. Again, an easy test of this is to cook something you absolutely consider to be the most vile concoction ever devised* and see if your mouth waters in anticipation.
So now the real burning question is: If you drool in your sleep, is that because you dream of food?
* While this concoction will be different for everyone, I bet most include ketchup and pickled Snickers. (Pickled Snickers is something disgusting I came up with to gross out a co-worker)