One year I found a kiddy tool kit under the Christmas tree, in it was a hacksaw (mistake). I set to work that day and eventually cut the back fence in half, we lived in a large property so my parents didn't realise. The same night there was a big police chase that ended in our street, I believed that the ten police cars were coming for me due to the fence shenanigans and not the armed robbers who had shot a cop. I quickly fessed up to my parents since I didn't want to go to jail, I escaped a criminal record but had my new hacksaw confiscated.
I used to think that the river police were there to stop naughty people from pulling the plug out.
I used to think it was a coincidence that judges all had the first name "Justice".
Once when I was about seven, I took a peppermint from the Brach's pick and mix display at the supermarket. I hid it in my closet because I was terrified that the police would come and arrest me for it. I found the peppermint a couple of years ago when I was cleaning out my closet at my parents' house...it was still there!
I grew up in Texas and when I heard someone was "sentenced to death" I thought that they'd been forced to write the same sentence over and over again until they died, since one of my teachers at school made us write sentences on the blackboard when we were bad.
I used to hear my parents talk about the Highway Patrol and I misunderstood them. I thought they said "troll" as in troll under the bridge in the billy goats gruff story. Every time I would hear a siren, I would run away in a panic thinking the troll was going to eat me.
When I was young and I got ringing in my ears, I thought that it was my call from the police and that they needed me to arrest somebody! I believed was really a police woman but that nobody knew it! Men in white coats coming to take me away!
The parents of a co-worker of mine convinced him that the Salvation Army was an emergency parental control enforcing organization to be called upon by desperate parents. They often used the threat 'Don't make me call the Salvation Army'.
When I used to fly with my parents, I would always tell the security guards "No guns or bullets!", thinking that telling them this would speed up the process. My mom told me to hush, and they always searched us extra hard, even my cabbage patch kid purse. My parents say they're just grateful that their asses went unsearched.
When I was about 5 or 6, I thought that when the police told you to put your hands up, that they were going to shoot you in the armpits. I often thought about how much that would hurt. I was about 11 or 12 when I realized it was so that they could make sure you weren't going to pull a gun or something on them.
On a rest stop during a long road trip there was a parked police car. My mom told us that if we ran fast enough past the car, it would think you were speeding and the lights and siren would go on. I believed it long enough to get very tired running past, which was probably the plan.
When I was a kid I'd always enjoy watching television with my dad. One day we watched "Cops." That was probably a bad decision on my dad's part since I was about 5. On the show that day the police officers shoved a man on a couch and tried to get cuffs on him. I was wondering why they were doing this. My dad said they were arresting him. I heard that they were "resting" him. I pictured my mom putting me down for a nap like that. I was just shocked that these policemen were trying to get this man to rest in such a violent way. I don't think I trusted police officers for a few years of my childhood.
A girl in my neighborhood used to believe (we were 8 or so) that if you called the police their job was to come over and kill whomever you asked them to.
When I was 4 or 5, my uncle, who was a police detective, told me that when they fingerprint the bad guys, they light a match and hold their fingers above the flame until they turn black. Well . . . when I was in the first grade an officer came to our classroom for a safety talk. At the end of his visit, he said he was going to fingerprint us! AAHHH! I don't think my teacher ever understood why I threw such a fit!
People who carried guns or weapons, like police and some security guards always scared me when I was a kid. Once at the airport I got really scared, because my mom beeped while walking through a metal detector. I thought she was in a lot of trouble! The security guard came over with one of those long black hand held metal detectors and asked her to step aside. I thought it was a gun and he was going to shoot her! I couldn't understand why everyone was being so calm about all of this.
When I was a kid I believed that the satellite they put into space was to watch for people who littered. So I never, ever littered, not even one little piece of paper. I just knew that the second I did the satellites would know and the police would arrest me, and that would be it.
When I was little I used to be so scared of police officers because whenever the walkie-talkies on their belts went off I thought their pants were yelling at people.
I thought that highway signs reading "NO LITTERING. UP TO $100 FINE" meant that the cash value of what you threw away mattered somehow. It was "fine" to litter soda cans and old newspapers, but it was illegal to toss TVs or cars, because those cost more than $100. To me, this explained why all the highway litter was cheap junk.
There was this 'bad' kid in my neighborhood who would always give this huge fake smile and wave at passing police cars. When I asked her why, she said "If a kid waves at the cops, they HAVE to wave back, or they lose their jobs."
My local branch library had the children's section on one side of the building and the adult section on the other side. I was always afraid to step over to the adult side because I was sure the police would show up and take me to jail for being underage.