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This is a question What nonsense did you believe in as a kid?

Ever thought that you could get flushed down the loo? That girls wee out their bottoms? Or that bumming means two men rubbing their bums together? Tell us about your childhood misconceptions. Thanks to Joefish for the suggestion.

(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 15:21)
Pages: Latest, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I convinced Baby Shambles that my nose made a beeping noise when pressed.
This backfired when I was having a nap and she thought it wasn't working and hit it as hard as she could with a wooden mallet.
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 16:01, 6 replies)
"Being attacked very badly"
As a kid I liked to stay up late and watch the news with mum and dad.

A report of a vicious rape comes on the News at 10.

Me: "Mum, what does rape mean?".

Mum: "errmm, errmmm...it means to be attacked very badly".

2 weeks later I was (genuinely) attacked very badly by an Alsatian dog.

Imagine the hilarity when I told my less innocent peers and school teachers that I had been "raped very badly by a big Alsatian dog". I retold the story well into my teens until someone was kind enough to reveal the true meaning.

oh dear.

first post (as a born again b3taean) - be gentle.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 9:05, 8 replies)
Swivel on it, punk…

The present Mrs Pooflake is a remarkable woman. Not just for the fact that she heroically puts up with a mongo-dongboil like me every day, but during her worktime she busies herself looking after ickle kiddiewinks at our local school.

She’s a teaching assistant – and only yesterday she had to deal with a cheeky young lad in her class who whilst playing outside, had bumped the tip of his finger. (Not quite in a ‘Paul Daniels’ way, you understand, but still…poor lamb.)

Anyhoo, after his ‘oops-a-daisy’, he bravely kept the tears in and did the right thing by immediately approaching my missus and requesting aid. This is all innocent enough, but the child in question had bumped his middle finger – the one I think we all know is quite commonly used as an insult when extended as a gesture amongst certain folk. Yet, with a gritted enthusiasm, this boy ran up to my missus, promptly ‘flipped her the bird’, and exclaimed: ‘Look at this!’

Thusly, with the saintly tenderness of a young Florence Nightingale, Mrs Pooflake exclaimed “Pffffft! Ha Haaa!”, before regaining her composure and checking that everything was ok. However, once the child was on the mend, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to share. “Sid, could you please tell the teacher about how brave you’ve been?” She asked, and then quietly chuckled to herself as the boy gleefully bounded up to the teacher, shoved his chubby digit into her mush and squawked ‘”How about this, Mrs B!”,

“Pfffffffft!” inevitably snorted Mrs B with a dazzling professionalism. She then, quick as a flash, conjured up a plan so dastardly that it could be deemed an omen of the apocalypse. She continued: “…erm…I mean,…there there Sid! Well, it seems Mrs Pooflake has done a good job seeing to your injury, but I still think it could do with a ’spinning’ to make it properly better…”


You can see where this is going…


The boy then quite reasonably asked what the shuddering knacksticks this ‘spinning’ lark was all about. “Oh, don’t worry” explained the teacher. “…it’s a harmless medical treatment, and I think Mr J next door is an expert at it - let’s go and ask!”

Mrs B then took the young lad and escorted him to the adjoining classroom, before tapping on the door and stepping away. Mr J, the gruff, no-nonsense enforcer then approached the door and opened it, whereby he was promptly given the finger by a small child who followed it up by declaring: “Can you spin on this, please?”

Mr J, was initially quite dumbfounded, and was about to tear the startled little dude a new arse before he noticed a chortling Mrs B, nearly doubled up with mirth in a heap by the coat rack.

Not content with this win, Mrs B then approached the pair, apologised for the mistake, and with a ‘wink’ to Mr J, explained that she had just remembered that it was in fact Mr D, the deputy head, who was the school appointed ‘spinner’.

She then busied herself for the few minutes or so, taking the poor bemused child round half a dozen stunned members of staff, just so they could be subjected to obscene finger gestures and insults whilst she desperately tried to avoid pissing herself laughing.

Yep, that what your tax pounds are spent on folks...enabling hardworking educational staff and the like to utilise the injury of a small child for their own puerile amusement…makes you feel proud.

