It's not about the house.

Friday, October 5, 2007

They May Not Mean To, But They Do

I was reading an old Dave Barry column the other day. He said that when he was little, he asked his dad why it was so loud when you drove along the highway, and his dad told him it was because all the people who lived along the side of the highway had their vacuum cleaners on at the same time. Barry said that, even though he knew, on some level, that Dad was pulling his leg, he still kind of believed it until one day in his mid-twenties it hit him with a blinding flash: that's just plain not true!

It reminded me of a story I have -- which is actually my sister's story, but she won't be back at her computer until Monday morning, and I can't wait that long.

Khurston asked our dad once why it is that, when you drive under a bridge or tunnel, the FM channels still come in but the AM signal turns to fuzz. Dad said it was because the AM signal goes through the air, so the tunnel blocks it, but the FM goes through the ground, so there's no interference. She believed him.

Until, as an adult, driving with the man who would become her husband, they experienced the AM fadeout, and she decided to impress this new man in her life with an interesting bit of AM trivia. He looked at her like she was bug-insane.

"No sir!" he said, unable to stop himself from laughing. And she thought "Oh yeah. You know what? That doesn't make any sense at all!"

Dads do this. They make shit up. And now that I have an inquisitive three-year-old niece, I do it too. She doesn't understand the concept of "I don't know" or "Just because" so I say something -- anything -- to end the line of inquisition.

Last week, we were watching the football game. The Verizon commercial with the guy on the motorcycle came on. Niece said "That girl wanted to go with the man, but him didn't want her to. Why?" I told her it was because that girl had a poopy diaper.

Well, she's just too young to start learning about certain men and their "I gotta be an easy rider" ways. Poop is a language I'm comfortable speaking to her, at least until she's on the pot for good (if she were a boy I wouldn't have that cutoff looming. We'd have another year or forty. Which is really too bad for me, seeing as how I don't speak Princess).

That one little tv-related fib probably won't come back to haunt her, but I'm sure there will be more. From me at least, and probably from her dad. Her mom, I don't know -- do moms do this sort of thing? I've never heard of it, but I've already made one sweeping sexist generalization in this post, so I don't think I ought to risk another.

What about you? Did your dad (or mom, or sister or brother or terrible, terrible auntie) make up fun facts for you when you were not yet jaded enough to doubt everything authority figures told you? If so, share!

Remember, I'm talking about things the person knew were incorrect -- or at least didn't care whether or not they were. I'm not looking to make fun of people who were genuinely misinformed. And I'm not looking for "my father was really my brother" kind of some-other-forum confessions. Just silly crap your folks made up to get you to stop talking.

Tell me. I'll pick my favorite and do something silly with it.

Also, anyone who gets the reference in the title of this post will be Queen (or King) of the Blog for the entire weekend.



Ladyscot said...

They don't do it to be mean - just something they like to do?
And yes, Mom's do it too. I'm sure Chemgirl could come up with something I told her.

John said...

Oh hell yes, both men and women do it. Or, at least my wife and I do. Our kid doesn't stand a chance. To be honest, we feed him so much merde, it's hard to think of any one example. Most involve aliens, animate inanimate objects, and evil spirits.

My wife is full of it. She told one little kid that her parka (leather, fur lined) was made from lion skin that she had chewed on to soften before she made it into a coat. The kid was speachless in awe and believed it for years.

charlie said...

side-hill cows!
My dad told me once that cows were either uphill cows, side-hill cows, or down-hill cows. And you could tell them apart by the length of their legs...up-hill cows had shorter front legs, down-hill cows had shorter back legs, and side-hill cows had one short front leg and one short back leg (on the same side). All of this was so they did not fall down the hill when grazing.
clam pee!
my (nefarious) father also told me that the foam in the ocean was clam pee...ironically it turned out he was sorta correct, annoying!

jen said...

I cant remember any lies that my people told me. BUT! Luckily, I have my PhD in Phibs, and am very prone to lying straight away to my nieces, nephews, little brothers and my son. I have no shame.

1. When my brother Kurtis was three, I had that dude convinced that there were dinosaurs in our back woods that would come out at night and stare at him through his bedroom window. I mean, he REALLY believed me, as any three year old kid SHOULD believe his 19 year old sister.

2. My youngest niece Maya calls me Princess Auntie Jen. This is because I told her I am a princess. The Princess of Yonderpond. And, one day, she will inherit my throne. She is only four, so she doesn’t give a crap about the throne, but she DOES care about the crown…which is what precipitated this whole lie; I had a crown from my 30th birthday, she asked if she could have it, I said no, why? Because I’m the Princess of Yonderpond, and I need it to rule over my Realm. Der.

3. Holden was being a complete ass in the car one day when he was like two or so, and kept undoing himself from his carseat. We were of course screaming bloody murder at each other (because that’s how we roll), and I wasn’t paying attention to my speed, and lo and behold, a cop pulled me over. I told Holden it was because he wouldn’t stay in his carseat, and next time, he’d have to go to jail. I have never had any problems since with this kid in the car.

cuz donna said...

OK this one is good. Not exactly a lie, but I almost delivered the triplets right there in the car after the conversation. I was in the car with my father and Drew (now 21). Drew was almost 4 and was asking a million questions. My dad was keeping up the volley (maybe telling a few fibs)pretty well until Drew asked "Grampa, why do poopies come out of your butt?" Pause... My dad was almost crying with laughter, swerving the car as he choked out, " Well, I guess it's better than them coming out out of your mouth isn't it?"

Mommie Dearest said...

Sorry I missed the contest, but do you remember the sun rising on Monday Wed and Friday and setting on Tuesday Thursday and Saturday? doing both on sunday

EGE said...

I didn't until you said it, but now I do. Liar!

Khurston said...

DREW IS 21!?
oh hell i'm going to go pull off my fingernails.

Anonymous said...

I gave my nephew an apple to eat, and, not bieng sure he had ever had a WHOLE apple to himself before, I told him not to eat the seeds in the middle. "Why?" he inquired. "Because the trees will grow in your stomach," I said. Of course he had to eat one to try it out. And, of course, he got a stomach ache from eating the darn seeds, and he went crying to him mom, telling her that his stomach was going to explode because he aste the seed and the tree was growing in in tummy. I had a tear in my eye becasue I was holding in the laugh. My sister-in law blew a gasket and told me to correct the lie, and never to f*&$&@! lie to her kid again! (that's when I was became convinced she was a psycho-b^!@&)