Those pesky TV ads regarding toothpaste and whiter-than-white teeth are sort of true. Even though my smile bears testimony to a lifelong addiction to Earl Grey tea and cola, I boast the whitest, brightest bristles on my toothbrush.

When I was marginally more itty-bitty, Mother used to constantly warn my brother and I not to make such ugly faces and cross our eyes at each other. She convinced us that our features might lock that way and how would we feel then?

Never mind that strabismus is a medical condition, not in any way caused by manifestations of manners – or a dismal lack thereof.

She also routinely chided my brother about his loathsome habit of cracking his knuckles because he would surely suffer arthritis in his fingers in adulthood. Well, guess what? I have never, not ever, not once cracked a knuckle accidentally or otherwise, yet I am hobbled with horrible degenerative joint disease. Sigh.

We had to chow down burned toast because it would make our hair curly. Clean our plates at mealtimes to ensure a nice tomorrow. Carefully we avoided stepping on pavement cracks lest we break our mother’s back. Really?!

Speaking of life’s inconsistencies – why does the weatherman not intone 60% chance of no rain today instead of warning us to take umbrellas for the 40% probability of leaky clouds?

I am certain we would all more nobly scramble off to work or errands thinking of a good measure of dryness. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest where much of the population has significant amounts of rust in the DNA.

While we are pondering, why is our favorite yummy sugar cookie not the size of a pizza? And servings of broccoli reduced to fit in a comma? Or better yet, crumpled into a period?

Adages are fine. Sometimes they are even apt. But mostly you cannot take them to the bank. They are, well, too reliably inconsistent.

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