Things I Didn’t Know As A Kid
When I was a young kid I, like most kids, thought I knew all that was worth knowing. Of course some of the things I believed to be true, especially about popular culture and such, were often half-truths or out right false. Some of these entries will sound absolutely funny to some people, especially those of my parents generation. Here goes.
1) I was fourteen years old before I found out that the book ‘The Catcher in The Rye’ wasn’t about baseball. I always thought it was a minor league baseball player from the midwest in the Great Depression Era (like ‘Bull Durham’ meets ‘The Natural’).
2) I was in college before I figured out that Prince Albert in A Can was a brand of tobacco, not just some screwball adolesent prank phone call joke.
3) I was twenty seven years old before I figured out that 1960s Political Radical “Abbie” Hoffman wasn’t a woman. His name was really Abbot. But a high school classmate of mine made the same mistake about Pauly Shore back in the late 1990s.
4) When the movie ‘The Prince of Tides’ came out, I immediately thought it was about surfing.
5) As a grade school student I was shocked to learn that ancient peoples knew how to make alcohol before they knew how to make soap. Priorities I suppose.
6) As a teenager I thought it was common knowledge that cholorox bleach (or anything with chlorine), when mixed with ammonia makes a very noxious gas that can quickly burn your lungs and even kill you. I’m surprised even as a grown man how few people know that I encounter in my day job as a maintenance man.
7) Growing up I never realized just how few places could see the stars in the night sky, let alone as clearly as we can in Nebraska. Heck I could watch the mid Augsut meteor showers in my backyard right in towm and we considered it a bad night if we didn’t see at least 50 meteorites in one night.
8) When I was in 4th grade and we were discussing eathquakes and the San Andreas lines in California, Mrs. Gruszczynski (probably the best teacher a boy like me could have ever had) mentioned that it was possible with continential drifting that California could break off from the rest of North America. And I just quipped “Then we ought to be buying desert property just outside of Las Vegas. Once California breaks off, and Vegas still there: instant beach and major resorts.” To which Mrs. G responded, “But Zach, that could take thousands of years.” And I said, “Well, I guess start saving my money and will all that land out to many generations ahead.” To which she just smiled and just kind of chuckled like ‘Keep thinking, that’s what your good at, Zach Foster.’
I think I’ll rap it up for now. Obviously this is nowhere near the depth of my youthful ignorance.
“I never met a man so ignorant I could learn nothing from him” Galileo