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Whenever the TV broadcasters had problems, a standard message would go up saying "technical difficulties, please stand by." I thought I had to get up and go stand by the TV. :-)
This was when I was very young and the BBC weather used to consist of a man walking by several maps and sticking pictures of clouds and suns to the map. Probably because adult world seemed aloof and bizarre, I used to imagine that the weather man was infact held inside a giant dome covered in weather maps, and he was doomed to spend an eternity in this empty twilight zone walking around his vast prison reading the weather.
When I was little my dad told me that the girl playing noughts and crosses with the clown doll on the Test Card was me [this was 30 odd years ago in the UK] and I thought it was me [she did look a lot like me], I couldn't figure out how they'd managed to film me playing noughts and crosses with a doll that I didn't own ...
I used to be scared of the BBC 2 logo, which was two brown parallel lines in a 2 shape, because I thought they were question marks. I didnt know the question and I didnt know the answer.
I used to believe that sattelite TV really was from a sattelite, I could never work out how they got all the people into space to make the shows.
For some reason, when I was very little, I thought that TV shows "stayed inside the TV" until it was turned on. When we watched TV, the shows were "leaking out." When I started going to school, I would come home in the afternoon, try to watch "Sesame Street" and find that it wasn't on. I then asked Mom not to watch TV while I was at school, as it "wasted" "Sesame Street."
For my 4th birthday my mum said I could have a party and I could invite anyone I wanted. The only person I wanted to come to my party was Robert Key, who was the ITN lunchtime news reader at the time. Apparently I threw a tantrum when told he wouldn't be able to attend. (We lived in a small town in Yorkshire at the time).
When I was around 8, I used to read the TV Guide very carefully in the hopes that SOMETHING good would come on the three channels we had. I would always come across this show called "To Be Announced". It seemed to come on a LOT, so it must have been important. I was convinced that since it came on late at night or really early on Sunday, it was a public affairs program, probably promoting Black pride ("To Be ANNOUNCED!", like "I am SOMEBODY!"). I tried to watch it a few times, but it was always a different show. When it finally dawned on me, I think it was the first "forehead slap" of my life.
Soap Opera's are Soaps that sing Opera to you while you take a bath. Right???
When I was little, I thought that the "viewer discretion is advised" warnings before television programs meant that you weren't supposed to talk about what you saw.
I was once very puzzled as to why TV weather reports would sometimes repeatedly say that the weather was "overcast". I thought they could reduce the problem by NOT repeating the reports so much. (I thought that "overcast" meant forecasted too much.)
One of my favorite TV shows was about a giant ball covered in lights that would be lowered onto the roof of a building while people below celebrated.
Every night I would ask my parents to let me stay up to watch it but usually they made me to to bed at 9:00, so I only got to see it perhaps once a year.
It wasn't until I was six that I figured out that the "ball dropping show" only came on once a year on New Year's Eve, explaining why I was allowed up until midnight to see it.
I loved game shows as a kid but I could never figure out what they meant by "constellation prizes." I thought those sounded way better than any car or money but they always went to the losers. Now when I hear "consolation prize" I get a little sad that they aren't getting a group of stars.
When I was a kid, I used to believe that the President chose the weather forcast and called the poeple on TV to tell them his choice, if it was going to rain or not. That's how the weather girls knew what it was going to be like tomorrow.
That's what the President was for. I couldn't find any other reason for his existence. I guess I've very been very good at science... or politics ;)
When I was little an aunt told me I was so cute I should do tv commecials but I said no because I didn't want to be forced to go to the tv station to do the same 30 seconds of acting over and over and over again... (I thought tv commercials were live)
I used to believe that every day tiny little people, with tiny suits and breifcases and costumes, came to my house to work in the TV.
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, my dad once told me that the 'Emergency Test' on the TV meant that the TV was going to blow up. A week after he told me that I was at my grandmothers and the "test Beep" came on tv and i ran around my grandmothers house screaming "The TV is going to blow up!"
On soap operas, they would show a couple kissing, then cut to commercial, then when they returned to the scene, they were in the bed "after," but I always thought that they just took a nap after kissing.
When visiting my relatives in Norfolk many years ago they had a new Colour TV. The picture was really fuzzy. I complained to my dad who told me that people in Norfolk had different eyes and to them it was a perefect picture!!
When I was young (1980s), and violent or sexual programming was advertised on television with the disclaimer, "Parental Discretion Advised," I thought the TV announcer was actually saying "Friendly Discussion Advised."
It made sense to me because I thought the extreme nature of these programs would make people feel scared and leave them with a need to reassure each other.