My dad told me a lot of stories when I was a kid. I'm not sure why. Probably just because it was fun. When I say "stories," I guess I really mean, "lies," but they were all pretty harmless lies, so I'm not sure they were really lies. Can't you lie to kids now and then? What about that Santa Claus thing? (I don't lie too often, but Little Z may currently believe that she came from an egg, like her favorite penguin.) He told me so many stories about so many things, that when he told me that wood came from trees, I absolutely did not believe him. Who could believe such insanity?
Many of my dad's stories had to do with the city around us. Among other things, he told me:
* If the bridges were ever out, we could go across the bay in either my Grandpa's or Uncle David's car, because Volkswagens float.
* Those trees over by city hall are actually planted upside down. They raise them, then dig them up and turn them over.
* There are no cemeteries in San Francisco, save the military one. (This is actually true!)
* A dinosaur guards the San Francisco Mint.
That last one is really embarrassing. I mean, how could I ever believe that? I would always try to find the dinosaur, whenever we went by there,
"Where is the dinosaur?"
"Oh, he's off around the other side."
I fell for that crap!
I still believed in the dinosaur even after we moved to the suburbs, when I started school and we went on a field trip to the San Francisco Mint. I still remember the bus ride, when we road through the neighborhood that had all the racy movies. The first theatre's marquee said, "X RATED MOVIES!" And all the kids on the bus said,
"Oooooo...." The next sign said,
"XX RATED MOVIES!" And all the kids on the bus said,
"OooooHooo......" The next sign said,
"XXX RATED MOVIES!" And all the kids on the bus cheered!
Anyway, they gave us a great tour of the mint, but the whole time I was wondering when they were going to show us where the dinosaur lived. Surely it would have to be a big sort of room or something, right? Luckily, I was too shy to actually interrupt the tour and ask out loud where the dinosaur was kept. It was partly because I was shy, and partly because I actually had this nagging dread, the sort of sinking feeling that maybe, just maybe...
There was no dinosaur guarding the San Francisco Mint.
Dad also told me that they took "gullible" out of the dictionary, on account of that indian chief named "Chief Gullible" being so offended.
I'm not the only one in the world, right? I mean, you've fallen for something once, haven't you? Anyone? Anyone?