If you live in the country or know many people that do you eventually hear all kinds of "old wives' tales" about any number of subjects. Sometimes there is a little truth hidden in them, and sometimes you just have to laugh at the absurdity of something the teller actually tells believing wholeheartedly that it is the truth. Sometimes they are so convinced that they somehow manage to convince you. I often wonder how these oddities came to be, where they started, and how they have lasted through many generations.
The thing that got me thinking along these lines happened a couple of weeks ago. The okra that got planted later in the season than normal hadn't bloomed. It was mid August and though it was very tall there was not a bloom nor a pod to be seen. My husband was commenting on this to a friend of his when the friend told him that he knew exactly what to do to remedy this situation. He told my husband to "take a switch to it." Not sure that he understood what his friend meant he asked for more clarity.
His friend explained again, "Go pick you a switch and whip the okra." How he kept a straight face I'll never know because when he came home to share this information with me I cracked up. That was one of the funniest things I've ever heard. I laughed off and on about it all evening. My husband laughed right along with me, but the next morning without saying a word to me or anyone else he slipped off to the garden and carried out the old timey prescription alone. Well, he thought he was alone. Our son pulled up as his father was in the middle of his unorthodox gardening procedure. With head cocked to one side he gingerly asked his generally sane father if he was alright.
"Yeah, I'm fine," he exclaimed a little sheepishly.
"Are you, (slight pause) whipping the okra?" our son ventured gently.
"Yes" came the reply.
Now at this point I must point out that our son works with his dad and I'm sure he was thinking along these lines, "if he's beating the okra first thing in the morning with a switch, just exactly what is the rest of this day going to hold?" but he didn't share those thoughts, he just waited patiently for his dad's reply.
Father told son what he had heard and how he figured it wouldn't hurt anything, and when asked by his friend he could honestly say he had indeed given the prescribed advise a try.
Well, Monday my husband came in the kitchen and casually announced that the okra pods were so big we were going to have to throw the first batch away. It seems they bloomed right away and got seriously busy producing a bumper crop! How's that for odd?
So my question for you is this: Have you ever in your life heard of such a thing as this, and if so can anyone offer any sort of logical explanation? Believe me I'm shaking my head like crazy over this one.