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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)
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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)
You do get in trouble for playing with Chemical Weapons
Young Mr Hussein got the backs of his legs slapped.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 9:33, closed)
I like
I clicked
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 9:46, closed)
I worked at West Raynham when it shut down
as the army, or marines, or whoever, used the houses there for street fighting training and left a load of explosives and ammo behind.

Spent many a week shovelling shell cases and unexploded bits into large steel boxes. One guy found a fully loaded pistol (although a bit rusty) and was waving it around until the MoD plod came along and took it off him.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 12:59, closed)

But did they do any training at Mud Hill? I seem to recall it was an excellent site for water pistol fights, and would therefore be perfect for training with real guns.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 13:02, closed)
I was born there!
Literally. During the great snow storm of 79.

The RAF had to helicopter in milk and nappys. Probably stuff for other people too.
(, Thu 19 Jan 2012, 16:38, closed)

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