Childhood Lies Come True

I like to stand outside on moonlit nights and watch the skies. When there isn’t a full moon, and I’m not looking for elves and werewolves, I enjoy guessing the time of night by the position of the constellations.  Because trees obscure my southern view, I couldn’t tell you what’s lurking in that direction.  Could be UFO’s or a Regal Cinema for all I know.

The Truth is Out There...Thanks to NASA

But the northern horizon… I’ve got that nailed.  And every 90 minutes the International Space Station zips through reminding me of the lies they filled our noggins with when we were young.

Remember as a kid, they told us the Great Wall of China was the only structure visible with the unaided eye from outer space?

Turns out it’s malarkey.  You can’t see it from the moon.  China’s own astronaut,  Yang Liwei, discovered he couldn’t even see it from the space station (which was cruising considerably closer than the moon).  His country was in an uproar.  Textbooks would have to be re-written.  Fortunately for the country, another Chinese astronaut,  Chiao , made the trip with a digital camera and a big honkin’ lens. His subsequent photos showed a section of the wall and were greeted with relief and great rejoicing by the Chinese. One photo was displayed prominently in the nation’s newspapers. Chiao himself said he didn’t see the wall, and wasn’t sure if the picture showed it. ( I wonder where he is today?)

So what about all that other crap they told us in our youth?

We had drills several times a year, learning to grovel under our desks. Duck and Cover was supposed to protect from an atomic bomb that obliterated buildings on a 2700 degree Fahrenheit afternoon?

We didn’t even believe that HooRah when we were nine-years-old.

And what about that “Permanent Record” that followed us through all the years of compulsory education?   It didn’t exist….until now.

Now, it’s called Facebook.  And its data base has a long long term memory.  Even if it’s erroneous.



Perhaps now is the time to practice “Duck and Cover?”


About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in A Laugh, Enough, Humor, Life, Sleepless Nights and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Childhood Lies Come True

  1. I don’t know. The old wooden desks would be nearly useless during an atomic bomb blast, but once they started using old sink cutouts from Formica, I’m sure we were much better protected. I’m sure.


    • Barb says:

      I think it was the eraser rubbings and floor dust that coated us and protected us. Of course if that formica melted, it would have made helmets or clone armor…so all’s good.


  2. Spectra says:

    SO true about the Facebook “permanent record”. However, I once did go to my Catholic grammer school and my Junior high/high schools, and retrieve all of my said ‘permanent records’. And ya know what? Not one of my class cutting episodes was recorded there – only attendence. And why would I want an employer to be mislead, thinking I’d have perfect attendance and NOT use up all of my paid sick days? That’s what they’re there for! And what emloyer actually has access to your full-on school records? None. They are allowed to confirm you attended, but I think they’d need a whole lot of legal documents to get beyond that. Besides, those absences and lateness can all just be explained away with a none-of-your-business-mysterious-childhood illness.

    In other words – LIES – they work both ways!


    • Barb says:

      Oh, my girlfriend. We need to talk. I don’t know whether to be SHOCKED that you cut so much good Catholic education or to be JEALOUS that I wasn’t clever enough to think of retrieving my records and expunging my spotty truancy reputation. Of course, if anyone asked about your absences, you can always claim religious holidays, conferences, and right-to-religiously-study according to your culture (the culture of let’s blow class). Aaaah the benefits of a private education. Let the lies work for you. Amen.


  3. digipicsphotography says:

    LOL! I remember those days. Who was it that said, “Believe none of what your hear, and only half of what you see.”


    • Barb says:

      I think my hairdresser said it during a wild and colorful session at her shop. Actually, it was Ben Franklin, he hardly had any hair, so I don’t know why he was hanging around the barber shop listening to gossip.


  4. Elisabeth Miles says:

    You can see all sorts of things from outer space if you have a good enough lens. ANd that durn satellite sees all the junk in my backyard loud and clear.


  5. Orice Klaas says:

    Yup! I certainly remember those Duck and Cover days. No way in my little ol’ mind at the time did I believer we would be protected from anything. . .let alone a bomb. Great article!


    • Barb says:

      Orice!!! How great to see you here. I always thought it was weird that drill for atomic bombs was the same as the drill for tornadoes. The only good part of the lie was getting out of classwork (unless they scheduled the drill during recess). “Communists know NO recess.!”


  6. rose l says:

    My dad used to say my middle name was gullible. I believed everything. It took a few heart breaks and disappointments to find out that the world is not perfect and people definitely are not.
    Yet I have also discovered that there is much love, kindness, and caring out there. Somehow it balances out.


  7. When our own mothers LIED to us, it is not surprising that the powers that were also lied. I cannot dig to China. If you have your arm out of the car window a car will not come along and instantly chop it off. And there is nothing, but nothing, you can swap for a liverwurst sandwhich.


    • Barb says:

      I think you can get government funding for the liverwurst lie. I’d forgotten about the arm out the window lie. Perhaps that’s where liverwurst comes from?


  8. All this malarkey talk reminds me that I once worked with a guy named Malarkey. I thought he was kidding when we were first introduced.
    Now it occurs to me that I know a few other people who would nicely fit that last name…


  9. moma escriva says:

    We believe as youngsters do, blindly thinking our elders know what’s best. As I went along in my childhood days, just wondering what my mom made me for lunch of if it was Friday and I could choose between that or buy at school which consisted of Lipton’s noodle soup and crackers. What a treat!


    • Barb says:

      Perhaps you shouldn’t read these posts, Moma. They are full of malarkey and will taint a sweet believing gal like you. Now, give me your lunch money and let me protect you from the lie that is Lipton’s noodle soup. (There’s no chicken in it).


  10. Alice Lynn says:

    I’m thinking of three kinds of untruths; lies, malarkey, and fairy tales. Going back to front, fairy tales deliver morals in an entertaining package; malarkey is “just for fun” unless you’re naive enough to go all serious about it; but lies are meant to mislead, divert attention, obstruct justice,and keep the liar from reaping the consequences of his/her bad behavior.


  11. Roxie says:

    I figured the whole point of duck and cover was to get you into a position where you could kiss your ass goodbye, The powers that be colluded on lots of lies and fallacies. Your face does not stay that way, and “it” does not make you go blind.

    Furthermore, they told us that Columbus discovered America. But apparently, lots of other folks discovered it first. They just didn’t publish their findings so broadly.

    Lastly, why in the world should we wear nice underrwear just in case we get into an accident? If I get into an accident bad enough to require hospitalization, my underwear will no longer be fit to be seen, no matter how nice it was when I put it on.


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