So What Were YOUR Erroneous Childhood Beliefs?

Mythopoeika

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rynner2

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garrick92 said:
I have no recollection of Heath being PM: he was booted out just after my third birthday, and the earliest PM I can remember is a vague memory of Harold Wilson's final term.
You're confusing me now! I had to go and check on Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_P ... th_century

Harald Wilson: Oct 1964 - Jun 1970.

Ted Heath: Jun 1970 - Mar 1974.

So it seems you remember Wilson's final year, but not Heath, who came after!

(My memories are more accurate, but I must be at least 20 years older than you. In 1967 I performed in a cabaret sketch about Wilson's devaluation of the pound. 8) )
 

rynner2

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I take it that annoying cryptic remark (bare naked URL, no relevence to topic) is aimed at me.

So if you're implying that I missed Wilson's second stint as PM, you're right - I was at sea during those years, and had no time to keep up with shore-side doings. No newspapers, no internet, only used the radio for the shipping forecast! :twisted:

(Missed Callaghan as well - was not back ashore until shortly before Maggie's election.)
 

amyasleigh

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garrick92 said:
...when you're a small child there is practically no lunacy of which the adult world seems incapable.
(Have just noticed this post.) Too right ! Also, this sentiment can carry on into later childhood.

At the (very minor) public school which I attended, the building devoted to music -- lessons, and practice, re same -- was called "Elgar House", this name displayed on a signboard in front of the building. I have never been much "into" music -- am next door to tone-deaf -- and when I started, aged eleven, in the preparatory department of the school concerned, I had never heard of Sir Edward Elgar. The name on the signboard was in Gothic / "black-letter" script, which caused me to misread "Elgar" as "Cigar". For my first few weeks at the school -- until I was informed otherwise -- I believed that the name of the music building was Cigar House. Had no feeling that there was anything particularly unlikely about this: adults frequently got up to crazy stuff, and public schools were famous for odd and idiosyncratic customs and usages...
 

CALGACUS03

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As a very (very) young child (we're talking last century here) I overheard the 'grownups' talking about a much loved brown Labrador dog called Trebor who'd been owned by my grandparents before I was born. The grownups were saying how sad it was that Trebor had been killed by a motorcycle.

Naturally, I knew that motorcycles were considered a somewhat risky mode of transport and this was around the time of the UKs 'helmet law' debate. I immediately formed the opinion that Trebor had been riding a motorcycle when he crashed and was killed. In my defense, this was about the period when kids my age watched Billy Smart's Easter Circus on TV, with dogs and monkeys doing all kinds of tricks. It made perfect sense to my 5 year old brain that a dog could drive a motorcycle.

I formed an immediate mental picture of a brown labrador astride a motorcyle, whizzing along, tongue lolling out the side of its mouth, sheer unadulterated glee in its eyes.

I soon realised that this couldn't happen. His legs couldn't have reached the pedals, and he couldn't possibly have worked the throttle and clutch/brakes with his paws. I came to my senses and realised he must have actually been riding pillion!

Cue several years when I thought Trebor was riding on the back of a motorcycle when he was killed!

Face-palms
 

Roger Nowell

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Daft stuff I believed as a child:

- that my great uncle Charles really did lose a race against a tortoise
- that 'apologising' had something to do with the jars for bottling apples, kept in our pantry
- swallowing chewing gum could be fatal. Shamefully I was in my mid 20's before I had that debunked
- that the Yorkshire Ripper (70's West Yorkshire serial-killer) would strike again at our travelling fun-fair. Mind you, our whole junior school class believed that rumour
 

asparagus

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When I was about 10 I had a friend on our street called Clive, he was 2 years older so I thought he knew everything.
One day I was starting a diary and I had to write personal information on a form in the front. I put my name address and phone number and so on, but it asked my blood group so I asked Clive what that was.
He said 'Urr, you're not a member of a blood group! They go around holding people down and taking blood from them.' So I angrily crossed out that line in the diary, indignant that anyone would think that I would be a member of a blood group.
 

maximus otter

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I believed that water flowed inland from the sea via rivers.

Until I was in my late teens l believed that all girls could sing in perfect tune.

When l was a kid my mum took me to see my first ever film, the Disney classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians. I was a bit nervous apparently, so mum assured me: “It’ll be funny, you’ll laugh all the time!” I assumed that there was some unspecified but ghastly punishment for children who displayed insufficient amusement. Immediately on entering the cinema l began an unceasing, forced nervous laughter accompanied by terrified glances from side to side...

maximus otter
 
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Kryptonite

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At a very young age I thought chewing a pencil could be fatal. Mainly because when I was 5 years old, a school teacher noticed me with a pencil in my mouth and casually announced to the class that I was doing so but that 'it was alright because he'll die of lead poisoning'.

