It is kind of amazing and scary at the same time how certain things I heard when I was a child still strike me with fear or still make me uneasy. You know those kinds of lies grown ups (usually parents) tell children just so they stop messing around.
Like when my mother would tell me not to play too much out in the sun because I will get a lot of head lice. Until now, when I’m out in the sun for a long time (which rarely happens here in Sweden), I would start imagining lice exponentially populating my scalp, enough to trigger off some serious head scratching. Or when she would tell me to take the afternoon nap so that I will grow tall. Well, with my 180 cm, I did sure turn out to be taller than the average Fillie guy. But I can assure you it was not because of those afternoon naps, though when I joke around with some of my vertically-challenged friends, I would tease them that they should have listened to their mums when they were small and should have taken those naps.
I also grew up believing that all white people were Americans. And that all American males are named Joe. Well it was not only me but all of my childhood friends in the village where we used to run half-naked chasing chickens and pigs. One day a group of caucasian tourists came and we were of course frantically waving and shouting “Hey Joe!” to all the men. This very same gang of mine told me that if you bump your head, you will become stupid. And to counter that effect, you got to knock your chin three times, making sure your lower jaw moves up such that the molars would make those knocking sounds. Looks like a complicated move but not really. And it kind of made sense back then. But now when I bump my head I would still do that, though in a very discreet manner.
Here is something funnier. A swedish colleague grew up believing what his father told him when he was small that when a car engine is left running for a long time when it is just parked, it will eventually explode. Until now, in his 30s he still gets fidgety when passing by a parked car with a running engine.
But I think no other lies would take the prize from those with the aim of dissuading prepubescent boys from playing with their willies. I can write a really funny book about what parents tell their sons in a catholic country just so they would stop jerking off. It ranges from you’ll get blind to you’ll grow hair on the palm of your hands. If those were true I would have been a blind kid with palms like that of Chewbacca multiplied a hundred times.
Here is a blind Chewbacca if you don’t know what I mean:
So, what is your childish belief? Chewbacca wants to know.