ten random beliefs
When I was very young a friend of my mother would come to visit. Her leg had been amputated and when she would drink coffee I waited with great anticipation thinking that the coffee would drip out any minute.
When my sister was in grade 8 she had to do an essay on the effects of smoking. She did lots of research, and read somewhere that minors weren't allowed to buy cigarettes. When she read me her essay, she said: "Miners aren't allowed to buy cigarettes because if they smoked in the mines, they would suffocate and could cause an explosion." I almost peed my pants when I told her the truth. She's lucky I caught that, otherwise her teacher would have been very disraught.
We lived in a condo on the 3rd floor. I thought that our neighbors from the 4th floor did nothing 24/7 but holding our ceiling lamps. One day it occurred to me that we weren't holding anyone's lamps even though people on the 2nd floor probably had them too.
For many years I believed something my sister told me. She told me that in Paris a long time ago they never put mentally ill people in mental hospitals but just threw them into the river. Hence the mentally ill were called "In Seine", and that is the origin of our word "insane"
A friend of mine swears that he thought that the sign on cigarette machines reading "No sales to minors" was there because people who work in a mine weren't allowed to smoke, because all the gas down in the mines would blow up.
After thinking about it hard, my sister, aged about 6, asked, "Mummy, if people die standing up, can they use them again in shop windows?"
I thought that if I spent enough time, I could write the biggest number in the world. So I took a piece of chalk and wrote a 1, and then started following it with lots of zeros. (By the way, I was writing on the outside of my house, which didn't make my dad very happy!)
When I had written enough zeros, I proudly showed it to my Dad, who, after calming down from yelling at me about writing on the house, said, "Whatever number you write, I can write a bigger number." I said, "No you can't", and to prove me wrong he took the chalk and drew another zero. Then it dawned on me that there is no largest number!
This led to "infinity" matches with my sister. She would say something involving "infinity", and I would respond with "infinity times infinity" and she would retort with "infinity times infinity plus a googol" and so on ad infinitum!
I was a little boy when Elvis Presley died. When the news cam out that he had died of a heart attack, I did not know what that was, so I though he had died of a "hard attack."
I pictured Elvis getting killed in a swordfight with a bunch of bad guys.
I used to believe that any grown woman received the title of 'mom.' I didn't understand why my parents continued to shoot down my dreams of becoming, as I put it, "a mom with no kids."
My sister would always bring a lunch size bag of potato chips whenever we went to a department store. She didn't eat them herself, she would feed them to the mannequins. She believed that they came to life after the store was closed and they were relying on children to leave some food behind because adults did not know they were alive.