I also thought that Bob Monkhouse and Dec O'connor were the same person.
 

Lord Lucan

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That one had to wait an hour after eating before going swimming lest you got a stitch and drowned. This was the bane of my young summers (as well as many other young Australians) as this was a common belief. Summer days at the pool or the beach often were met with cries of "I'm not hungry'' at lunch time otherwise you had to sit bored, counting the minutes down until it was safe to enter the water again.
 

ChasFink

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When I was a kid I believed the Castro Convertible sofabed company was owned by Fidel Castro. I thought it was a fine example of the American way that we let him operate in our country, even if we disliked his politics – the same way a Russian family was allowed to live next door to us, even though America hated the Russians. The Castro jingle, which seemed to pat the Soviets on the back in the time of the Cuban missile crisis, may have had something to do with it:

Who was the first to conquer space?
It's incontrovertible
That the first to conquer living space
Is a Castro Convertible!

I later realized that some would argue the US "conquered" space by progressing faster than the Russians in developing technology to land on the Moon. In fact, when I heard a TV commentator refer to the Cold War space rivalry as "the race to the Moon" I thought it was a literal race that was planned for when the technology was ready. I remember telling my mother that the park at the end of our street, situated on a cliff overlooking Long Island Sound, would be a great place to watch the rockets flying neck and neck, and once actually mistook two planes flying at night over the area as that very event.

And on an unrelated note:
When l was a kid my mum took me to see my first ever film, the Disney classic One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
That was my second film! My first was the Hammer version of The Mummy with Christopher Lee in the title role, which I referred to as the Boo-Boo Man, because of the bandages. I naturally thought he was the hero, and came up with a convoluted answer to how he survived after the end of the film.

EDIT: I guess I should explain that my parents took a two-year-old to a Hammer horror movie because my older cousin convinced them it was a historical film about Egypt!
 
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Mythopoeika

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That one had to wait an hour after eating before going swimming lest you got a stitch and drowned. This was the bane of my young summers (as well as many other young Australians) as this was a common belief. Summer days at the pool or the beach often were met with cries of "I'm not hungry'' at lunch time otherwise you had to sit bored, counting the minutes down until it was safe to enter the water again.
My Mum applies this even when having a bath. I pointed out that it only applies when going for a swim.
 

Jepra Peld

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I believed that hairdressers could read your thoughts because they were so close to your head. I'm still not entirely convinced they can't.

We had a teacher at school who had two obsessions, The Great Fire of London and John Lennon's murder and so I always thought that they had occurred at around the same time.

I thought that John Noakes had stolen my mum's dog. I didn't realise that Shep was a common name for a dog. We had an annual with their picture on and I thought my mum was keeping it for evidence and sentimental value.

Finally a bizarre one and not one that I believed but which was fairly common at school, was that Scotland had different bra sizes and they were much bigger, so a 32A in England would be a DD in Scotland.
 

Founder

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My son (when aged 5 or 6) believed that dead people were thrown from speeding cars (he got it from watching too much TV!)

My own is a recollection I had from age 8 or 9, when we lived on a caravan site close to the ancient Gosfield Hall [https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Gosfield_Hall] in Essex. Our little gang of kids somehow acquired the belief the if we ran around a tomb in the churchyard (between the Hall and the caravan site) 13 times then knocked on it, the Devil would appear. We did it one night, ran around this huge monolith of a tomb 13 times when our courage failed and we fled home across the fields shrieking. Recently, my daughter got married in the Hall itself (a pure coincidence; she was not aware that I lived by there as a child), so I took the opportunity to revisit my childhood rout. Lo! that huge tomb we believed was the doorway to Hell was only a small, very ordinary unremarkable gravestone. Mind you, it could be a clever disguise.
 

Bad Bungle

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I read a feature in the Reader's Digest that stated the reason why women were more tolerant than men of the cold was because they had a naturally thicker layer of body fat for insulation. The story even came with a cartoon of a man dressed up in a coat and scarf in the snow, whilst the woman was posing in a bikini. Of course since growing up, EVERY woman I've met moans about being cold.
 

Mythopoeika

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I read a feature in the Reader's Digest that stated the reason why women were more tolerant than men of the cold was because they had a naturally thicker layer of body fat for insulation. The story even came with a cartoon of a man dressed up in a coat and scarf in the snow, whilst the woman was posing in a bikini. Of course since growing up, EVERY woman I've met moans about being cold.
Men tolerate the cold better because they usually have more body mass, thicker skin and usually dress more appropriately (for the weather). And they are generally able to put up with a lot of hardship.
 
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