And of course, in the end, young Sid never did get the ‘extra treatment’ that the increasingly unsympathetic teachers neglected to give him. I wonder if he asked his parents when he got home?
(, Tue 24 Jan 2012, 10:16, 50 replies)
Childhood Memories...

When I was a youngster I was quite naïve
You’ll be staggered to hear of the things I’d believe
Stuff like ‘kissing it better’ could cure any pain
And that should the wind change, then my belm would remain!

The entire universe would revolve around me
And some small people lived deep inside my TV
I thought dad was the strongest man in the whole world
And I’d vom vital organs each time that I hurled

If I swallowed my gum then my tum would explode
And road-kill was ‘asleep’ at the side of the road
I thought girls couldn’t fart, and I'm still in some doubt...
Are their cloppers just cocks that are turned inside-out?

If I touched things called ‘drugs’ I’d fall instantly dead
There's a ‘sleepy time monster’ that's under my bed
If I frequently fwapped then I feared I would find…
That my hands would go hairy...and then I'd go blind

But the worst lie of all, and it's really a stinker,
I totally fell for it - hook, line and sinker
That if I behave, and I work really hard
Then 'the world is my oyster'…

...

Yep, I'm a spacktard!
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 11:48, 9 replies)
I practiced it as a kid...
and still believe to this day, that running up the stairs using your hands AND feet is the quickest (and arguably most stylish) manner of getting upstairs.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 19:21, 21 replies)
In around about 1980 or '81
my Dad took my younger brother and a five-or-six-year-old me to our local woolworths. It was spring and neither of our birthdays and Dad said we could pick one toy each, up to a certain value. I was confused by this - money was always tight at home and new toys only came on christmas or birthdays or by saving up the pocket money I got from my grandparents.

"Dad?" I asked "why am I getting a present now, when it's not christmas or my birthday?"
"Well, son" he said "I thought I'd buy you something now while I can, because I've just been made redundant"
"Does that mean I can have this lego?"
"Yes, son. Yes it does". He explained no further than that.

For the next several years, I believed that 'being made redundant' was a random mini-christmas, when you bought your kids toys, and not something to do with joblessness.
I wished my Dad would get made redundant again. I wanted more lego.

I found the news on tv very confusing. You should be happy, Anna Ford. Those people, they are getting lego!
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 23:00, 3 replies)
Black holes and revelations
Not long after acquiring the power of speech the very young Custard looked up at his father, the source of all knowledge and authority with a troubled expression.

“Dad….”
“Yes son?”
“What are black holes?”

Not accustomed to being questioned on astrophysics by a toddler my dad was slightly taken aback. He quickly marshalled his thoughts and explained in as simple terms as possible about gravity and how some huge celestial objects had so much of it that nothing could escape their pull; not even light and that was why we called them black holes.

I listened attentively and then thought about this new information for some time. Processing. Cogitating.

He dared briefly to wonder as to how one raises, encourages and nurtures a gifted child and the responsibility this brings until I finally broke the silence.

“Dad….”
“Yes son?”
“Rabbits live in black holes don’t they?”
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 14:21, 7 replies)
"Pick your own Strawberries!"
I used to think the signs saying "Pick Your Own Strawberries" were put up by angry farmers who'd had their Strawberries nicked.
(, Sat 21 Jan 2012, 11:57, 3 replies)
Having been quite into Matchbox cars as a kid
I once tried to find out what my grandparents' new car was by crawling underneath it and looking for the make and model description.
(, Fri 20 Jan 2012, 16:40, 5 replies)
religion

(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 16:10, 6 replies)
Six-year-old criminal mastermind
Sorry for being only tangentally related to the question - This story isn't so much about the thing I naively believed, which was pretty common, but about an unexpected result of that belief...

When I was in infant school, I went through a brief period of kleptomania - egged on by my gleeful bastard of an older brother, (as if that excuses me somehow.) One day a week at my school, we were encouraged to bring in a toy to play with - Most of the boys chose Star Wars figures, or Transformers, or one of He-Man's awful brigade of crap sidekicks. It was a day filled with joy, but also avarice: All these beautiful toys. All these toys I didn't own!

