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And Yet I Survived: Stupid Stuff I Got Away With

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A spin-off of the "when I was a kid" conversation in the "Discontinued Products (Non-Food) You Miss" topic.

I remember being allowed (encouraged, actually) to stand on the car seat between my parents as they drove. And my grandfather let me sit in his lap and steer the pickup as he drove through the pasture. My other grandfather not only let us ride in the bed of his pickup, but he would leave the tailgate down so we could hang our legs off. Thankfully both setsof grandparents lived out in the country, so there was no real danger. *wink*

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I don't have many driving stories because even though I grew up in the 'burbs, I had to walk or ride my bike by myself virtually everywhere.  Rain, snow, sleet, darkness of night-- whatever.  I remember once a friend of mine was visiting then went home on her bike.  She then called me to let me know she'd gotten home okay.  I was puzzled that it could ever be otherwise.

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The swing set in the backyard should have been secured and cemented in. It wasn't . When we would swing the thing would rock like crazy and almost tip over.

Then there were the missing caps on the pole parts of  the slide area. Bees would nest in the hollow poles and holy crap - slide at your own risk. One time bees chased me down the slide, into the garage, and up the stairs.

And forget about trying to slide down a metal slide  in shorts on a hot day in the south. Just go ahead and light your thighs on fire..

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It was a different time, so I feel like us "older folks" can come up with tons of these.  Still amazed sometimes how we all made it out alive!

  • I rode in the way back of the old station wagon without a seatbelt
  • Also rode in the back of an open bed pick-up truck
  • Stayed outside pretty much unsupervised until the street lights came on
  • I drove a jeep out in the field with my cousins when I was like 8 and had no idea what I was doing.  Almost ran over one of my cousins.
  • Went horseback riding out in the woods all by myself when I was like 10- this was bad because if the horse threw me I would be in serious pain and unable to get home.
  • Walked a couple of miles to elementary school once or twice because I missed the bus and my mom didn't drive

I'm sure I'll think of more.  lol

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3 minutes ago, Qoass said:

I don't have many driving stories because even though I grew up in the 'burbs, I had to walk or ride my bike by myself virtually everywhere.  Rain, snow, sleet, darkness of night-- whatever.  I remember once a friend of mine was visiting then went home on her bike.  She then called me to let me know she'd gotten home okay.  I was puzzled that it could ever be otherwise.

Yep

We were turned loose in the morning and told to come back at dark. We literally ran loose all day.

No cell phone, no nothin' :-) On a good day we had some small change for a popsicle.

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Oh yeah-- if you went inside before dark, mom would kick you right back out!  Because you needed to "get some sun".  No namby-pamby sunblock for us!

Edited by Qoass
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2 minutes ago, GenL said:

It was a different time, so I feel like us "older folks" can come up with tons of these.  Still amazed sometimes how we all made it out alive!

  • I rode in the way back of the old station wagon without a seatbelt
  • Also rode in the back of an open bed pick-up truck
  • Stayed outside pretty much unsupervised until the street lights came on
  • I drove a jeep out in the field with my cousins when I was like 8 and had no idea what I was doing.  Almost ran over one of my cousins.
  • Went horseback riding out in the woods all by myself when I was like 10- this was bad because if the horse threw me I would be in serious pain and unable to get home.
  • Walked a couple of miles to elementary school once or twice because I missed the bus and my mom didn't drive

I'm sure I'll think of more.  lol

I rode a horse twice, both time at age 12. The first one almost ran my head into a low limb. I tucked just in time. The second time the horse decided on its own to go back to the barn which had one of those half doors. Half on top opened and half on bottom opened separately . At that time, the top half was closed. Bottom half open and the horse was going in. I ducked just barely enough not to get knocked off by the top door. Never rode a horse again.

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5 minutes ago, Qoass said:

Oh yeah-- if you went inside before dark, mom would kick you right back out!  Because you needed to "get some sun".  No namby-pamby sunblock for us!

Oh hell no. I remember being burned to a crisp as a pale, blonde child in the Florida sun. Blistering, peeling, the whole shebang. 

