2) You know those industrial plants you drive by on the highway, and you see the smoke pouring out, smoke you just know is causing cancer and destroying the environment and making people gag? Yeah. I thought they were cloud machines when I was a kid. Big, white, fluffy cloud machines. 3) Gas station attendants = wealthiest men in the world. Oh yeah. My dad would pull up to the tank, pay in cash, and the guy at the pump would pull out a wad of cash out of his pocket as thick as a New York corned beef sandwich. Of course, as a result of this, I wanted to be a gas station station attendant as a kid. And even dressed like them (jeans and a white T-shirt).. And these guys always had rags hanging out their back pocket. So I copied this behavior and tied my rag to my belt loop. It then got caught in the back bicycle wheel. I went head over keister into a tree. Got a black eye. And gas station attendants are not rich.
4) Eating sugar straight from the package at the diner causes worms to grow in your stomach. This may have just been dreadful parenting on my mother's part, but anytime I reached for a sugar packet, she'd tell me if I ate sugar straight, worms would grow in my stomach.
5) "When I grow up " This one is slammed down your throat from the moment you're talking. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" morphs into you believing that when you do grow up and become an adult, life magically becomes perfect. Please. We should be encouraging our children to never grow up, because while being an adult does have it's advantages (sex, staying up as late as you want, the ability to slowly poison yourself with booze and both legal and illegal drugs) the downsides of adult life (sex, staying up as late as you want, the ability to slowly poison yourself with booze and both legal and illegal drugs) pretty much cancel out the good.
6) Peanut butter and jelly mixed together in a bowl is not yogurt. I hated yogurt as a kid. But then I realized if you mix anything together in a bowl, you could legally call it yogurt. As it turns out, no, no you can't.
7) Santa Claus. And I'm Jewish. I don't even want to write about this.
8) Hope springs eternal in spring training. When I was a kid, I was constantly able to convince myself the Mets had what it took to be World Series champions. I no longer possess this bright-eyed view of the world.
9) That people want to help you. Remember when you were a kid, and adults - even strangers - were always there to lend a hand? Well, as an adult, you find this isn't exactly the way of the world. Oh sure, we say we want to help each other out, and yes, many of us choose to do so, but really, when it comes right down to it, it's every man for himself.
10) That parents are infallible. Google definition of the word "infallible": Incapable of mistakes or being wrong. Remember when you felt that way about your parents? I remember. Today, I see see it in my own kids' eyes. To them, I am infallible. What they don't realize is that I screw up about a dozen times a day, easy, and it's a small miracle they've survived this long with me as their second-in-command. I'm clueless. They'll figure it out one day. Probably about the time they figure out eating sugar won't cause incredible changes in the human stomach.
Jeff Edelstein can be reached at facebook.com/jeffreyedelstein and twitter.com/jeffedelstein.