So, one of these days I happened to find myself in the cloakroom alone, with larcenous thoughts on my mind. With a criminal cunning that I seem to have entirely lost in the intervening years, I rifled through all the coats until I found something worth stealing: A red Tonka flatbed truck. It was amazing - I can still picture it today in all its shiny die-cast glory. I quietly hid it away, and at the end of the day managed to smuggle it all the way home without incident.

Victory! I'd learned a fantastic lesson: Stealing is easy! I was free to play with my spoils as much as I liked. And I did. The truck was the perfect size and weight to be launched along the landing and bounce solidly down the stairs just like I'd seen cars falling over cliffs do on TV so many times. It was a shame I couldn't make it explode into flames at the bottom, but on the plus side the truck survived the stunt so I could repeat it as many times as I liked. Which, it turned out, was an awful lot of times.

But there was a snag. It'd never occurred to me that my mum might have a pretty good idea of what toys I owned. So when, investigating the sound of me repeatedly knocking chunks of plaster off the landing wall, she asked, "Where did you get that truck?" I panicked.

Time froze; I simply wasn't prepared for the question. I had nothing - I couldn't admit to the truth, but I had no believable cover story to hand. I could say I borrowed it from a friend, but that would surely only lead to more questions, and I hadn't prepared the sufficient web of carefully considered lies to deal with that sort of cross-examination. All seemed lost.

But then! I had a flash of true genius. There was a single moment, a mere few weeks before, when in all the confusion a new toy could feasibly have passed unnoticed. I thought back to the day; there were loads of new toys, and she definitely wasn't paying full attention at the time. If the red truck had appeared at that moment, it would be entirely possible that she might not have noticed. This was my way out! A bullet-proof, entirely unverifiable back-story for my new illicit toy. I'd won! I'd outsmarted everyone! Smiling smugly, I picked up the truck and informed her:

"Father Christmas brought it for me."

My victim, and his furious mother, stood in stony silence as I recited my shame-faced apology the next day.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 2:38, 1 reply)
Mind bleach has reminded me of a story from my formative years
Back in the Day Me and My little brother were huge Superman fans

We had recently seen Superman 2 and the bit where Superman gets the bit of coal and crushes it in his hand to make a perfectly cut diamond for Lana Lang really grabbed our interest, especially as our Grandpa had a coal bunker in his garden, the fool we thought he could be sitting on untold riches and he doesn't even know it!

We naturally realised that our puny hands would be unable to exert such pressure to squash the Coal and release the shiny diamond hiding in the middle so we used to steal handfuls of coal from our Grandpa's coal bunker and take them into his shed to crush them in his vice.

Manys the time that we would emerge from the shed looking like a couple of victorian chimeny sweeps confident that it was only a matter of time before we would find our diamond.

WE never did, and we got told off for wasting coal and getting coal dust on the furniture. bloody Superman!
(, Mon 23 Jan 2012, 13:42, 2 replies)
We used to go fishing for fish fingers
And, somehow, I always caught some. I'd stick my fishing net in the water, and after a while my dad would say "You've caught one", I'd pull up the net and he'd quickly plunge his hand into the net, take out something and put it in his pocket. We'd do thi a few times, then stop.

Later, when we were home, my dad would go to his coat and take several fish fingers out of his pocket, which we'd then cook and eat.

Took me years to work it out...
(, Fri 20 Jan 2012, 22:13, 6 replies)
dent-rectal exam
My wife's older sister came up with the absolutely brilliant lie that everyone has one tooth that appears in your bum at age 6, and that if you didn't brush it properly, would have to get pulled by a dentist. My wife, age 4 or 5, was petrified for years, waiting and watching for it in a mirror, so that she could begin brushing it and avoid the butt-dentist.
(, Fri 20 Jan 2012, 19:06, 1 reply)
Rutherford's got nothing on me
When I was but a youngster, probably about 8 or so, I was an inquisitive lad. I asked questions about how the world worked, and my parents would answer them. I forget what caused it to come up, but one of them mentions that Rutherford was the first person to split the atom.