As a teen we used to put BABY OIL on our bodies to "lie out." INSANITY. In that day, if you were "brown" you were "healthy."

My mother survived melanoma. Now I have to watch myself for it.  I may have a chance to avoid it since after about age 20 I stopped with all the massive everyday sunbathing stuff. Had a couple of vacations with sunscreen and that has been it for years. (still got burned tho IIRC)

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I played outside so much as a little girl that people asked my mom if she frosted my hair. I also laid out with baby oil on my fair skin, and bragged to my friends about how easily I tanned -- "After four hours in the sun, I'm beet red when I come in, but the next morning I'm tan!" (I had melanoma in my 20s, so there ya go.)

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I wish I had a clip and I'll try to find one. George Lopez does a hilarious bit on this topic. A lot of it hit home for me.

He also took shots at "kids today" and how they "have it so easy with their seatbelts, Lunchables, and go-gurts. " (go yogurts)

Remember when we used to drink straight from the garden hose? The water was so hot, but we drank it dammit, bc going inside was not an option as mentioned by Qoass upthread. :-) 

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1 minute ago, forumfish said:

I played outside so much as a little girl that people asked my mom if she frosted my hair. I also laid out with baby oil on my fair skin, and bragged to my friends about how easily I tanned -- "After four hours in the sun, I'm beet red when I come in, but the next morning I'm tan!" (I had melanoma in my 20s, so there ya go.)

To quote the title of this thread, you are literally lucky to be alive.. to have survived.

Just quickly, How did you first find it? First symptom? (Don't want to derail your thread tho)  Great thread FF

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Remember when we used to have four distinct seasons? It would be chilly cold at Halloween and we were forced to wear a coat over our costumes. And that rubber mask stretchy string thing would always snap loose, break,  and pop you in the eye. Good times.

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1 hour ago, ari333 said:

The swing set in the backyard should have been secured and cemented in. It wasn't . When we would swing the thing would rock like crazy and almost tip over.

Then there were the missing caps on the pole parts of  the slide area. Bees would nest in the hollow poles and holy crap - slide at your own risk. One time bees chased me down the slide, into the garage, and up the stairs.

And forget about trying to slide down a metal slide  in shorts on a hot day in the south. Just go ahead and light your thighs on fire..

A kid in our neighborhood did tip our swing set over. Amazingly, he wasn't hurt at all.

I feel like I don't have as much to contribute because even in the 70s my mom made us wear seatbelts, and my dad would not let us ride in the back of pickups. And I didn't drive until driver's ed. My dad was the police beat reporter for a city newspaper for his first job out of college. He went to a lot of car accident scenes and other bad stuff. That's why he wouldn't let us do a lot of stuff.

We did play outside mostly unsupervised after dark most summer nights. Our parents and other neighborhood adults were usually gathered in lawn chairs on someone's driveway. We played across the street some -- red rover, mother may I, red light green light or a game called lemonade (for some unknown reason) -- or we ran around most of the neighborhood during games of kick the can.

I also rode my bike through our neighborhood and a nearby one by myself all the time. I was not allowed to go out to the highway (a highway in a small town so 35 mph). I generally didn't because if I did, my parents would hear about it.

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Yeah, well...

I went to Action Park at least a half dozen times.  Probably didn't wear a seat belt in the car on the way there, and that was by far the least dangerous thing I did those days.

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I've maybe said this somewhere before, but it fits here. For those of us who took our lunch to school, the lunch would sit in the classroom in the  heat of the deep south from 7:30 ish til 12:30 lunch. It was usually warm tuna salad and warm milk in a not-so-great thermos. I remember having "stomach 'flu' " sometimes and in retrospect I'm guessing it was food poisoning.

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Traction park!  

My parents would never let us go, but I've heard so many stories of people getting maimed there.  It's open again now, isn't it?  

We also rode our bikes all over the neighborhood and played outside all day until our parents yelled for us to get home.  No helmets with those bikes, either.  I don't think I ever wore a seat belt as a child.  

We also didn't have peanut free cafeterias, and no one died.  Though I might have if we did when I was a kid, because literally pb&j was the only thing I ate for awhile.  

