My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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October 15th, 2010

Childhood Wisdom

Here are a few things, heard from various sources throughout my childhood, that I still find myself sticking to:

Where does pink eye come from?

When I was little, I overheard this conversation on the playground: “He has pink eye.” “What’s pink eye?” “It’s when you touch your butt and then you touch your eye.” And so now, I kind of assume that’s where every pink eye case comes from.

How to tell if you’re sick.

I used to read these books about a moose and a bear named Morris and Boris, respectively. Boris is usually a grump, and Morris is so stupid that if he were to ever actually be evaluated, it would be his doctor’s Hippocratic duty to find him a group home with 24-hour care. Anyway, in one of them, Boris gets sick and Morris is taking care of him. He asks his ursine pal to stick out his tongue and exclaims “Your tongue is white! You’re sick!” I still look at my tongue in the mirror when I’m feeling unwell. That’s right, I go by the medical advice of a fictional character whose major attribute was his massive stupidity.

How the pros clean their NES cartridges.

When I was seven or eight, Josh Fisher and I were in his bedroom playing Bubble Bobble. I realize how that sounds, so let me clarify: Bubble Bobble is a video game involving tiny dinosaurs (?) that run around and pop bubbles with their mouths. Some of the bubbles contain food, some contain nothing, and some contain these weird whale things that harm you.

So anyway, we’re playing this game, when the Nintendo Entertainment System freaks out and stops working. This had happened a couple of times to us already, and we were getting frustrated. I crawled to the console, removed the game, and began to perform the NES Cartridge Dust Removal Maneuver, a move any member of my generation is familiar with. In case you’re not, Step 1: Put opening of cartridge in front of face. Step 2: Blow as hard as you can. Step 3: Jam game back into console, decimating the 72-bit pin connector, (which is actually the source of your problem, by the way).

I got as far as Step 2 when Josh snatched the game out of my hand. “No! You’re getting spit in it!” Then he did something I had never seen before. He placed the fabric of his cheeto-stained t-shirt over the opening of the cartridge and THEN blew into it. I looked at him quizzically. “This,” he said, his eyes half-closed with pompousness, “is how the pros do it.”

The pros. The Bubble Bobble professionals.

God is a Jewish doctor.

Heathen Alert: I was completely freaked out to get baptized. I thought it was going to involve being cut with something, so my blood could come out. I don’t know why. No one actually told me that. But they didn’t really explain why the hell I was being baptized anyway, so I was sort of flying blind.

“Does it hurt?” I asked Katy McRaney. “No. They just put water on your face and talk about God.”

I didn’t really understand “God.” It was more of a word people said when they hit their heads on stuff. I’d been to Sunday school, but that was more just a torturous place where Louis and I were made to color pictures of sheep and babies and stuff. (We hated it there.)

I didn’t know much about Him, but I did know what He looked like. You see, I have a godfather. His name is Kipper, and he is a doctor. Since that, and head traumas, were where I’d heard the word the most, I figured the Lord must look like him.

To this day, any time the topic comes up, I imagine the giant disembodied head of a Jewish doctor named Kipper, smiling down on us all from a thunder cloud.


There you have it. The wisdom I have carried with me since childhood. I’ll understand if none of you want to talk to me ever again.

5 comments to Childhood Wisdom

  • Allison

    Whoa, I used to be obsessed with Morris and Boris. In fact, we just moved a few months ago and just last night I found my Morris and Boris Christmas book that I’ve had since kindergarten.

    Also, did you ever read Amelia Bedelia? I used to get really perplexed at how stupid she was (She was supposed to dress a turkey and she put clothes on it! And draw the curtains. She drew a sketch of the curtains) and how everyone was always so pissed at her for being dumb.

  • Liz

    COMPLETELY. I always felt embarrassed for Amelia. Did you ever read Mrs. Piggle Wiggle?

  • Not true on the pinkeye front.

    I knew some frat boys who used to fart on one another’s pillows, and they both caught it. From one another, in a totally non-gay way.

    (This is one of the many reasons why I went to Queen’s University, where frats are banned.)

  • gene taylor

    I’m so old, I remember when Piggly Wiggly was a supermarket chain in Texas.

  • I had a friend in college who once confided in me that he thought God was “Orko” from He Man. Or I should say, that is what he thought God looked like.


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