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I used to think that there was a highly complex underground tube system that connected public mailboxes around the world - once you popped your letter into the mailbox, the underground system would figure out where it's going and pop it out on the other end.
I thought the mail man was only for private, home mails only...
When my neighborhood friend from New York moved to Florida, I expected my new neighbors moving into the house to be from Florida as I was sure they were exchanging houses. I had no concept about buying and selling and I assumed it was just a trade. When I found out the new neighbors were from across town, I was very concerned about what happened to the poor family from Florida.
When I was 2 or 3 I used to believe that, when you mailed a letter, it went down a chute under the mailbox and was somehow (pneumatically?) whisked into your mailbox at home. When walking along the street with my mother, I used to peer under mailboxes, looking for the chute.
I thought the painted white lines of a crosswalk were meant to lift you up a little higher so cars could see you.
i used to think next door neighbors were "next store neighbors"
When I was little, I assumed that gas stations had to be built over underground gasoline deposits (naturally, because gas comes from the ground, into the pumps). So when they knocked down the FoodTown by my house and built a gas station in its place, i could only wonder why they didnt just build an Exxon to begin with.
when i was younger everytime we went to the parade we would stand on the sidewalk and wait, so i thought that on any given day if you stood on the sidewalk for long enough a parade would come.
I used to think that the traffic signs saying, "No Parking, $5 Fine," meant no parking unless you paid $5. Then it was fine.
I moved houses for the first time when I was four and I strongly believed that you traded houses with someone else. I realized it was a lot more complicated than this when we were at the buyer of our house's current house and I told my parents I didn't like their house so we couldn't trade with them.
the numbering in our street when I was young went even down one side and odd numbers down the other,So i lived at number 3 and my friend lived next door at number 5,we used to think that number 4 was demolished because somone was murdered there...no amount of digging turned up any eveidence though.
you know those bags of sand used to hold down the construction horses? well, for some reason i always thought they were filled with poop, not sand. they had that lumpiness to them. i wondered, how do they get the poop in there? does someone hold the bag under their butt when they go poop?
When I was a young child I used to believe that the cats eyes in the middle of the road were actually lights operated by a man in an underground room beneath the road who switched them on and off whenever traffic drove along the road. I never worked out how he knew the traffic was there so he had to switch them on.
My younger brother and his friends used to believe that the yellow boxes with flashing amber lights on top of them used in construction sites were tv cameras. They spent hours dancing and singing in front of them.
The first time I ever saw the Rose Parade on TV the announcer said something like "the floats are all made entirely of flowers." I took him literally. I did not understand that they were DECORATED entirely with flowers. So I wondered for several years thereafter, how the floats were able to move under their own power -- how, in other words, one could build a working engine, tires, and all the rest, entirely out of flowers!
All the mothers in our neighborhood tried to prevent us from playing in the open irrigation ditch near the main road by telling us that dogs peed in the ditch. Somehow, this was supposed to induce an eeeuuuuw reaction in us.
No, it didn't work. Never had a chance of working with little boys.
As a kid I once asked an adult how all the streetlights knew when to turn on and off. I was told that they were all linked to a clock.
I immediateley imagined each streetlight as having an alarm clock inside it (like the old style bell & hammer ticking ones). But I was told they were all linked to the same clock.
I therefore thought that every streetlight was physically coming out of a MASSIVE alarm clock underground inside the earth, big enough for every streetlight in the world to come out of.
I believed that all houses came equipped with power, water, and phones.
I believed that families lived in houses, and single people lived in apartments.
I thought that they built gas stations on top of where the oil deposits were in the ground. That's why the gas stations in my neighborhood were all clustered on corners of the same intersection.
When the big gas trucks would come along, they were filling up their tanker from the gas that was in the ground to take it somewhere else.
Also, when a gas station went out of business, it was because the finished sucking the gas out of the ground so they had to move somewhere else.
I used to think that if there was a Dr on a street sign, that meant a doctor lived there.
I used to believe that 'Sky Scrapers' were big rakes on pivots, that swayed in a smooth side-to-side motion scraping the clouds.
I have since found out (1980ish) they are just tawdry, vacuous, boring old buildings and in more recent times... Sadly.. suitable targets for terrorist attack..!!
Innocents is bliss