I’m always up for a party, whatever the occasion, but this is unpleasant on so many levels. Although sticking your tongue out in Tibet is considered a fine greeting. Good to know in case you visit the Dalai Lama and somebody sticks their tongue out at you. Don’t be insulted. Stick yours out in return and say howdy back. When in Rome and all.
The practice should be banned if you ask me, classified as a misdemeanor and subject to a stiff fine. Not because it’s ill-mannered, but because tongues are gross and repulsive organs. Stop by a deli or meat counter if you have any doubts. No, don’t, too upsetting. The thought of eating one mak … urrk, I can’t go there. You have to wonder, though, can it taste you?
Revolting as they are, tongues are essential to life as we know it. We need the nasty thing to eat, breathe, and talk. But why does it have to be so hideous? Okay, I can’t answer that, but I do know this:
• the blue whale has the largest tongue of all animals, weighing in around 5,950 pounds (or 2.7 metric tons).
• the tongue is home to between 3,000 and 10,000 taste buds.
• speaking of taste buds, they die off every 10 to 14 days and are replaced by fresh ones. Mmm, fresh taste buds.
• contrary to popular belief, your tongue is not the strongest muscle in your body. It doesn’t exert the most pressure — that’s the jaw muscle. Or the most force — the quads and glutes. Or do the most work — the heart. And, it’s not one muscle — it’s actually eight, according to Scientific American.
• average length from back to tip is 4 inches, with women typically having shorter tongues than men. Aw, boohoo.
Now put that thing back in your mouth and leave it there. If you don’t mind. Thank you.