I would like to take a few minutes to analyze the ongoing use of the term ‘goose bumps’. Alternately, there are certain portions of the country that refer to them in their ‘that portion of the country’  endearing manner as ‘goose pimples’, ‘goosies’, ‘lizards warts’, ‘duck humps’, ‘freezer burn’, or even ‘swan moles’. I’m personally fond of ‘duck humps’ for obvious reasons – although you’ll agree that you’ve never heard that since I just made it up.

According to the Belgian scientist Dr. Surch DuhWebb:

The term goose bumps (also known as pilomotor reflex) was coined in 1859. However, it wasn’t always called goose bumps. In the early 1800s, it was goose-flesh; in 1761, goose-skin; in 1744, goose’s skin; and hen-flesh in 15th century. Apparently, when we get the reflex, our skin resembles the skin of a plucked goose.  

There. You’ve already learned something today that you can pass down to your children.

My analysis here isn’t really of where the term originated, however. My question to you, the reading public, is why do people have to call it out when they get them? They feel they need to announce the appearance of these strange markings on their flesh to apparently display that they are not a lifeless cadaver (as opposed to a living cadaver). I’ll give you two examples that just pop into my head:

When Jennifer Lopez was a judge on American Idol, and a singing performance was REALLY good (in her opinion of course – not in the opinion of 98.5% of the rest of the human population) she would exclaim “Ohhhhh….I got goosies….” If it was in the MIDDLE of a performance she would rub her arm in a strange manner and then show it to the other judges – displaying the proof of her performance approval.

The other example that occurred to me was in some ghost hunter shows now when they are experiencing apparent paranormal phenomena – they will often say that they have goose bumps (in addition to the infamous hair on the arm standing up) that is apparent proof to them of the existence of a spirit in their presence. Not one of them has ever said they have goose bumps simply because of a cool breeze coming through the abandoned jail cell in the middle of the night. Nope. Must be Al Capone coming back to scare a little kid.

The simple fact is that I don’t care what type of skin reaction you are having. You don’t announce rashes (thankfully), sweating(hopefully), or itching. Well, I take that back, if you have an itch in the inside of your nostril you are contractually obligated to point out that you have an itch in the inside of your nostril – otherwise people will take you for a heathen when you shove your finger halfway to your brain. So in the future, please keep all skin conditions to yourself.

I, and the people around me, would be very thankful.

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