I thought Belfast was in Germany and the bombs and violence on the news were WW2 still going on (in the early 70's). Strangely I had no confusion regarding the Vietnam war which was also on the news at the time.
There was a book on my dad's shelves which had a deep crease down the spine, the damage somewhat obscuring the title. This resulted in an erroneous belief - lasting for some years - that there was a fictional Belgian detective named Potrot.
When M*A*S*H was shown in the UK, they didn't put the laughter on it. During one episode they forgot to flick the right switch and the canned laughter was included and the BBC was flooded with complaints! Mind you, by the last episode Alan Alda's chokehold of sentiment and sincerity on the series meant there weren't any jokes anymore anyway.
As a little kid, I was precociously knowledgeable about some aspects of life; and unusually naive, even for the age concerned, about others -- the latter tending to be, the more practical and everyday kind of matters.
Have been, almost from infancy, obsessively keen on geography and political-type-maps stuff. On first hearing the carol "we three kings of Orient are"; I wondered where on the globe might be, the land-mass occupied by the regions of Oari, and Tah -- it must obviously be quite big, if it could accommodate at least three separate kingdoms.
In my early childhood, we lived for some years in makeshift accommodation on a farm. Our landlords were the "old farmer", Mr. P., and his son the "young farmer". This was in the early 1950s: Mr. P. was a sweet fellow, then in his sixties. My father said one day, that "Mr.P. was a soldier in the Fourteen -- Eighteen War". This was, I think, the first mention that I'd ever heard, of World War 1. The correct significance sailed right by me: I remember thinking, "I know Mr. P. is quite old -- but surely he can't be some five-and-a-half centuries old." (I didn't have the nous, to ask Dad straight away about this mystery -- just puzzled over it in solitary fashion, for quite some while.)
The overflow vent at the back of the bathroom basin had "Twyfords" written above it, so naturally I thought that was the technical term for it. It wasn't until I was, like, 8 or 9 that I found out "Twyfords" was just the name of the manafacturer of the basin .
This isn't mine, but I had to share it. On the Radcliffe and Maconie show on BBC 6Music this afternoon they were asking listeners to tell them their misconceptions, much like this thread, and one guy e-mailed in with a doozy.
Basically, when he was a kid he thought people's feet grew bigger because they forgot to take off their socks at night, and the skin grew over the socks, making the feet bigger until they were adult-sized. Apart from being a disgusting concept, it takes some imagination to come up with something as outlandish as that, presumably if you cut open a foot you'd find layers of skin and socks like the rings in a tree trunk.
Also, and they pointed this out, if you did remember to take off your socks before bed you'd end up as an full grown adult with baby feet. And probably fall over a lot.
Yup, and there was often mention of 'Congo guerillas'. My mother used to pay into some kind of benevolent fund with the Congregational Church and would drag one of us right across town on foot at regular intervals to 'pay the Congo'.
So on hearing of 'Congo guerillas' in the news I had images of gorillas in military fatigues sitting around or doing drill in the local church hall, a bit like a surreal Dad's Army platoon. :lol:
I grew up in an overwhelmingly Protestant area. Catholic families were few, and their children almost always attended the parochial school in town. In elementary school I had a rare Catholic classmate. One day he told me about his dying elderly relative and how the family had called the priest in to administer extreme unction.
The problem was that my classmate pronounced the phrase in a compressed fashion (no doubt imperfectly echoed from having overhead it ...) that sounded for all the world like 'extra munction'.
I immediately asked what this 'munction' was, and why did critically ill people need more of it. He didn't know.
It wouldn't be until years later that someone disabused me of the notion of 'munction' and the practice of being administered an extra dose of it at death's threshold.