Adorable misconceptions I had as a kid.

Different bridge, where my late and lamented KC, Lord of the Serengeti awaits me. It’s the first exit on the Valhala Expressway. There is also a Stuckey’s.

Being a bit shaky on the concept of metaphors as a little kid, I assumed that the people who told me in Sunday School that “Good Christians have gold hearts, liars have white hearts, and sinners have black hearts” were being literal. And that if anything that meant you should be a sinner since that sounded closest to the proper red color. And wouldn’t a gold heart give you heavy metal poisoning and be really heavy? And yes, I did know about heavy metal poisoning then; I leafed through encyclopedias a lot.

I got the impression that women have their labia up in front and not between their legs; to such an extent that when I came across some porn I dismissed it as fake with the women wearing crotch wigs.

When they started badly censoring classic cartoons like the Coyote and Road Runner series, it never occured to me that they were actually censoring out the violent parts. Since I knew they were old, I assumed that the film had broken and they were taping the broken ends together. In my defense the censoring job was very clumsy and jerky.

Many of mine had to do with hearing words, trying to parse their spelling, and coming up with reasonably apt (yet way off) etymologies.

When I first heard the term “Essay”, I thought they were saying “S. A.”, and kept trying to figure out what the letters stood for-I knew it meant something along the lines of a paper you wrote for school or something. “School Assignment?” “Scribbled Argument?”

Likewise “behavior,” which I broke down into “Behave Year,” as in this is the year I finally promise to behave well in class, yes ma’am Sister Scrubboard…

In that same vein, I assumed that women were simply missing male genitalia and didn’t have any comparable parts to the male penis and testicles. I had a rough idea what sex was even in elementary school but I thought everything from sex to childbirth was done via the woman’s rectum. That didn’t really seem like a good design to me even at the time but I just accepted it as fact.

I thought the people on TV could see me.

My son learned to sing the “Alphabet Song” at a really early age too and used to say “elle nenenno pig” Thats how I figured out he wasn’t a genius, just a mimic! OK, there were probably some earlier signs… he thought the car knew where we were going because every time we turned the turn signal came on.

I thought that germs came from Germany and that by avoiding Germans and Germany you could keep from getting sick. It made sense to a four year old.

I also wanted to know how high on a ladder I had to climb to touch the sky. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t touch it–if I could see it then I should be able to touch it, shouldn’t I?

I made an important scientific discovery while watching some spiders in the garage. The light in the garage was a bit dim so I could not see the strands of silk the spiders walked on while making a web. I did see them seem to move effortlessly through the air, so I turned to my mother and announced, “Guess what? Spiders can fly!”

Numbers, letters and colors had gender. Odd numbers were boys, even numbers were girls (single digits), and multiple digits were friends. The letters and colors were less evenly distributed. I still sort of identify these things as gendered, but not as strongly as I did when I was a kid.

Also, before I understood the concept of “places” in numbers (ones, tens, hundreds), I thought that writing 137, for example, numerically was 100307 (one hundred, thirty, seven).

When I was younger, I was trying to convince my younger sister that people from Pennsylvania were called Pencils. I was arguing about this with her for a while, she was just starting to believe me, and then my dad, hearing what was going on, poked his head in her room where we were and said “of course they’re called Pencils, what else would they be called?” We had her utterly convinced at that point.

Unfortunately, my mom heard what was going on and called both me and my dad over for a stern talking to.

Oh, did I mention that at the time my sister was 15 and I was 17?

I lived a very sheltered life. When I was in elementary school I learned about giving people the ‘little’ finger. (Yes, I thought you made an obscene gesture with your pinky.) :smack:

Also in elementary school we read the book Secret of Nimh. I remember very little about it except the part where one of the rats had pneumonia. I remember this because this illness, pronounced: pee-new-moan-yuh was something that only rats got. It was completely unrelated to that pesky illness that humans get (with the silent ‘p’). Obviously I had never seen that word in print before.

It’s Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH. Note capitalization. I only mention this because I was about 25 years of age the day I realized that NIMH = National Institute of Mental Health, not some murky underground animal experimentation lair the author invented.

Goldie Hawn used to do this bit on Laugh In about Jill Street John or having seen a Street Bernard on her trip to Switzerland

My first moment of scientific wonder came when I figured out why the dinosaurs went extinct. It struck me one day out of the blue - the plant eaters ate all the plants and starved to death, which meant that the meat eaters didn’t have any food, so they starved, too. I couldn’t believe no one had figured this out yet.

My dad used to listen to old Beatles records and I was totally freaked out by the song Eleanor Rigby. Lacking an understanding of artistic licence and imagery I thought that Eleanor actually kept her face in a jar by the door.

For a while as a child I believed my dad worked at a Mint. I had seen on some children’s show a video of coins being struck, and was familiar with the concept of minting money.

When I asked my dad why he went to work the answer was “to make money” That was done at the Mint, therefore, he worked at the Mint.

I thought the term “Prima Donna” was actually “Pre-Madonna”, as in the time before Madonna. This was when she was just coming on to the scene, and it confused me, 'cause she wasn’t that big of a star.

When we would visit my grandmother, who lived in a heavily forested part of the state, my brothers and I would take walks in a nearby (smallish) state park. My older brother would try to convince me that Bigfoot lived in those woods. Someday I’m going to hire a huge guy to wear a Bigfoot costume and chase my older brother through the woods. I swear it.

Finally, one time my twin brother asked my mother what the world was like when it was in black and white. My father thought this was very funny. My mother was less amused.

The story my mother always tells about me as a child (I was 4 or 5 I think) was the day she came into the den and I was standing there, quietly, next to the TV. When she asked me why, I informed her that the TV had told me to “please stand by”.

I used to think that a baby would just randomly be born black or white or some other race. I had no idea that the parents’ race would determine the baby’s.

I have a cousin in her 50s who believes this.

While on a family vacation visiting my uncle (Mom’s brother) & aunt, when I was five or so, one night my dad and I were outside looking at the stars, and I asked Dad if there was anyone in the world who knows everything. He informed me that that isn’t possible, no one knows everything - then added, under his breath, “except your uncle.”

So for months I was convinced that my uncle Knew Everything, and I was quite impressed. At some point I mentioned this amazing fact to my mother, who asked me “where’d you get an idea like that?”

Me: “Dad said so!”

Mom: “Oh, he did, did he?”

…and then she disabused me of the notion. What a let down.