It’s actually very appropo to compare me to Chilly Willy, on several levels

Do you have friends that you have known since childhood? Do these friends sometimes make up facts about you? Most of my friends that I have known since childhood have very good, very specific memories that we have shared. However, I have a particular friend from my youth that has so many memories about me that he’s made up out of the clear blue sky, that I almost wonder if the line between knowing someone so well and not knowing them BUT AT ALL is blurrier than we all think. Like, you know so many facts about them that your brain just has to throw some random bullshizz in there just to mix it up. I was at Delium’s house this weekend, and he all of a sudden proclaimed that I had never in my life enjoyed pancakes. Which, clearly, is an insane thing to say to me. My mom made me pancakes pretty much every Sunday morning when I was a kid. I liked pancakes with maple syrup so much that my mother feared for my life. She would tell me a (made up, I am sure) story about how there was once a little kid who drank so much maple syrup that the sugar made his heart race so fast that his ticker gave out and he up and DIED. My dear momma, who has never begrudged me eating a thing in my life, and who lives to stuff me full of food at every opportunity! Even SHE was afeared of my love of pancakes, enough to try and scare me out of eating them. (It never worked). I loved them so much that my brothers used to tease me that I was like Chilly Willy, in that one cartoon where he the bear asks him “more butter? more syrup?” and he chirps “mm-hmm!” every time. Still, Delium claims that when we were teenagers he would make pancakes and that I never wanted any and was all “ew, gross, pancakes,” about them. He argued with me on this. I still don’t think he believes me that I have always loved pancakes.

What is the point of that story? Fook if I know.

But this does get me thinking about things that my parents taught me to be scared of. Or tried to teach me to be scared of, anyway. Not things that most parents try to teach their kids to be scared of, like picking up hitchhikers or something like that. Weird things. Like maple syrup. Or escalators. “Tie your shoes when you go on an escalator or those things will swallow you ALIVE.” Now that my dear Nordic Boy is a building maven (what’s a male maven? Mavener? Mavenot?) and deals with things like escalators and elevators and steel rebar and plaster and the like all the livelong day, he has informed me that my mother was right to be scaring me about the escalators. But I never paid her no mind. I think her credibility went down because of the syrup thing.

What weird things did your parents want you to be afraid of?


  1. Windows without screens. She was convinced that we would definitely lean out too far, and fall and break something. Of course, we would, though we never broke anything. How much can you really break falling from the window of the first floor?

  2. Scurvy. If I didn't eat enough fruits and vegetables, I'd get scurvy. There wasn't even an explanation of what scurvy was – just that it was a horrible, horrible disease.

  3. SOOOOOOO Many…..If i cut my fimger nails at night, the evil spirits would come and set on my chest when im asleep….also, eating too much sour stuff dries up your blood…

  4. I was warned about the laundry chute. Probably because my sister wanted to throw me down the dang thing. And, about escalators, Bonnie was also very strict about me placing my hand on the railing, but not wrapping my fingers around the sides, lest they get caught in the thing and it sucks me in and I die.

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