in the street
When I was about 4, a woman used to ride past our window on a moped on her way to work every morning in an anorak and crash helmet. For some unexplicable reason, I thought she was Princess Anne riding her horse. Wierder still, I thought she was called "Princess Hand".
I used to believe that a stranger was a man with an X on his coat
I used to believe that fire trucks carried all the water they used to put out fires in the back of their trucks, so if they ran out of water, another fire truck would have to come.
As embarrassing as it is (i'm 19), I only found out yesterday that they connected their trucks to a water supply underground.
you know how sidewalks have the main squares and then the little three-inch borders next to the street? when i was 5 i thought that we walked on the people sidewalk and that that was the birdie sidewalk.
You know how 4-lane roads have the three strips in the middle? I used to think that the wide strips were roads for invisible mice and the spaces between the strips were roads for invisible cats, I was really obsessed with small furry animals in those days.
When I was a kid there was a Unisex hairdressers down the road and I used to wonder what a "Unisex" was. In the end I decided it was some sort of being, not male, not female, that had to go to a special place to get their haircut. One day I rode my bike past the window and peered in hoping to see one of these freaks. Instead I crashed my bike into the back of the hairdressers car and smashed her brake light: and while I lay sprawled on the ground all of the people from the hairdressers came out to pick me up and explain what Unisex actually meant.
My dad was in the Navy all throughout my childhood so was away quite a lot. When me and my sister would write letters and my mum would take us to the post box, my sister thought he lived inside it and would try to shout things to him through the slot.
In Sydney, Australia, when I was about 4 or 5, whenever any road construction works started, the workers would always put a sign up a few hundred metres in front of the area to warn people which said "NEW WORK AHEAD". I'd just learned to read and always thought the sign read "NEW YORK AHEAD". Hence, I was very excited whenever I saw this sign because I'd be getting to see the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building etc, because I knew about New York from televesion. Of course I never got to see any of these things. I'd always think it was because my mother had turned off before the road to New York and comforted myself with a "maybe next time".
When I was growing up, we would pass what I had assumed to be a playground for adults everyday on the way to my preschool. They looked like so much fun, and I couldn't wait until the day I was old enough to play on these upscale jungle gyms. It wasn't until I was about seven that my mother crushed my dreams by informing me that these were not playgrounds, but instead electrical substations.
When I was about 5 I used to beleive the cracks in the sidewalks were cuts, so I would put all the bandaids I could find on them so they could heal.
I used to think that signs which said "To Let" actually said Toilet, but the letter "I" was missing.
I used to believe there was a man who sat in a room surrounded by light switches and when it got dark he would turn all of the street lights on one by one.
As a child, I had some very strange ideas about the world, traffic crossing poles in particular. You know how when you want to cross the street, you press the button on the pole, right? My mom always told me that pressing it multiple times wouldn't make it go faster, but still I saw people doing so every day. So, I came to the conclusion that somewhere there was a big office that tracked every time each individual traffic crossing button was pressed, and produce a 'beep' noise. I thought to myself, "Gee, what a boring job," so I often pressed it to the beat of a catchy tune, so that it would 'beep' the same tune to the office workers and make their day more interesting.
I used to believe that a topless bar was like a bar which has no roof on it.
I used to think that the Bookmakers made books but could not understand why there were so many of them and they all seemed to have stained glass windows of horses. I was 18 before I found out it was a betting agents and that Scotland wasn't some great Literary Capital of the world.
My brother used to believe that the handicapped parking spaces were spots that you could squat to go to the bathroom if you couldn't hold it long enough to get into the building. He thought the handicapped symbol looked like a person on a toilet.
When I was younger I used to believe that the sparkly sidewalks, instead of having something added to the concrete to make them sparkly, was actually millions of tiny ant paparazzi. I would hide my face as I walked over it.
I used to believe that the reason I had to hold my Mom's hand while crossing the street was that so if my Mom got hit by a car, she could drag me down under the car, too. I was a strange child.
As a small child I saw turf on the back of a truck going down the road. I asked my dad what it was and he told me that rich people sent their grass away to be mowed and the turf on the truck was the grass being taken back to their mansions! I believed this until I was about 12 when I asked a wealthy friend whether they did this...
Approximately from 3rd to 4th grade, I suspected some sort of secret society existed in the area where I lived. I gradually began to notice that large groups of people, such as in a restaurant or crowded streets, they would occasionally signal each other.
If you were in such a crowd long enough, you might hear a tiny electronic *beep*, sometimes it might a double *beep-beep*. A few minutes later, a beep answers from somewhere else. These little beeps are hard to localize so you can't really tell who its coming from. This signaling would slowing build up, then fade away. I didn't think they were exchanging information, more of a "I'm here, too" reassurance to each other.
I couldn't figure out who these people were or what their organization was about; the groups of people that signaled each other seemed random and there were no other clues i could discern.
Later I realized it was digital watches beeping on the hour.