My first revelation: Medusa and Australia’s toads

Monday, March 10, 2014 Permalink

After last week’s false start, I’m again linking with Kerri Sackville to talk… My First Revelation.

As it happens I actually cannot recall what this was, so naturally instead I’m sharing yet another embarrassing story from my past.

Did you know that toads, during the day, turn into rocks or large stones?

I have no idea who on earth shared this piece of wisdom with me when I was a youngster, but I took it as gospel. For years.

Until one day in my early teens #MyFirst bestie and I were enroute to school (we rode to school together for most of our 12 years of schooling) and I swerved to avoid a rock. Which naturally reminded me of this toad-related fact I decided to share with M (the aforementioned bestie).

M was actually quite smart and mature for her age – less prone to frivolity and the TV addiction which plagued my own childhood.

She looked at me for a moment before realising I was serious.

I cannot remember HOW she relieved me of my erroneous thinking and doubt she made fun of my misperceptions. I also doubt she told everyone in school, so I could become the butt of jokes. Although I wonder now if I possibly I even argued with her, assuming my information was correct.

I’m reminded of an internet provider ad which appeared on our TV screens here in Oz a few years ago. A young boy was asking his father all sorts of difficult questions. His father – obviously not the most enlightened of humans – fed him bullshit answers. Of course the ad cut to the child relaying this ‘factual’ information to his teacher and class. The implication was obviously that ‘fact checking’ is much easier in these days of the World Wide Web.

Of course when I was a youngster we relied on always-out-of-date reference books. In retrospect, the World Book, Funk & Wagnalls or Encyclopedia Britannica or the like just didn’t cut it.

Now we just google everything. I could ‘ask the interwebz,  “What happens to toads during the day?”

And I would be advised thus:

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 11.42.27 AM.jpg

 Hmmm…. #whatevs. And, #oops.

Other than the obvious (Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy etc) were you fed any false information growing up, which you took as gospel?

PS. For my international readers… here in Oz we have a plethora of cane toads. They were introduced to control cane beetles before (of course) spreading out of control themselves. (And yes… the Old Lady who Swallowed the Fly comes to mind! It seems scientists could learn a thing or two from childhood nursery rhymes.)

  • Char
    March 10, 2014

    How sad is the day when something we knew as a truth is shattered?! The biggest lie I swallowed as a child involved bread crusts and curly hair. And I dutifully swallowed those dry old bread crusts in the hope that my lank locks would get a little bit of bounce. I would have been happy with a slight wave – I didn’t need ringlets. I’m not sure why adults were so insistent on me eating the crusts. It wasn’t like I was missing out on vital nutrients like I would have with vegetables. I’m pretty sure it was just a control issue.

    • Debbish
      March 10, 2014

      Oh yes, my dad tried that one. He also told me my tongue would go black if I was lying (so I had to poke it out so he could see!). I ‘think’ I knew they were falsies!

  • Camilla
    March 10, 2014

    What a funny little story 🙂 it was a pleasure to drop in

  • Jo Tracey
    March 11, 2014

    So many myths, so little time… 🙂 Love it, Deb.

    • Debbish
      March 11, 2014

      Indeedy! I was telling mum yesterday and we wondered if it’d been my father who told me as he loved kidding with people. I really cannot remember, but obviously I didn’t question it enough to check it over several years!

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