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Not wearing a helmet was the only thing stupid about how much time we spent riding our bikes all over the neighborhood; that was good exercise, fresh air (well, as fresh as the air in Los Angeles could ever be), and a fun way to spend time with friends.  There was no need to be supervised; various parents would see us pass by from time to time.  (To be honest, I still don't wear a helmet, although I hardly ever ride my bike anymore - which is the reason I've never bothered to go get a helmet.)

My friends and I used to "dirt ski" down the hill in my backyard, and one time my dad got me just as I was getting ready to slide down sitting on a rubber rubbish bin lid -- my refined grasp of physics at eight or so years old told me I would work up enough speed on the way down to clear all three terraced tiers at the bottom of the hill and land on the grass of the flat part of the yard.  My dad and his actual knowledge of physics informed me otherwise. 

As teenagers, we used to swing across a ravine using a fire hose someone had tied to a tree.  We were usually buzzed at the time, so it is a real wonder no one ever slipped off and landed on the rocks 20 feet below.  That was monumentally stupid (but a lot of fun).

I remember sitting on my grandma's lap in the passenger seat, playing with her necklace.  That's just how it was done in the '70s, although I do remember wearing a seat belt when I had the front seat to myself.  (I don't think anyone ever wore a seat belt in the backseat then, though.)  Nobody I knew had a pick-up truck, but I'm sure we'd have been in the open bed if they had.  As someone with horrible motion sickness who gets nauseated riding in the backseat, I must say I'm happy to have grown up before kids had to be strapped in car seats until they hit puberty. 

I never used baby oil, suntan lotion, or anything like that because I tanned easily on my own, but, yeah, we used to "sunbathe" at the beach all the time, and sometimes just in the backyard.  My grandpa always preached about staying out of the sun, but I ignored him and never used sunscreen until probably the early '90s.  Now I keep a close eye on all the various freckles and other dark spots on my body and have a dermatologist check me from head to toe once a year. 

My mom put an ice pack in my lunchbox (and when she made me a tuna sandwich, she packed the tuna separately in a little container so I could put it on my bread at lunch, rather than her making it in the morning and me having soggy bread by lunchtime).  Thanks, Mom!  And the swing set was properly secured.  Thanks, Dad! 

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Let's see, what hasn't been mentioned.

I went to the bus stop without my parents.

I stayed on the school bus (not really by choice) after it took out two mailboxes and got hit by three cars.  You want to blame the snow, but the same driver also hit a stationary bulldozer on a Spring day.

I once chased down a car, on foot, in my pajamas because they were trying to kidnap my dog.

I drove through Spaghetti Junction on my first day as a licensed driver.  My mother was horrified when I told her.

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ari333, I was reading an article in one of my mom's Woman's Day magazines and noticed a disturbing similarity between a photo of melanoma and a spot on my foot. Up to that point, I'd thought it was a blood blister from wearing tight shoes. (I knew a blood blister wouldn't last 3 years, so I guess I was kind of in denial it was anything bad.) Halfway through my visit with the dermatologist, he left the room and set up an appointment for me with a plastic surgeon. It took two surgeries to get it all, but I've been clear for 25+ years.

I've been seeing lots of s'mores recipes lately, which reminds me of a "stupid stuff" from college -- roasting hotdogs and marshmallows in the dorm room, where cooking was prohibited. My friends stopped up their sink, poured rubbing alcohol in and lit it. The food was tasty, but we probably shouldn't have inhaled the fumes. We only did it once.

Good grief, we worry now about lead in paint and we probably ingested it in the hotdogs and s'mores, since we always used straightened-out wire hangers as forks.

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I grabbed a hot oven filament which I luckily have no memory of.

I put my finger in a lamp where the bulb should be and shocked myself when I was a kid.  And proving that I still have idiotic impulses, when I recalled that event I also thought....with all the new safety doodads I wonder if they did something so you can't shock yourself by sticking your finger into a light socket.  I have matured enough not to test it,

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5 hours ago, ParadoxLost said:

once chased down a car, on foot, in my pajamas because they were trying to kidnap my dog.

I should hope so! Details?

