1. I had never heard of the disorder epilepsy until I unknowingly heard of the disorder epilepsy. Whenever someone misbehaved in my fifth grade math class, my teacher claimed that (i.e.: if Max didn’t take his hands out his pants by the time she counted to three) any given student was going to give her epilepsy.
I consistently misunderstood her squawks. I heard, “If you kids don’t cut it out right now, you’re gonna give me apple-lepsy.”
Apple-lepsy: /ˈæpəlˈlɛpsEe/ noun. A physical transformation in adult humans whereby the energy that drives child-induced anger mutates into apples that shoot out of said adult’s eyes and smack children in the face, often leaving them with bruises and a nutritious, yet sometimes mealy, after school snack. Note: “apple-lepsy” shares its origins with the cheap pyrotechnics of a Vegas-style magic show.
2. My sister and I have had two significant fights: one when she realized much earlier than I did that brushing your hair when it’s dry is never a good idea—even on class picture day. I don’t know what the second one was about, but I do remember that I raged about my bedroom, plotting my vengeance. I made a sign, crumpled up the piece of paper, and tossed it through her bedroom door.
The sign read: “I hat you.”
My parents later found the sign and explained that not only was I doomed for a life of filled with spelling mistakes, but that telling my sister I hat-ed her was wrong and hurtful because my sister did not look good in hats; I was, therefore, intentionally preying on her shortcomings. If people hat-ed each other more often, there would be an influx in hat exchange between most countries and the U.S., concealing bald spots would be less taboo, and everyone might be a little nicer to each other because their heads would be warmer.
3. The first CD I had ever bought was Spice World. Spice World spawned many hit singles, including the song “Stop.”
The lyrics: “Stop right now, thank you very much. I need somebody with a human touch.”
Since the group lamented the absence of humanity, I thought the “you” must be of another species. Perhaps an animal, but my six-year-old-self knew that was wrong. Aliens, however, seemed like a viable option. Anyone could befriend an alien: E.T., ALF, the sea monkeys I had “grown” in my basement earlier that month. The Spice Girls had tried to love an alien, things weren’t going well, and they now were fed up with holding his slimy alien hands. They needed to change their situation by singing about it. Duh. As if. Gag me with a spoon. (Insert concluding 90’s catch-phrase of your choice here).
I don’t believe in or think these things anymore. Instead, I mostly think about my future, specifically where my next meal is coming from. I’d like to think, however, that these “facts” serve as testament to how resourceful we can be when faced with something unfamiliar or unknown. Instead letting our lack of knowledge or experience hinder our progress, why not just overcome the unfamiliarity by making something up? Eventually we’ll figure out we’re wrong, learn from our mistakes, and continue on…though I still hope someone gets diagnosed with “apple-lepsy.”