Back when I was a child, in the Dark Ages, it was said that one should not go swimming within an hour of eating.
We just accepted that those violating this rule ran the risk of fatal cramping. It was a chance many of us gladly took. Summer doesn't last forever, after all. Who's got that kind of time?
The one-hour admonition, though well intended, was maddeningly imprecise. It left unanswered multiple questions.
For instance, did it make a difference if you had consumed a six-course dinner or nibbled on a snack? Still one hour, either way?
No one really knew.
Adding to the confusion was my Catholic upbringing. I don't think that it had come down from the church hierarchy. But somewhere along the line my papist peers and I got it into our heads that you weren't supposed to receive Holy Communion within three hours of eating or within one hour of consuming a beverage. That posed immediate practical problems for those of us who wanted to fortify ourselves with a hearty breakfast before daydreaming through Mass.
And the beverage ban was hopelessly vague. Did that apply to both water and orange juice with a lot of pulp?
Once again, these dictates were widely ignored. To the best of my knowledge, God never responded with a bolt of lightning.
My older sister complained about cramps after church one time, but I was too young to have any idea what that was all about. I just figured that, in summertime, you were taking your chances just about any time you had something to eat.