 

2 hours ago, stewedsquash said:

also played "How far can you put the pencil lead in your ear and still pull it out" with some kids. Next thing you know I was at the ER getting my ears flushed. 

When my dad went into the Marine Corps in WW2 the doctors were puzzled by a largish dark lump in his wrist.  They examined it, X-rayed it, and ended up surgically removing what turned out to be a lump of pencil that one of his classmates had stabbed him with in first grade and that had gradually kind of morphed into a fat bolus.  He had forgotten all about the original incident of course.

Edited by ratgirlagogo
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Oh man, so many things I can post here. Suicidal childhood stupidity runs in my family, which makes for some great dinner conversation:

  • My grandfather and great uncle used to play "Cowboys and Indians" back in the 1920's...with loaded .22 rifles. And they would shoot at each other.
  • My great uncle (same one) used to take short-cuts through the fields of the farms in his town, and was chased by bulls more than once. One bull pissed him off so much that he went home, got one of his father's shotguns, came back, and shot the bull in the ass. Luckily it wasn't a 12-gauge and it was loaded with bird-shot, so the bull didn't die. However, at that point it stopped being a bull and became a steer.
  • Back when Mom was about seven or eight and lived in Minnesota, she'd go down to the river when the weather turned cold and run across the ice. She would make a game of keeping ahead of the spreading cracks in the ice.
  • My uncle used to participate in illegal drag races as a teen.
  • My favorite climbing tree as a child was a big old pine tree about half a mile from home. I used to get up about 60 feet off the ground, where there was a convenient place to sit. Lots of fun on a windy day. Good thing I wasn't susceptible to motion sickness.
  • When I was about eight, I made a home-made "cannon" out of a length of pipe, and it fired ball bearings. It was powered by M-80s.
  • In high-school I was into model rocketry, and decided that a normal launch pad was boring. I managed to singe my hair the first time I used my cool new home-made handheld launcher. Luckily I was wearing safety goggles, so I wasn't a complete idiot. And yes, I said "the first time", meaning that there were a number of subsequent uses after I had added a hard hat to my safety gear.
  • I had a paper route for a couple of years, and on Sundays I would use a shopping cart to lug my papers. One section of my route was on a curved road that went down a steep hill for about 1/4 mile. Naturally I would jump on the back of the cart and ride it down the hill, dragging one foot behind me like a rudder. I estimate that I used to get up to about 30 or 35 MPH that way. Mom could never figure out why the sole of that shoe kept wearing out. Luckily there was a shoe repair place in town that would slap a new sole on my sneakers for only $5.
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Oh, we can do family members' stupid antics?  Cool.

My dad and his closest-in-age sister were playing on the roof, when she jumped off and landed in a pile of broken glass (from what, I don't know).  He decided to check on her by jumping into the same pile.  And there's a scar on the side of his face that has something to do with pretending to be Zorro and the house sending a rock encased in leather back at him.

Then there was the time an uncle threw a dart into my dad's stomach, and when my dad complained my grandpa yanked it out, looked at the tiny puncture wound, and told everyone to get over it.  My dad found said uncle hiding in a tree, with just his ear sticking out to give away his position, and nailed that ear with a BB gun; there was a permanent notch.

My dad was one of nine, in the mid-30s to mid-40s, in a teeny tiny Oklahoma town; that any of them lived to adulthood (one didn't from choking to death on a peanut as a toddler) was a bonus.  So my hijinks always paled in comparison, no matter how stupid.  And, really, all my injuries came about from typical freak accidents or negligence; the reckless and intentional acts largely had no negative consequences.

At least for me; maybe I should be surprised I kept my friends as a child, as there were quite a few incidents where I came up with a dangerous idea, executed it unscathed, and then saw a friend get hurt upon trying it.  It pays to be athletic, I guess.  Hills were the frequent downfall; I remember a great bike ride that ended with my best friend in a fire pit (unlit), another campground trail we traversed on our skateboards that wound up with her sliding down a 15-foot asphalt hill on her back ... maybe she was just a klutz.  Because she twice severely injured herself on her bike when I wasn't there. 

