A Very Cervical January

Dear Millicent,

Just as I was absolutely wondering about the origins of Flying Fish, I bet you were wondering about Cervical Health Awareness Month, which turns out to be right now.  Here’s an interesting cervical fact from Our Bodies, Ourselves: when local anesthesia is injected into the cervix, a possible side effect is a numbness of the lips and tongue.

Do you remember the 1998 Drew Barrymore Luke Wilson movie Home Fries? It’s an insane movie, Shakespearean in plot,  and one that I loved in high school.  It’s all up on Youtube. One of the oddest moments is when they make a birth education class, with all its huffing, puffing, and caressing, into a scene fraught with sexual tension. I can’t find the right clip, but I distinctly remember a scene were the couple kisses (complicated by the fact that Wilson is the baby’s daddy’s stepson), after which a very pregnant Barrymore happily proclaims that an open mouth is an open vagina. Shocking stuff in 1998–well, even the word vagina uttered on a screen was shocking to me then.  And now, we know that a numb cervix is a numb mouth.  Happy Cervical Awareness Month!


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