Chances are you'll be watching 'A Christmas Story' at least once over the next few days. Ever since TBS started airing 24 hours of the film beginning Christmas Eve through Christmas Day, it's become a tradition in many households to keep their televisions tuned in to Ralphie's X-mas-related trials and tribulations for hours upon hours on end.
As such, there's a good chance a few questions may pop up while the film is playing in the background, attempting to drown out Uncle Eddie's post-Christmas dinner snoring. We'll be taking the next couple of days to answer some of those questions for you, this way when your little cousin Bobby turns and asks whether you can really get your tongue stuck to a flagpole, you'll be waiting with a smile and the correct answer.
'A Christmas Story' Myth #1: Can You Really Get Your Tongue Stuck to a Flagpole?
Short Answer: Yes.
Longer Answer: We all remember the scene where the kids triple-dog dare Flick to stick his tongue to a flagpole. He does it, but then gets it stuck and has to wait for the fire department to come to help him remove it. But why, exactly, does it get stuck?
From Life's Little Mysteries:
"Your tongue is covered with moisture, which begins to freeze if its temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body counteracts the freezing by pumping warm blood to your tongue.
Heat from your blood warms the moisture through a process called conduction. Heat energy from the blood excites atoms in your tongue. The atoms absorb energy and vibrate. The more they vibrate, the more their temperatures increase. This incites vibrations in neighboring atoms, which take the energy and pass it up the line like a hot potato and eventually warms the surface moisture.
As your tongue touches the flagpole, the moisture on your tongue is robbed of heat. The temperature of the moisture drops. Water freezes inside tiny pores and surface irregularities on your tongue and the pole. You're stuck."
That's not stopping kids from trying it at home. So, kids, if you do try it at home, you might want to expect this to happen ...
How to Remove Stuck Tongue from Flagpole: If you or someone you know still winds up getting their tongue stuck to a flagpole, then the best way to remove it is to pour warm water on the part where the tongue meets the pole.