Atoms! Even I, a small child, knew that everything in the world was made up of atoms. And now they can be split! So I went into the kitchen, put a Mars bar on the worktop, and then hacked at it full force with a knife, on the grounds that "There are millions of atoms in here, I'm bound to get at least one of them right down the middle"

Sadly for the world's energy needs, nuclear physics did not take a great step forward in suburban Glasgow that day.
(, Sat 21 Jan 2012, 9:37, 3 replies)
Living & Growing (where DO babies come from?)
When I was ill at home from 'Junior School' (not sure what they call it these days), I was plonked on the sofa in my Thunderbird pyjamas, a large box of chocolate fingers and lots of tissues, quite cosy under my quilt (I think it was an Action Man quilt, but I digress). Here I watched 'TV for schools' before 'Pebble Mill at One' while my Mother went off to her part-time job

One of the programs was called 'Living & Growing'. It was hosted by a kindly old man who began the program with the immortal words "Have you ever wondered where babies came from?", "Have you ever asked yourself what is the difference between men and women?"

That got my attention (indeed, yes, I had pondered these very questions). The first day of my illness (runny nose, blazingly high temperature) , the program merely enticed the viewer on what would come next. Lots of video shots of couples walking hand in hand in the park (the lady pregnant of course), cutting to other couples (the lady now holding the baby) and then whole families in the park having picnics; and the old man asking more rhetorical questions and telling us what 'Living & Growing' would be about

The next morning (snotty nose, temperature going down) I was glancing at the clock (the red LED one on our JVC video recorder) waiting impatiently for the program to begin

The old man began the second program by describing the two classic 'plumbing' diagrams on the screen. There for the first time in my life, I saw the difference between men & women. I listened with proverbially rapt attention to every word as the old man described how men produce 'sperm' and women produce 'eggs' and what tubes they all travelled along

Next morning (nose clear, temperature back to normal), my Mother decided I was better and could go back to school (my whining had no effect on her whatsoever). But, I ran onto the school playground very excited to tell my friends what I had learnt. They listened to everything carefully (some more boggle eyed than others) and then we all lapsed into silence as everyone digested my profound revelations. Then one of the group, Gary, asked very quietly "How does the sperm get to the eggs?". Well, I had no idea (episode 3 that I was missing) so we put our collective minds together and tried to solve this problem

The answer seemed completely self evident: It must be through kissing. Yes! the evidence fitted the theory! Every soap on TV, every wedding we had seen (you may now kiss the bride) a baby did not seem far off after the kissing began

With immediate effect, every boy in my year went on 'kiss chase' strike. We all point blank refused to play, terrified that we would give the girls babies
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 16:38, 4 replies)
Gasholders
A friend of mine was passing a Gasholder (those large cylindrical container things with the roofs that go up and down) and idly commented "They must be out of elephants", which drew a bemused response from us.

Further questioning revealed that years ago her father had told her that they were used to hold excess elephants for when the circus was in town and when the roof was lowered it meant that they had run out of elephants.
(, Tue 24 Jan 2012, 2:21, 2 replies)
Flash!
For years I believed that the soundtrack for Flash Gordon was written by *the* Queen!
(, Fri 20 Jan 2012, 14:02, 5 replies)
Chemical weapons
When I was but a wee bairn, I used to live on an RAF base. Quite a coincidence, as my dad also happened to be in the RAF. This base - RAF West Raynham - was essentially in the middle of nowhere (i.e. Norfolk), and our house was on the very edge of the married quarters estate. Nothing out the back of the house except lots and lots of fields.

Specifically, there was a place in those fields. A special place, beloved of all the local kids in quarters. At the point where a number of fields joined, there was this little area we all called Mud Hill. This place was *amazing*.

The titular Mud Hill was essentially exactly that - a giant (to our tiny legs) mound of excavated earth that the farmer had obviously moved at some point, probably (I'm having to fill in the blanks here) pushed up against a natural bit of hill. But there was much more to it than that. Behind Mud Hill was a small copse of trees, and if you walked around the outer edge of the copse there were all kinds of interesting sites. Mud Hill, the biggest obviously. Then a long ridge. One year there was a dead animal of some kind a bit further round. Then some cool trees. And so on.

