Face masks block germs, kill conversations

My Sentiments Exactly

Remember that adage, “Cat got your tongue?”

You know, it’s that little quip we shoot out at someone when they’re uncharacteristically quiet. Or more specifically, when they’re completely ignoring us, yo.

It’s pretty much a low-key dig, yet the phrase is an oldie but a, well, mediocre-ie, at least in my humble opinion.

It’s never been a favorite expression of mine. I find it odd, offensive and just not terribly cutesy, creative or clever.

Frankly, it has always kind of weirded me out. I mean, what’s a cat doing that close to my mangia machine in the first place?

Just, NO.

Who on the blue planet ever thought up this creepy catchphrase, anyway? Curious as a you-know-what, I started searching its origins and root cause.

What I found confirmed and considerably cranked up the ick factor.

The not-so fairy tale starts this way: Once upon a time, clandestine kitties DID actually eat people tongue.

Wonder if they thought it tasted like chicken? I digress.

Apparently, ancient Egyptians / cat worshippers, fed the tongues of suspected liars to their cats. Like, for real.


By the time the Middle Ages medieval-ed their way into being, there was a widespread irrational fear that black cats (at the bidding of their mistress witches) tore the very tongues out of witchwork “witnesses.”

Then again, I suppose it’s a pretty effective way to hush over broom flying, cauldron concocting, spell casting and the like.


Man, the Middle Ages were clearly one dark period … exclamation point.

In more recent days (circa the super-hip 18th century), the English Royal Navy evidently scourged sailors into submission.


It seems a common practice among the maritime masters of the Hundred Years War was to torture its own, matey.

That’s right. The lowly Able Rates (equivalent to our Privates) as well as various other swabbies and sea soldiers who stepped out of line were swiftly silenced.


Bad boat boys were often beaten into bloody unconsciousness with a nine-knotted, leather-strapped whip. Not that anyone complained about the “cat-o’- nine-tails” treatment.

Mostly because they were cataleptic … er, comatose.

Holy ferocious frigates, Cat, er, Bat Man!

And you wonder why I’m a-scaredy of cats?


I don’t want them near my tootsies, tooshie, tongue — or pretty much any other PK part.

Sorry, Morris — purr all you want. I’m a diehard doggie digger, a’ight?

Either way, I can’t help but feel that, in today’s topsy-turvy, quarantine cursed, antisocial society — we should summarily scrap the slogan in lieu of a more timely version.

I’m thinking: “Mask got your tongue?”

Anyone else noticing how our countenance covers killed common courtesy quicker than Kim curb-kicked Kanye after quitting “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”?

People, people, it’s supposed to be that we can’t stand within 6 feet of each other …


Um, hello? As in, why won’t anyone say hello to strangers anymore?

Look, I know it’s kooky times. I know we have to steer a bit clear of the other earth dwellers.

And I know masks make things … murky.

But I also know that license plate number of every human who’s snubbed my hidden hellos in the past 10 months.

Better whistle while you catnap, capisce?

• Kimerer is a columnist who’s all talk but truly IS terrified of cats. Send her canine vibes via www.patriciakimerer.com.


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