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When I was about 4 years old my mother said that I would learn how to read when I went to school. I was scared I'd get sent to jail because I already knew how to read.
We would drive by UNION BANK here in California and I would say "Onion bank!" My Mom would bust up laughing.
I believed that all of the fiction that I read were real in some parallel universe. That when things happened, they set up echoes or waves that could travel between the universes, and that some people could hear these waves and would write them down, and that this is how authors worked. I always wished I could live a more exciting life, in case anyone was reading about me. I believed that people like Benjamin Bathurst, the man who walked around the horses, had found a place where the boundaries between the universes were thin, and he got to go to another universe. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what such a thin place might look like, because I wanted to go to the universes where of Oz and Narnia and Star Trek.
My mum's aunt gave her daughter a copy of Jackie magazine. She refused to read it as her name was not Jackie.
When I was young my uncle had a big book of the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe. It had the name "Poe" on the spine in huge letters. Inside it had both short stories and poems. Once I saw this I assumed that Poe had invented poetry and people had named it after him.
When I visited the public library as a little kid, I assumed most of the books in the grown-up section were filled with pictures of people "doing it".
I used to beleive that all books were coloring books, but some of them --dictionaries for instance -- just weren't as much fun to color as other books were.
I thought, in kindergarden, in order to read a book you had to read the page then turn it around and wave it back and forth. Little did I know the teacher was just showing us the pictures and it was not required if you were reading to your self.
When I was on vacation, we drove past a bookstore, and I read the sign(silently), but accidentally left out a letter. It was a Christian bookstore, which it also said on the sign. I only thought 'That's an unusual name for a store.' Fortunately we drove past it again, because we had gotten lost, as usual, and this time I was able to see that the name also included the letter 'I'.
The name of the store was 'Arise'.
When I was young I was really baffled by those signs with a map and 'you are here' on them. I had I kind of mental block, that I just could not figure out how a sign knew where I was. When I asked people they just laughed at me so I came to the conclusion that all 'You are Here' signs were personally erected for me to track my progress through the world. Narcissus complex or what?!
When I was about 6, I had to take CCD. Well, we were reading about the Pope. Unfortunately, I didn't know the word "Pope" so when I had to read our book out loud in class, I read it as "the holy Poop." Needless to say, I was VERY quickly corrected, and I never made that mistake again!
I used to think that "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea" was a story about an awful lot of sports being played under the sea, since there were 20,000 leagues there, in the story.
Shortly after I learned to read, I noticed all of these banners hanging in front of banks. They all advertised "Free Checking". However, I thought they all said "Free Chicken".
I was so confused as to why banks would hand out free chicken to their customers. My mom occasionally left us 3 kids in the car while she would run into the bank to make a quick deposit. I would get so mad, because I just knew that she was in there eating the free chicken and she never brought us any.
(she did, however, bring us dum-dum suckers)
In elementary school we had to arrange lists of words in alphabetical order. I thought you did this by asigning a certain "alphabetical value" to each letter, with A having the highest value, then B and so on. Things got complicated because the value was effected by the letters position in the sentence, with the higher values at the beginning. Thus, you would need to look at each letter and average its value depending on these components. According to this system the word BAAAA would be arranged before AZZZZ because the second word had so many Z's, which lowered the value. This system demanded that I write out each letter in the alphabet and also write it's numerical value above it, then develop some kind of formula to figure out a word's whole value. I failed many, many tests at this point.
One time in Elementary school I was playing ball against the wall and got hit in the eye with a tennis ball. My mom had taken me to the doctor's and he put me in front of an eye chart and asked me to read what was in front of me. He started at the smallest row, I couldn't read anything. As he moved up I kept telling him I couldn't read what was on the line. My mom started to get nervous. My doctor then said "Can't you see any of the letters?" in which I replied "I can read them but I don't know what they're spelling!" (Hey, i was young, no one told me I was supose to say each letter out loud - I thought a worrd was being spelled!)
When I was a kid in New Hampshire, I used to believe that the state motto (which was on all the license plats), "Live Free or Die" was not a statement of resolve, but an enforced requirement. I spent some time concerned that I might not be living free enough.
I used to tell Mom "Don't Use That Stuff!" -- I believed the label said "Monsterizing Cream", when in reality it was "MOISTURIZING Cream".
I used to believe that Alice in Wonderland's older sister was named "Read," because Alice had to sit and listen to her sister, Read.
When I walked to kindergarten, I passed a building with a sign that said "Office"
I firmly believed that the office had a floor of ice, and that the sign was a warning to stay off of that ice!
There was also a sign that said "Notice" and I believed that the sign told you there was no more ice.
I thought the bass and tremble knob on the car radio said bass and terrible and I always wondered why would anyone set it to that if it sounded terrible