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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Facts I Later Learned were Untrue

Innocent Me Absorbed All of It
I know many things. Some things I know, however, turn out not to be true.

I blame this, probably unfairly, on my sister, Chris. She was given to dispensing fascinating information, which upon examination, was not consistent with the facts. Now, she also said a lot of fascinating things that were completely true, so you never knew where you stood. Some of this misinformation was deliberate sabotage on her part, such as the time she taught me my times-tables: "4 times 7 is 52," "5 times 7 is 84."

Innocent me absorbed all of it - true and untrue alike - with perfect acceptance. Every once in a while an untrue factoid will detonate itself, however, like a German missile long forgotten outside a London suburb.

On a road-trip with my buddy Jamie Iredell I shared many fascinating tid-bits of information, which Jamie recieved with amazement and delight. Upon investigation, some of these proved spurious.

Here is a sampling of the nonsense I (quite seriously) told Jamie was fact:

LBJ was the first Southern President after the Civil War. I was CONVINCED this was true - it made so much sense that it should be true. It, however, is false. Woodrow Wilson, just for one example, was a Virginian.

Kangaroo is an aboriginal word meaning something to the effect of "what are you talking about?" This, at least, is based on a genuine if mistaken myth. Kangaroo is derived from an aboriginal word for a specific breed of kangaroo.

The Panda Bear is not a true bear at all, but an animal more closely related to the American raccoon. Honestly, I don't know what the hell I was thinking of with that one, but I was perfectly sincere in insisting to Jamie that a Panda is a relative of a racoon. It isn't. It's a type of bear.

Anyway, I've been corrected - multiple times - and I suppose this will teach me some humility. Until the next weird piece of misinformation decides to detonate itself.

1 comment:

  1. That's what big sisters are for. I have identical twin brothers who are much younger than I. I used to tell them one of them was adopted, but I wasn't allowed to say which one.

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