Memory Lane: Goofy Stories

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I grew up in a large family, and as the first of the grandchildren, I got a lot of attention. It was all loving attention, but some of it was a little bit odd.

I’m thinking of certain things that certain adults told me that turned out to be quite untrue. For instance, Grammy (my daddy’s mother) told me never to swallow chewing gum because, if I did, a gum tree would grow inside me. I can’t say I believed that; but I did stop swallowing chewing gum.

When I went to kindergarten, I was upset at being away from home, so I cried. This encouraged the other kids to pick on me mercilessly, to make me cry some more, for their amusement–good old public schooling!–but Grandma (my mommy’s mother) had a solution. Watching the news on her small-screen TV, with me sitting on the floor by her feet, she pointed at the screen and said, “See that man? He’s never cried in all his life. And now he’s on television!” I forget which newscaster that was–it’ll come to me at 2 a.m. tonight.

Now, why did Grandma say that? Obviously I already had no chance to match the newsman’s level of stoicism, I’d already blown that. Even at five years old, I found that story a little hard to believe.

My grandmothers told me those weird stories for my good, because they loved me. It just seems, in retrospect, a funny way to show it.

How about you? Did you ever get any curious stories like that? If it’s not too embarrassing, please share! I’d hate to think I was the only one.

10 comments on “Memory Lane: Goofy Stories

  1. I may not be able to top your embarrassment but i’ll try. Grandma told me if I ate only the inside of the large italian bread (which I always did) another loaf would grow inside me. Grandpop told me if I watched late night wrestling, my arms would grow strong. Every night I was there, I sat on the floor next to his chair, eating an apple, watching wrestling, until he fell asleep. Funny thing – my arms did get stronger! There’s more, but I like Phoebe’s the best.

  2. My dad told me when he grew up in Virginia they didn’t have running water or electricity and he had to leave the house to do his business in an outhouse. I thought it was a joke until I got older and found out it was true.

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