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Logic 101: Gravity, radio, and library books

When I was a little kid I believed we lived inside the earth, along with the sun and the sky and so on. Gravity kept us from falling all the way through the sky to China. I was disabused of this notion (quite mercilessly, as I recall) when I put my hand up in class one day and asked how rockets penetrate the earth’s crust.

I believed that every time I heard a song on the radio, the musician or band was actually at the radio station at that moment, playing that song.

I believed that people with full-time jobs worked 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I couldn’t figure out how they managed to keep going without any sleep.

I believed that returning books to the library late was illegal; that’s why you got fined. I was so frightened the first time I brought a library book back late. I was eight. The book was a day late. The fine was a nickel. I was so relieved when the librarian took my nickel and smiled and that was the end of it: I wasn’t in trouble. She didn’t call the police or my mom.

I believed that adults were always right. Always. Without exception. Every single adult was always right, by virtue of the fact that they were adults. This caused me some confusion when adults disagreed, which in turn led to me having to establish a hierarchy of adults in case of conflict. My mom was at the top.

Those are some of the things I believed when I was a little kid. What did you believe when you were a little kid?


31 comments to Logic 101: Gravity, radio, and library books

  • I believed that although people spoke other languages, they had to translate the languages into English in order to actually understand the other person.

    I also believed that if I didn’t run up the basement stairs, basement monsters would suck me back down into the basement.

  • Deb

    I believed that the big sump hole in my grandfather’s basement would suck me in, if I got too close. I was positive that street car rails had live power to them and you had to step over them. I was sure that when I turned 15 that my mother would tell me every single thing that she had said “I’ll explain it to you (or tell you) when you are fifteen…I couldn’t remember any of the questions by the time I finally reached the golden age.

  • I believed that eating raw hotdogs would give you appendicitis. My older brother was rushed to the emergency room in the middle of the night after he ate a raw hotdog straight out of the fridge. To this day, I still refuse to eat uncooked hotdogs.

    I also believed that there was a poop monster in the toilet who lived off of poop. I wouldn’t poo outside the house because I thought that if I didn’t save my poo for the poo monster at home he’d get angry and come out to eat us.

  • In kindergarten I used to believe that once you started school, you were in school forever. The idea that there was an “end” to school was unthinkable. When a boy in my Grade 1 class finally told me that the maximum was Grade 12, I was pretty shocked.

    I guess I figured my mom and dad just never had any schooling!

  • Woodsy

    I believed that every city had it’s own moon…

    I believed everyone died except my family…

    I believed in the giant squids reported by ancient sailors, even though the books and my parents told me it was just a myth (HA! I was right!)

    I believed you could only have babies if you were married…

    I believed that if a boy kissed you, he was in love with you…

    I believed my teachers when they told me that when I was a grown-up , I would live in a paper-less society…

    I believed my mother when she told me that the ocean was salted by salt shakers that beach workers put out on the beach every night to go out with the tide, and that came back empty with the incoming tide in the morning to be refilled again that night…

    I could go on… but you wouldn’t believe me…

  • Linda Anne

    I believed that babies popped out of your stomach via your belly button. After the birth it just snapped shut.

    I believed that when we went on the bus or street car that our ticket told the driver where we wanted to go and he took us there.

    I believed in basement monsters and that there were monsters under the bed that would get me if I hung my leg outside the bed.

  • I believed that towels would dry faster if you hung them back up pattern out.

  • I thought everyone had their own private vacation spot called my ami. And your vacation spot would be your ami, etc. because we went on vacation to Miami.

  • Patti

    I believed that a face-lift meant that one face was peeled away to reveal the next face underneath..getting a face-lift meant taking your chances on a better face.

  • Arden

    I too believed in the monsters under the bed/behind me on stairs, and underneath open backed stairs. But then again, I actually had them (at least for the bed and open backed stairs). They were called cats. I remember one cat especially that used to love feet, whom my father got when I was around 6. I used to have to take flying leaps to and from the bed, and going to the bathroom at night was terrifying.

    I believed in monsters in the closet, that mother used to order to march out of my bedroom every night.

    I didn’t believe them when they told me I wouldn’t keep sinking lower with my life-jacket on in the water! I nearly drowned my stepmother a couple of times, due to that lack of faith!

  • Bonnie

    I thought when people were talking about “rabid foxes” they were saying “rabbit foxes” so I thought there was this strange animal in the area that was part rabbit, part fox. I was terrified to walk to school incase I encountered a rabbit fox!!

  • I believed that divorce was hereditary because my grandmother and my mother were both divorced. I was afraid I would have to get divorced, too. (I’ve been married for 27 years)

    I believed that if I sat still bees would leave me alone. Wrong. I am allergic and now I believe they know that and can pick me out of a crowd.

  • Helen

    I believed that when people were put in custody it meant that they had to swim round in a big bowl of custard until they were released.

    I thought that if I hummed with my mouth closed, nobody would be able to hear me humming, as the sound would be contained within my head. Alas, this turned out not to be the case…

  • Ellen

    I believed if you ate uncooked noodles, you would get worms. After all egg noodles are made from worm eggs, right? Also, raw flour, another good source of worms! Not sure what the obsession with worms was.

