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I used to believe that if robbers came into the house they wouldn't hurt me if they thought I was asleep. So I tried to look asleep even when I wasn't.
When I was in second grade, there was a scare, someone luring kids into his car. Our teacher told us about a man in a green car when she was a kid "He yelled at us, and was taking his clothes off, being ugly..." She must have meant to tell us to watch out for ANY stranger, but her badly thought-out, stammering explanation came out as "ANY man in a green car."
For about three years, I FREAKED whenever I saw a man in a green car. If I was outside, I hid behind my mother. If I was in our car, I would duck down in the back-seat.
I used to believe that if I used the bathroom in the middle of the night, the duration of the flush would be just enough time for the robbers to break into the house (without being heard over the sound of the flush) and get me. Petrified, I would flush and then run back to my room as fast as humanly possible, get under the covers barely peeking out, listening for the robbers. And out of breath from the sprint back to my room, I didn't breathe too loudly or else I might not hear the robbers coming to get me. Or I didn't flush.
I used to believe that if I slept with my face towards the wall, I would be better able to disguise my terror when the Bad Guy broke into my room. Since he would assume I was still sleeping, he would kill my sister instead of me.
When I was quite young, I saw an Alfred Hitchcock tv show that had these two brothers killing their aunt to get her money by grinding up glass and putting it in her food. After that, whenever my mom made soft boiled eggs for me and I found a small piece of shell in it, I thought it was glass and that she was trying to kill me.
I thought a highwayman was just someone who helps pave the road and stuff like that
I once asked my dad why the police can't catch the robbers since the stripey tops, black masks and swag bag give them away. Obviously all burglars where this attire all the time!
With a child's understanding of time... I used to think my dad was a convict settler. I'd heard about the first white Australians who'd come to the country as prisoners from England (some 200 years ago). I knew my dad came from England too when he was younger, so it just seemed logical that he was one of them.
When I was little Mike Tyson was on trial for rape, and everyone talked about it all the time. So I asked my grandma what rape was and she got all uncomfortable and said "um, to hurt someone and take their things". so later that day my cousin tried to take my toy boxing gloves and i yelled "I'm gonna rape you!". he cracked up and no one talked to me for a couple hours.
I used to believe that drinking and driving laws applied to all drinks.
I severely scolded my dad one day for drinking a Coca-Cola while he was driving the car out to my grandparents' place.
When I was about 3 or 4, I used to be horrified whenever my mother got steel wool at the local hardware store. I thought it was "steal wool" and, not knowing about past tenses, assumed she had stolen it. I felt terribly worried for days, thinking the police would come and catch us and arrest us for stealing wool.
when I was little I use to believe that when a criminal got a multiple life sentence it meant that they would have to serve another term in their next life.
I used to think that when someone was "under arrest" it meant that when they went to jail they would get the bottom bunk so they would have to sleep "under a rest"-ing prisoner.
At the age of about 5, I thought that any man carrying a bag/sack over his shoulder was a burglar.
My father always told me that if i did anything remotely impolite, that the police would come and throw me into politeness jail. (this was prompted by me gargling at the dinner table)
When I was younger I saw some graffiti in an under pass, My Nan told me that a vandal had done it.
I thought about vandals and decided that they were men in suits with big tanks of paint on the back. (like a space suit)
When I was little and I'd hear on the news about someone receiving "life plus ten years" or two life sentences, I could never figure out how that worked. If someone died and still had ten years to serve, I thought they would leave their dead body sit in the cell for ten years to finish the sentence.
I used to believe that torturing a person meant flashing a torchlight onto the face of a person till he almost went blind and begged for help!
I was only 3 or 4 when the OJ Simpson trials were going on. When my parents were talking about it, I started crying because I thought they meant our orange juice got arrested!
When I was really little I used to believe that kidnappers were people who took you from the sidewalk when you were alone and threw you in a crib and forced you to sleep/take a nap.