We were young and kinda dumb. What’s our excuse now?

Children are vulnerable creatures. This is due to their tenderness in years, small stature, wound-inducing rough play and susceptibility to all sorts of affections and woes and also due to the fact they haven’t yet built up major immune defences. It’s just not all that great being a kid, and most of us can remember time off school due to various ailments, not to mention injuries.

But, as bad as those things were, they weren’t anywhere near as ominous as the widely-held beliefs and myths that punctuated juvenile fears and produced agonizing nighttime panics. Nights were the worst, of course, because that was when monsters were under the bed (meaning you must never leave your hand dangling outside the covers), and bogeymen were in the closets.

The point was, we invariably believed the myths to be utterly true, and we agonized if we had transgressed, believing that our futures were now to be limited in duration because we had screwed up.

When I was a child, we believed the following. You, I am certain had your own myths that might have been similar to mine, or owned entirely by you and your friends.

Consider these:

If you accidentally swallow grape seeds, or apple pits, you will get appendicitis. How those seeds might get into the appendix was never questioned. Somehow it happened, and you knew somebody’s cousin who had died of a ruptured appendix. Grape pits were the culprits, no doubt.

If you swallow chewing gum your intestines will get all clogged up and you won’t be able to poop, and you’ll die in mortal agony.

If you jab yourself with a ballpoint pen or a pencil and break the skin you will immediately get blood-poisoning. You will die.

If you stifle a sneeze your lungs will explode and you will die.

If you burp, fart and sneeze all at the same time, you will die instantly. Again, somebody heard of a distant relative to whom this had happened.

If you don’t wait an hour after eating (anything) and then go swimming, you will immediately be afflicted with agonizing cramps and you will drown. This was guaranteed, and happened to thousands of unfortunate kids every summer.

If you are a boy and you get mumps it will always transfer to your testicles, which will grow to elephantiasis size, and you will either die in agony, or you will never be able to get married because your testicles will be perpetually humongous.

Well enough. Children are young and stupid. Sorry, not allowed to say ‘stupid’ these days as ascribed to kids (though some kids are, be honest, stupid). Children are young and ‘uninformed’.

That’s fine. They have an excuse. What excuses do adults who believe tish-tosh, myths, fancifications and other bits of utter bullshit have? OK, let’s bring the word ‘stupid’ back and ascribe it to more worthier, older subjects.

But, enough about politics.

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9 responses to “We were young and kinda dumb. What’s our excuse now?

  1. Ba dum bum. 🙂

    Pearl

  2. I remember all those stories! So they were still around in my time. I’d also take a flying leap from the bedroom door to my bed so the monsters living under said bed couldn’t catch my leg and drag me under. I had a very small room…

  3. Don’t forget about the watermelon seeds! You know, if you swallow one, a watermelon will grow in your stomach – and you will die. (To this very day, I rarely eat watermelon.)

  4. I was going to add watermelon seeds, but Pinklea beat me to them. Instead, I will contribute pop rocks and coke. If you ate pop rocks and drank coke, your stomach would explode ~ and you would die. Plain. Simple. Irrefutable.

  5. djwheatley@shaw.ca

    dave wheatley here Ian, what about picking up toads and getting warts? and currently, “ freedom 55” , or all those poor souls who believed Willie wooden shoe and voted out the gst, you really think any thing is going to be cheaper when we go back to the 2 separate tax system? that’s my political rant for this week . would like to reconnect with you e me if you like. dave

  6. What a surprise, I must say. A blast from the past indeed. Freedom 55 — ha! Shall email you.

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