Friday, November 20, 2009

The Mythology of Childhood (things I once believed)

We recently acquired a hot air popcorn popper - because the microwave stuff has too much fat and salt my wife's dietitian recommended it.  My younger daughter, Emma age 8, just loves it.  She sits, entranced by the whirling kernels spinning inside the machine until one by one, they explode in a puff of whiteness with a great POP.  It reminds me of something my older siblings had told me as a child:  If you look into the popper while it's running, it'll make you go blind. 

I have two older siblings, a sister and brother, and both were prone to telling my gullible childhood self interesting things that I later found out were blatantly false.  Some of my friends who were older than me also liked to play the game of seeing what stupid things they could make me believe.  Here are a few examples of the myths that coloured my childhood:

-  The skinny reddish roots that are exposed when you dig in the sandbox come from plants that are growing in hell and the roots reach upwards.  If you pull on the roots, it makes the devil angry.

-Eating ice-cream before bed will result in nightmares - every single time.

-If you forget to rinse the shampoo out of your hair, worms and maggots and other creepy things will grow there overnight.

-If you go to bed with gum in your mouth, it will end up in your hair no matter what. It's a certainty.

-Orange juice is an essential ingredient in egg-nog.

-That old out of shape pink house across the back-lane is haunted.  If you go to the door and wave your hand in the window, you will see a ghost hand waving back from the far room (it was a mirror of course, but it freaked me out anyway!)

-Every Easter, my sister and her friends kill the Easter bunny, and a new one takes its place.  That Easter there were actual rabbit tracks in the light snow that had fallen (a coincidence) and a red spot in the snow (food coloring I think).  My sister denies this ever happened, but I remember it very clearly because I was quite traumatized.

-Santa Claus once screwed up and labeled my gift for my younger brother, and his for me.  I woke up first and was puzzled by the gift.  Luckily, my parents somehow knew about the error and re-wrapped the present for him and gave me mine.

There were a few others, of course.
I bet you've got some of your own.
Care to share?

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