Weird things you thought when you were a kid

When I was about 5 years old I asked my mother “Where do pickles come from?” She replied “from the bottom of the sea”. So, I kept eating pickles my whole life thinking they came from the bottom of the sea.

Cue forward to my 3rd year in university attending a friend’s wedding shower. I met a girl who told me she worked in a pickle factory. Imagine my astonishment when I hear this as I STILL thought pickles came from the bottom of the sea. I lightly challenged her as we all lived in a land-locked state. Everyone in the room suddely became quiet and I got a little nervous. I bravely said “You must be kidding… a pickle factory… why, everyone knows pickles come from the bottom of the sea”.

Yeah. blushes


It’s much, much worse than you think.

When I was in 2nd grade there was a poster on the wall of the gym that said “Exercise, it will help you in the long run” and the picture was of the start of the Boston Marathon, or something like that with a lot of people running.

Not being familiar with the phrase"in the long run" I was convinced there was going to be a big race that everyone in the country was going to have to be in, called “The Long Run”. I was concerned because I was little and I didn’t know how long I could run, or what would happen if I couldn’t finish the run.

I remember when the concern finally grew to the point that I asked my dad “When is The Long Run going to be?” and then had to explain what I was talking about!

Years later when I read “The Long Walk” by Stephen King, I wondered if he had the same poster in his school gymnasium.

Until I was 7 or 8, I thought store employees slept at the store. I thought they lived behind the doors that read EMPLOYEES ONLY. I thought the same about my teachers.

When I first saw that comic strip I was floored. I was sure I was the only person who had believed that color was a recent innovation.
Along the line of the Calvinist thinking, I also believed that the maximum bridge weights were determined by driving heavier and heavier vehicles across the bridge until it collapsed. Then they would rebuild the bridge.

Wow. Bill Waterson was just as screwed up as me.

Some of the replies so far are quite endearing :slight_smile:

When people asked me what my dad did for a living, I said that he was a commuter. I wasn’t sure what being a commuter entailed, but it sounded important.

I thought that motorcyclists steered purely by leaning from side to side (maybe I wasn’t entirely wrong). I knew that the front wheel could be steered, but after close observation of motorcyclists I had discerned no such steering motion as they made their turns.

The aforementioned idea that men got ladies pregnant by weeing inside them was almost universally accepted at my junior school (ages 5-6).

I believed that there was a car company named “Chevrolet” (pronounced as it is spelled) and a totally separate company called “Shevrolay,” which I had never once seen.

Also, I believed that when you flush a toilet, a werewolf comes out when the water has disappeared from the bowl. I ran out of bathrooms as quickly as I could, in order to avoid the werewolf. I have no idea where that belief came from.

I thought of another one!

When I was 8 or so, around 1980, there was a lot of talk on the news about robots taking over jobs at auto plants and how robots were replacing workers.

For some reason I thought that the robotic revolution would happen overnight, like one week robots would suddenly have taken over the majority of jobs in the world.
I remember riding my bike and trying to think of what I should try to be when I grew up, trying to think of jobs that robots couldn’t do.

After reading Edgar Allan Poe’s Politician I thought that they were creatures only of the city. Not too far off the mark, I’d say.

A very 70s childhood memory:

When I was little, maybe 5 or 6, my favorite thing to do when we went to the grocery store was slide the little concave plastic price tags that popped into the front of each shelf. I’d slide them back and forth and all the way down the row, until my mother chewed me out severely for doing that.

Soon thereafter, I heard on the news that prices were going up, and I was convinced it was my fault for screwing with the tags at the grocery store.

When I was 6 or 7 Dad ran over a rattle snake with the car (I don’t know if it was on purpose or not, it was a back road and the snake was laying across the road.) Having broken its back he got out and put it out of its misery.

That night when we were going home there were cicadas everywhere. Since I didn’t really know what a rattlesnake sounded like nor what cicadas were, I thought that our house was surrounded by rattlesnakes. I lay awake for hours fearfully imagining them coming and killing us all.

Oddly, since it was so imprinted on my little mind, few sounds remind me of home more than the sound of cicadas at night.

Oh, this is a good one. When I was young, I kept confusing the concept “murder” with the concept of a “heart attack”. I startled a few family friends by saying things like, “Uncle Sam had a murder”.

