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in the street

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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.

HermitCrab
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I used to believe the lines in the road were just decals that could be peeled off. Nearly rubbed a finger raw trying to peel one off one day.

Lowell
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When I was little, I was that kid, the one asking all the endless, annoying questions. One day, I was inclined to ask my mom what in the world was beneath the streets. I mean there’sdirt under grass and every kid knows if you dig long enough through that you'll hit China, but what happens if you dig up the roads? So I posed this question to my mother who replied that there was water beneath the pavement. She failed to elaborate on this point with a statement such as “There are big man-made metal pipes with water in them in order to provide citizens access to running water” so I was convinced that there were oceans under the roads. Oceans. And what do oceans have in them? Freaking SHARKS, that’s what. For half of my childhood, I was convinced that if there ever was a problem with the roads or an earthquake tore up the surface or something, it would open up to these Hellish oceans, and we would all drown in a deep sea of marine life and be eaten by sharks.

Sarah
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I used to believe at Christmas God rearranged all the streets to spell 'Merry Christmas'. When we were driving I'd look at the street lights and try and work out what part of which letter we were on

anon
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The concept of moving was very limited to me when I was about 5 or so. I didnt realize people lived in apartments or kids moved away from home or new houses were built! So when we talked about moving to a new house, I thought that meant everyone in the world had to move, like the giant shifting of a long line, so all the houses were still occupied only by different people. It frightened me to think that we were so instumental in the world's housing crisis. I felt guilty and didnt want to be the one to tell the world that everyone had to move...again.

Candy
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As a young child I noticed all around as we drove through town "pedestrian" crossings. At the time we attended a Presbyterian church and I thought they said "Presbyterian" crossings. It made me wonder where the Catholics could cross the street.

Nancy
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When I was really young I was very interested in other cultures. One day I was driving with my mom and saw a big sign that said "Exotic Dancers" and had all these pictures of beautiful women wearing weird costumes. I got really excited and wanted to go because I thought they were performing traditional foreign dances in exotic-looking clothing. I was crushed when she told me what was really going on - my idea sounded so much more interesting!

Barbara
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I used to believe that cats eyes in the road were real cats eyes that had been collected by some mad street cat catcher (think child catcher Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).

nat
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I used to believe that the lines down the middle of the road were painted on by someone leaning out the passenger side window of a car. I just assumed you had to have a really steady hand and long arms to get hired for the job.

Brittany
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I used to believe that you get your taxes done at the taxidermist.

Krissy
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My parents used to always say "Stop yelling, the neighbors will hear you!" I thought that "the neighbors" were a quartet of male singers

Terry
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When I was little I liked to put up the red flag on the side of a mailbox (I was easily amused), until one day my dad told me that if I put up the little red flag again the mailbox would explode. After that, every time one of my parents would put it up I would scream and run away.

Brittany
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Where there are building sites there are often big signs saying 'plant crossing' - for years I looked for trees, bushes, flowers to cross the road but it never happened....

Carol
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When I was little I loved playing in the park near my house, but when it was time to go home I never wanted to leave, so my mother told me that the park was going to close. When I heard that I pictured a giant glass dome falling from the sky trapping kids who stayed in the park for too long for eternity. I would run for my life when she told me the park was closing!

Jasmin and Ayesha B.
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When I was younger I used to believe that a menstrual cycle was raleighs answer to Clive Sinclair C5 Electric trike.

Paul Hilton
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My birthday is June 14th. Here in the US that is also flag day. Growing up on my birthday everyone would put out their flags on their houses, cars or whatever. My parents told me they did that because it was my birthday. Until I was 10 I believed them

Mike D
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When in large traffic jams when I was a child (around 3 or 4), I used to wonder what was at the FRONT of the line of cars. I decided it must be someone important and was fully convinced that it was Abraham Lincoln. I don't think I realized what 'dead' means.

Sarah Kie
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I used to believe that the dark, trench-coated, hat-wearing figure with slanted glowing eyes on “Neighborhood Watch” signs was actually a member of the neighborhood watch. I envisioned him as a stealthy crime-fighter, cloaked in black and sneaking around the neighborhood after sunset to keep an eye out for criminals. I assumed his picture was on the signs as a deterrent so burglars would know he was watching from the shadows with his piercing white eyes, waiting to pounce the moment they broke the law. I also deduced that each neighborhood had their own “Watcher” since the signs were everywhere. At some point it occurred to me that the drawing was actually the caricature of a thief – the kind of people the neighborhood was watching out for rather than a neighborhood superhero.

R.J.B.
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I used to think that the cat's eyes on the road were actually real cat's eyes.I thought that they were there to keep you driving on the right side of the road as they would get sqashed and be really yucky if you ran over them.

Lisa R
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I used to think that if you wanted to rent a Uhaul moving van, you had to use a van that had the name of the state you were moving to on the side (all of the vans feature a random U.S. state), and if they didn't have the state you wanted, you either had to pick another one or wait until somebody from that state moved to where you lived so that a van from the right state would be there. I even thought there a waiting list for popular states.

Kathy
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