But perhaps the most mysterious relic on this sightseeing tour around the copse was an area of rough ground littered with chunks of brickwork. Not bricks, but entire sections of brick wall just lying around. All had come from some structure that had been knocked down, and the lower portions of some of the walls were still in situ. To a kid it was like walking around the Planet of the Apes, seeing the ruins of some mysterious civilization. What was the building? Why was it knocked down? (Or more likely exploded, we decided.)

All would become clear one summer afternoon, the day the big kids came.

It was strange, to have our supposedly secret retreat invaded by older kids. They were probably about 12 or 13, but to our eyes they were practically adults. And it was one of these scroaty bastards who told me *exactly* what that brick building had been. It was, he whispered conspiratorially, eyes flicking left and right furtively as he leaned in towards me, "... a bunker".

A what?

"Y'know, a secret bunker." This wasn't wholly unbelievable. After all, we all lived on a military base. Every time we drove past the entrance to the base we'd be driving past an enormous, decorative Bulldog missile. When we went to church in a tiny portacabin on-base on a Sunday, we'd have to stop at the gate and a man with a torch with a mirror attached to it would occasionally look under the car for bombs. Y'know, if he was bored and there was nothing decent on the radio in the guard hut. These kinds of concepts were not entirely alien to me, young as I was.

"What sort of bunker?" I asked.

"It's where they had all these chemical weapons. Things that make you ill, and then you die!" (or words to that effect).

"Wow!" I whispered hoarsely. I mean, how cool was that? And then suddenly the quiet moment of revelation was gone. Probably because some kids had found some sticks, or I needed a wee, or god knows why. I trotted off and continued to play around the field of bricks.

This, of course, would therefore be the first day I ever got hayfever. Twatsocks.

By the time I get home, my eyes are red and streaming. Nobody seemed to notice, but all I wanted to do was rub my eyes over and over. My nose was running. It all came on so suddenly! I had never heard of hayfever, nobody in my family had it. And as the symptoms got worse and worse, I suddenly knew what had happened. Whatever was in those chemical weapons, I'd breathed it in, or touched it, or something! There was only one way this would end.

I was going to die.

I manfully choked my dinner down. I said goodbye to my toys. I got ready for bed. But as my mum came to tuck me in, my bottom lip started to quiver. This would be the last time I ever saw her. She asked me what was wrong, and I decided - knowing that I'd almost certainly get into trouble for playing with chemical weapons - to tell her.

I suspect I was probably very relieved when she laughed in my face.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 7:55, 5 replies)
In which grandmasterfluffles poos
I was a fairly ordinary little girl in many respects - a bit brainy and geeky and serious, but otherwise fairly normal. I enjoyed running around and jumping and climbing trees, chasing animals, laughing too loud, I was terribly clumsy (still am!) and my hair was always a mess.

Then I started school, and realised that I was nothing like other girls.

All of the other girls at school looked perfect, from the ribbons on their pigtails to their patent leather Clarks slip-ons. They whispered daintily to one another, pointed and giggled at the holes in my red woolly tights, always behaved themselves. Their bedrooms were pink, and they played with Barbie dolls, not lego. They wrote vapid sentences in painfully neat handwriting. They picked at their ham sandwiches on white bread at lunch time. They all wanted to be air hostesses when they grew up. They were perfect, every single one of them, a regular little army of miniature Stepford wives in training. I would have given anything to have been one of them.

I began to realise that I had a filthy secret. I hadn’t realised that I was abnormal until I saw what other girls were like, but there was one major difference between us that bothered me more than anything else: I was quite clearly the only girl who pooed. They didn’t poo. They couldn’t possibly poo. None of these picture perfect little girls could possibly ever have pooed in their lives. I was furious with my mother for concealing the truth from me - she’d always led me to believe that my bodily functions were normal, but it was obvious that they weren’t. All of the other girls were normal, and I was a disgusting freak who pooed.

And so, in addition to begging my mother to buy me pretty clothes and Barbie dolls (unsuccessfully), and trying to adopt a more ladylike demeanour overall (VERY unsuccessfully), I set about quitting my poo habit. It was clearly simply a matter of self-discipline. I must not allow myself to poo.