I used to wonder why people didn’t just suddenly burst into song–they did at the theater (I was raised going to summer stock). I thought everyone had a soundtrack to their lives (a phrase I’ve stolen from some product or other that ran that line as an ad a few years back–Ellen DeGeneres was the spokesperson). I used to wonder when mine would be made.
When I was quite small, I thought the tiny people on the TV were tiny people on the TV–Mike TeeVee of Charlie/Chocolate Factory was no help. :eek:

I also thought that people like the Petries, Andy Taylor, the Bradys etc LIVED in the houses on their sitcoms. I so wanted to be Samantha Stevens and live in her house. Given this, I Dream of Jeannie always made me uncomfortable–how could she fit in that tiny bottle?

I also thought the teachers lived at school. I never saw one outside of school, so there was my proof!
And I also thought each band was in the radio station, waiting for its turn to play it’s record, live. I had no problem with records–but the music coming out of my radio had to be live(?). I remember being amazed that the band always played the song just right!

I thought I would NEED the skills discussed in the Little House books. Also, that I would need to know how to courtesy and use a fan (a small hand fan, that is).

I thought for quite a while that drink-driving was when you were drinking something while driving a car. I managed to get the idea that it was a really bad thing to do though. All until one day dad happened to be drinking a can of coke whilst driving, and I was horrified. He had to pull over and explain alcohol and things.

I think I’ve posted this in other threads, but I used to think Ginger from Gilligan’s Island and Agent 99 from Get Smart were the same (hot) person.

When I was very small, maybe three, I got the Resurrection of Christ, and believed that everyone comes back to life eventually. It didn’t scare me-on the contrary, I couldn’t wait to see my great-grandparents.

It wasn’t until I saw the “Mister Hooper Dies” episode of Sesame Street that I understood that death was forever. (Well, for those who believe in an afterlife, I mean, I realized people don’t come back HERE).

Oh, and we lived above a funeral home until I was four. I thought the people who were laid out were made of glass.
When I heard about alcoholics, I didn’t understand how you could drink alcohol and survive-because the only alcohol I knew of was rubbing alcohol. I knew about booze, I didn’t get that it was “alcohol”.

And on a similiar note, when my mother told me that her uncle used to drink olive oil before going out and getting drunk (for some reason or another), I didn’t know how you could drink oil and still live.


Up here in Canada, we had (yrs ago) a show called “Mr Dress-Up” which was our version of “Mr Roger’s Neighbourhood”.

Mr Dress-Up had, in his back yard, Casey and Finnegan, two puppets Casey )(A Young boy hand puppet) and his Dog (Finnegan - an obvious sock puppet).

I was about 15 when, one day, reviewing my childhood memories, that I “realised” Casey wasn’t a real boy. (I always “knew” that Finnegan was just a puppet)…

Its not that I had believed that until I was 15… it was just that it took me that long to “edit” my memories… Hard to explain…


When I was 6 I asked my dad how old he was. He said 99. On his next birthday I asked him how old he was and he said 98. I was very surprised. He told me that after you get to 99 your age starts going down again. Naturally I believed him - it took a few years for me to work out he was just kidding.

At age 6, Mrs BACI after hearing station ads on the radio “Radio 3XY 1422 on your AM dial” tried to dial 1 4 2 2 on the phone. It took a few years for her to work out that 1422 was the station’s frequency.

Mrs BACI also used to wonder what all the fuss was with Youth In Asia.

There used to be a brand of cornflakes with a chimera-like creature for a mascot and my neighbour and I were conviced that every night this creature would jump off the midnight train and roam about our little town, rooting thru the garbage and biting jugs of milk in half. Because a cereal monster must invariably crave milk and because our ‘evidence’ for the monster’s nightly prowling were a few empty milk jugs somebody had cut in half and left in the middle of a field near where we lived. Many a night we’d go out armed with flashlights and sometimes my neighbour’s litttle sisters taking along, looking for more evidence, or even better and a good look at the thing.

Oh, and another one. A slightly older nieghbor friend once convinced me that copper prices were going to skyrocket and advised me to hoard all the copper I could find. So I did. Under a bush in my yard you could find 10 bucks worth of pennys, a few bundles of wiring, and a tubes for plumbing. I figured when I got older I’d be able to cash it all in for some serious cabbage.

Considering some of the things I’ve been hearing in the news lately, my neighbor friend might not have been too far off.