  • Rita

    OK here goes…When we were kids we were never allowed to let our dog out if she was in heat..So when our parents went out and the male dog’s lined up in the driveway we would pick which dog we liked best and let them mate.. Well once we got the dogs stuck
    together( for a long time) we were really scared we’d be sure to get caught this time!!
    Our dog had 12 puppies that time & from then on I beleived the longer you did it the more babies you had.
    My dog had 48 pups in her life time..The poor dog!!!
    We were brats

  • I used to believe that your heart lived in your ribcage, like a bird lived in a bird cage, and that it just sat there beating away… Until I realised one day that we had lungs in there too…

  • XUP

    I believed that criminals didn’t know they were doing anything wrong because who would do something bad on purpose? So I didn’t think it was fair to send them to jail and that they should just be told that they were doing something bad and then they wouldn’t do it anymore. I was obsessed with the whole idea of crime and criminals for a long, long time as a kid. I don’t know why.

  • The human body is a bag of blood. No arteries or veins. If you cut yourself you better get a bandaid on it quick or all your blood will leak out and you’ll die.

  • The inside the earth thing must be a family trait. I thought our atmosphere was like a big plastic bubble because they had to time space launches for “a window”. So obviously there were openings but the earth spun around inside the bubble and we had to wait for “the launch window”.

    I still kinda think that and the hole in the ozone layer seems an awful lot like a window doesn’t it? Nice if we could end global warming by just rolling down “the window” huh?

    I thought if you shovelled snow you could make spring come faster.

    I thought that when they talked on the news about guerrilla attacks in south and central america they meant gorillas were attacking and I didn’t know why anyone would want to give giant apes guns.

    I thought if you broke any law whatsoever you’d go to jail.

    Thanks to MAD magazine I thought if you ripped off a bandaid really quick you’d pull off huge gaping chunks of flesh where the sticky part of the bandaid was.

    Thanks to the children’s books mom brought home from university I thought kids who lived in the inner city had happening exotic interesting lives and I was being horribly abused by being a white kid in the country! Cabbagetown held a very special appeal.

    I thought (and still do) that if you open your eyes under water in a lake you’ll enrage the fish and they’ll bite you.

    I thought triffids were real plants.

    I was sure by now we’d be over run with killer bees and army ants.

    I went through a disturbingly long phase where I believed I was part of an experiment and there were microphones in my buttons.

  • Ola

    I used to believe in many strange things, usually shared by my kid brother.One belirf is still quite vivid, maybe because I’d still love it to be true.
    Until six or seven, I used to believe that everyone lived in two parallel worlds, one “here”, and one we moved to while falling asleep, strange and mysterious, and it was forbidden to mention one while being in the other. The “awake” world was temporary, the “sleep” one was permanent. I stopped believing it when I stopped remembering all my dreams vividly enough, but I still miss it a lot.

  • A church one. The reading of the 10 commandments, each one followed by “Lord have mercy upon us and incline our hearts to keep this law.” I thought it was “Lord have mercy upon us and incline our hearts to eat this (cole) slaw.” I f-ing hated cole slaw at the time.

  • Linda

    Wha..? I can’t remember any childhood beliefs!
    I feel deprived!

    All I can think of is that my grandmother used to say
    “use elbowgrease on it” and I had no idea what that meant.
    It made me imagine all kinds of wild things…

  • I used to believe that the Devil was a real, solid being and could and would appear at then end of my bed at night to drag me off to hell (thank you grandma).

    I used to believe that people who threw parties would put evil things in the punch that made you jump out of windows and die (thanks again grandma). I refused to eat or drink at birthday parties because of this. People thought I was weird. This does not surprise me. Never tell a 5 year old child things like that when they don’t even understand the concept of drugs.

    I, too, was convinced that railroad tracks were live with electricity and you would fry if you touched them.

  • Kate

    These are great!

    My mother used to call dragonflies “darning needles”…Darning needles would fly up and sew up the mouths of little children who talked too much. A difficult thing for a child they used to call “chatty Kathy”. It took me a while to be able to appreciate how beautiful dragonflies are…

    Also, if you cry outside in the winter, you face WILL freeze like that…

  • Ha ha ha! I believed guerrilla warfare involved armed gorillas too.

  • Yes, I believed the gorilla thing, too!

  • Alicia

    I too believed in babies coming out of belly buttons and faces freezing when crying in the winter.

    I believed that aliens would one day kidnap me from my bed (thanks dad for all those sci fi movies!)

    I also had trouble understanding getting change when you give someone money. We had a garage sale once and I almost flipped when I saw someone give my parents money and they gave them money back but the person took away our stuff. That made no sense! The person got our stuff AND money? No fair!!! [I think that was kindegarden, before I understood different denominations of money and the concept of subtraction]

  • I believed that my dolls would protect me at night if a burgler came into our house! I would line them up in front of my doorway & knew that as soon as I shut my eyes & fell asleep, they were on guard!

  • I love these too!

    I believed that women just automatically got pregnant and that there was nothing they could do to make it happen or not…

  • I believed we live inside the earth too! When someone eventually set me straight I started to picture little people standing around the earth, and I still didn’t really GET that thing called gravity.

    I believed that when the next ice age comes we would have to run for the equator with a big, mile-high wall of ice chasing us. I just hoped the glacier wouldn’t make it as far as the equator.

    You know that geological clock thing where they say that humans appeared around five minutes to midnight? I always thought midnight was the end of the earth, and we were mere seconds away from total destruction.

    I believed my brother when he told me that I spider had bitten him and laid her eggs inside him and now he had baby spiders running around inside his veins. They tickled.