The shame that I went through over the following few weeks was excruciating. Every time I lost control and caved in to my revolting habit, I hated myself a little more. I was a disgusting girl who couldn’t even control the whims of her anal sphincter, I would never have any friends, and the whole world was mocking me, their perfect little non-pooing faces contorted with cruel laughter. WHY COULDN’T I STOP POOING???

I wish I were making this up. It really was very traumatic.
(, Fri 20 Jan 2012, 15:14, 5 replies)
John Craven
As a nipper, I always used to get confused when watching John Craven's Newsround when he was talking about gorillas fighting in some unheard of African province. I wondered how difficult it would be to train a gorilla to hold a gun, let alone fire one. It wasn't until years later that I learned what a guerilla was...
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 15:46, 5 replies)
That only girls could do the splits
Because they had that crack between their legs that made it possible.
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 22:49, Reply)
footprints
I saw some footprints in a cement footpath, left by someone who'd walked on it before it was set.

I asked my mum how they got there.

'Oh, someone must have walked on it when it was wet.'

For years afterwards I couldn't understand why I didn't leave footprints in cement when it rained.
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 18:25, Reply)
Not pooing makes you live longer
For some reason in my tiny head I had rationalised that wee and poo leaving the body could only be the body losing its vital liquid and solid constituents.

I had heard though that the body could generate more blood, both mum and dad gave blood, so I was more than content to piddle away safe in the knowledge my body would replace the lost fluids but I feared teh poo.

Pooing was clearly the body losing bones. There's no way to grow bones back. When you'd pooed out the last bone you'd be dead. I tried as hard as I could not to poo, clenching my way through years 3-4 and literally waiting until the backlog punched its way out leaving a jobbie like Frank Bruno's leg in the bowl. I practically had to stand up to finish the bastards off.

I reckon writing off those pairs of BHS y-fronts has added at least 6 months to my life expectancy.
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 15:55, 2 replies)
Cats Eyes prevent Communist invasion.
(PeaRoast! my first...)

On car trips my parents would tell me:

If you accidentally drove over more than 4 catseyes in a row they would explode. This was a very clever scheme invented to prevent Russian tanks from invading as tanks were longer than 4 catseyes but cars were shorter. I was already in total fear of the Red Menace at the age of 7, and this totally believable logic just heightened my paranoia. My dad would take great delight in hitting three catseyes and then narrowly avoiding the fourth while I screamed myself into a catatonic state in the back seat.

.
(, Fri 20 Jan 2012, 18:46, 1 reply)
how times change
I had seen the lights on the dashboard and heard the indicator whenever we were coming up to a turn but it took longer than it should have for me to notice the indicator stalk.

For years I thought the car knew where we were going and told my Dad when we were approaching a turn.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 18:28, Reply)
When I was a kid I stupidly thought life would get easier as an adult.

(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 14:42, 12 replies)
Running
I believed that if I really practised hard I could become the best in the world at running really fast around corners, and that by the time I grew up it would have become recognised as an olympic sport and I would be champion.
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 16:15, 2 replies)
Not sure if this strictly qualifies but since when has that ever really mattered?
A friend of ours has got her 5 year-old son convinced that the motion sensors for the burglar alarm in their house are for Father Christmas to monitor whether or not he's being good.

I arguably overuse the term "Genius", but I think in this case it is justified.
(, Wed 18 Jan 2012, 15:56, 3 replies)
What are traffic signals but cenotaphs?
A grade school [USA 1952]classmate said that she would see visit me on Saturday. I waited and waited in my front yard. She never showed up. At school, I learned that she died, hit by a car, in her attempt to cross a busy street between my house and hers. I was six years old, so of course I knew better than to reveal a connection.

By the next academic year, the city installed a traffic control device to give pedestrians a chance to cross.

I concluded that death was necessary for the installation of a traffic signal. The business area had probably seen a bloodbath in its time.

Of course, I know better now, but, having made the macabre connection, I still think about her death at stop lights and when asked about childhood misconceptions. I'm not worth dying for.
(, Wed 25 Jan 2012, 17:13, 11 replies)

This question is now closed.

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