Crooked Mouth

EA is a student at USC majoring in Creative Writing. She is also a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] working at the front desk. This story comes from her Mexican heritage.



Transcribed from Audio Recording:



I’ve heard um oh I told my friend two days ago and he started laughing at me. But my mom and my grandma would always tell me like, “Y si comes like y luego te bañas o te metes a la alberca o whatever like se te… la boca se te hace chueca.” [and if like…and then you shower or go in the pool or whatever, like it…your mouth gets crooked.] I’m so serious and like to this day I, I shower first and then eat. If I come home late I would shower first and then I’ll eat even if I’m starving ‘cause I don’t wanna like eat then shower and come out with this mouth over here but I guess, I didn’t, I never thought about the logistics of how does that happen, but uh I was always scared of that.


While I have heard that you will get cramps if you go into the pool soon after eating, this is a new take. The reason for the crookening of the mouth may be that the mouth is a symbol of intake. It could be that the water is seen as trying to cleanse something of the body and the extraction has damaged the jaw. It is a harsher punishment for not following a rule.