I was just eating some Wensleydale cheese. I was trying a variation on the usual red Leicester or double Gloucester in my lunchtime baked [microwaved] potato, and I can report that Wensleydale was a rash choice. Tasted good, but the consistency was all wrong, since it doesn’t really melt. I think I just have a rosy view of it on account of an apple and Wensleydale cake that Will Marshall’s dad once made. Does anyone else remember that one?
Anyway, on the packet, Tesco have felt it necessary to inform you that Wensleydale was invented by French monks – a needless rapier blade through the heart of any Yorkshireman. Disappointingly, Wikipedia seems to confirm this (not of course that Wikipedia is even remotely trustworthy), and worse, it adds that the Cistercians in question were from the Roquefort region. So Wensleydale is the long orphaned offspring of a nasty Plasticine cheese that tastes like drain bleach.
Aha, but it’s alright, I thought, because there’s that brilliant historical fact that the English invented wine, rather than the French. Their proud heritage is nothing more than a façade of popular misconception. I felt better about the Wensleydale revelation, and there were definitely a few moments of pride. Agincourt and Trafalgar flitted through my mind, before I realised what total bollocks this fact about the English inventing wine must be. The ancient Greeks drank wine, right? Long before there was such a thing as England. So we can’t have invented it.
It got me to thinking about other ‘facts’ that I have been told over the years that simply cannot be true.
A swan can break your arm with its wing.
Aircraft toilets spray out of the plane while you’re flying along.
If you swallow chewing gum it wraps round your heart and you die.
A banana skin takes 12 years to break down.
You can’t get ill off family germs.
If your shoes are too small, then you can put lemon juice in the toes to make them fit again. I have no idea why I ever believed this one.
Stubble grows quicker the more you shave.
Anyone else got any good ones?