I Used To Believe newsletter: February 2014
Happy Chinese New Year! This month we have beliefs about road signs - "suggested" one way systems, photo zones and the slightly scary idea of police fishing lines. It's a good job the kid who came up with the last one hadn't heard of dragnets!
I thought a second wasn't a set amount of time but just the shortest time you could say something in. For example, I would count to 10 as fast as I could and would think that was 10 seconds
I was told that if you fell asleep with gum in your mouth you'd wake up with gum in your hair. That much makes sense. But I thought it was because the gum would absorb through your head and come out through your scalp into your hair.
My mum told me that black fruit pastilles or really any black jelly sweet were deadly to children and that I should give her them if I found them in my packet. It was many years before I found out that in fact they are her favourite so she told me that to get them all.
When I was in 3rd grade I watched some cartoon where they mentioned Einstein and how he was a genius and came up with E=mc˛. It gave me an idea. One day when school was about to end, I took a blank piece of paper and in BIG letters wrote on it " E=mc˛ ". I signed my name underneath, left the sheet in the middle of my desk, and when the bell rung I went home. My hope was that my teacher would find it, would think I was a genius just like Einstein, and would advance me forward a couple grades! Needless to say my plan didn't quite work out :P
I thought braces were made out of precious metals and that's why they were so expensive!
I used to believe that sleeveless shirts were called I shirts instead of T shirts because the sleeves of T shirts made the T and the lack of sleeves made an I.
Before I could read, I used to believe Pringles were called 'Man Chips' because of the cartoon male face that was on the logo.
As a child and early teenager I always thought the One Way traffic signs were suggestions, like, "here is one way you can go," instead of, "this is the only way traffic is flowing."
I used to believe when I was 6, that when I was older, I would grow a third arm from my stomach, because I thought that at some point my body would realise that, at times, like anyone, I needed to carry more things than I could with two arms, and since there was a demand, in my mind, for a third arm, evolution would grow me another! The only logical place I could find for it was my stomach since it would be the easiest place to have one to carry things, like a lopsided claw machine! I also believed that every time I had a stomach ache, it was a sign that my revolutionary third arm was growing!
I used to think that police officers were like fisherman. Due to the fact that my father always used the term "pulled over", I thought cops sat at the side of the road with a fishing pole and pointed out cars to each other asking each other their opinions about pulling over that car, "hey what about that green Toyota?" For years, I was so scared that they would want to pull over our car with their fishing rods.
I used to believe that the people in the movie theater knew if your phone was on or not, and the "please silence your cell-phones" message would not go off until everyone did what they were told.
From the time I was about 3 till I was (embarrassingly enough) about 16 or so, I thought that the Bavarian lady on the logo of the Schneider's Meats company had gigantic ears, when it was in fact the sides of the bonnet she was wearing. For some reason I never questioned why she would have huge freakish ears. I guess I'm a person accepting of differences?
A good friend of mine, as a small child in a religious household, somehow concluded that when people put their hands together in the praying position, it was because God was supposed to somehow be between their hands. She would always keep her hands a little ways apart when praying so as not to squash God, which she thought seemed rude of others not to do.
When was a kidd there was this one episode of a tv show where these characters were touring a cornflake factory. At one point the tour guide said they would learn about how much blood, sweat and tears went into cornflakes. Of course, being a kid I thought those were actual ingredients in the cornflakes and wondered who would want to eat that?
Due to both of my grandmother's and my granny's friend being called Barbara, I used to believe that when a woman turned 50 (aka got old) she had to change her name to Barbara. I really wasn't looking forward to my 50th birthday...
When I saw speed camera signs on the roads I always thought we had entered a zone where we could take pictures!
When my sister and I were little and the Easter time came around, we thought that you could give any food up for lent. My sister decided to give up fruit and vegetables for lent. That didn't go down well with mum and dad...
When I was younger I was convinced that my stomach was divided into different sections and that I had to chew my food on different sides of my mouth to direct it to the right spots. I would separate the crunchy bits from the marshmallows in my Lucky Charms and only chew the crunchy bits on the left and the marshmallows on the right. I thought if they got mixed up my stomach would explode.
I'm Chinese American and when I was a kid, I lived in the USA, in a small town with no other Chinese people except an elderly lady and her son who spoke a different Chinese dialect we didn't understand so we just spoke to them in English. No one else knew a word of Chinese. I used to believe that 1. Chinese is a rare language. 2. Each Chinese family spoke a different dialect of Chinese.
i used to think my pants would catch on fire when i lied, now it explains that i tend to tell the truth 98% than i lie.