Not stupid, but perhaps worth sharing -- When she wound up in surgery from pinning her thumb under the handlebars of her bike, I spent much of the summer hanging out with my best friend indoors since the cast prohibited swimming and other activities.  Mere days before I was set to head out with my family on our annual summer vacation - three weeks in the motorhome, with tons of great fun in lakes, rivers, etc. - I laughed so hard in my attempts to cheer her up (as everyone else was in the pool), I leaned too far back while sitting on the edge of her bed and landed wrong, fracturing my clavicle.  I spent my summer vacation unable to swim and taking spit baths, because I couldn't lift my arm over my head.  Nearly forty years later, we're still best friends, and still laugh about that disastrous summer.

Edited by Bastet
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When I was a toddler, my mother fell asleep and I decided to heat myself up a bowl of chicken noodle soup in our 1980's microwave. (This was probably 1988 or 1989 and I was definitely under the age of 4.) I apparently put it on too long, and then splashed the bowl on myself when I got it out of the microwave. I don't really remember when it felt like because I was really young- 3 at most, possibly as young as 2. I just remember being crowded around my family and our neighbors. One little girl handed me a piece of candy. Then I remember being bathed in a steel sink at the hospital. I probably had second or third degree burns- I still have small scars from it.

At an older age, when I was 15, I met up with an older man from online for some gay sex and it went alright. Didn't turn into some episode of Investigation Discovery: Deadly Chat Rooms or some such thing at all. Sure, the guy was skeevy and gross, but he wasn't a psycho. I sure as hell wouldn't recommend it now to a present-day 15-year old, but gay teens now are much more likely to have other gay friends their age that they can have their own personal fun with.

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At around age 10, my sister and I found a parachute and I used it to jump off the roof of our (single story) house. The cleverest part was that we tied the parachute to a wooden chair and I sat in that while she pushed me over. I was bruised but not really hurt and was able to tidy everything up before mom got home. None the wiser was the underlying theme of my childhood.

If we were specifically told not to do something -- eat (hot peppers), watch (TV shows), or listen (comedy albums), we would make it a point to do so. We'd save up our allowances to buy cherry bombs/firecrackers and go to nearby tinder-dry canyons to set them off.

In my twenties I used to regularly drink and drive after Friday happy hour with work pals. I once mowed down a street sign but resolutely limped my car away (to another bar to continue the crawl).

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We also didn't have peanut free cafeterias

Our cafeteria sold peanut butter and honey sandwiches for a dime.  I didn't know anybody with a peanut allergy or even asthma.

My mom bought non-sweetened cereal like Wheaties and Cheerios but we had a sugar bowl on our table so we were free to dump a few tablespoons into our breakfast.  When the cereal was gone, there'd be a little grey island of sugar in the milk.

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17 hours ago, ari333 said:

Yep

We were turned loose in the morning and told to come back at dark. We literally ran loose all day.

No cell phone, no nothin' :-) On a good day we had some small change for a popsicle.

I remember times like that. Two of my cousins grew up in Cadott, WI (still a town of just 2,000 people!). We'd be up at the crack of dawn in the summer to go outside and run around, come back in time for swimming lessons at the Y (in Chippewa Falls), eat lunch after, and then gone until supper. And we'd play Kick the Can from 11p until 1a or 2a.

I also remember that when we could get those little popper fireworks (tiny baggies of combustibles that you threw at the ground to make them "pop"; I think they're called Snaps today), we'd run by the bar on Main street and throw handfuls of them inside. And then stop about 30 feet away to get Cokes (in glass bottles) out of the 1950's era vending machine.

Oh, here's one I remember. My brother and I got walkie-talkies for Christmas one year. We and our cousins took them outside in the snowy cold to use them. When we came back in, they'd stopped working (we presumed because they were too cold). So, we set them on our grandmother's radiator in the kitchen to warm them up .... and promptly forgot about them. Needless to say, we got to use them exactly once since they'd melted on the radiator by the time our mother found them there.

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31 minutes ago, Qoass said:

When the cereal was gone, there'd be a little grey island of sugar in the milk.

That was the best part!  I grew up on Cheerios, and still eat them.

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When I was a small child, I was an expert climber! Not only could I climb virtually any tree to the virtually the top branch but I also was able to climb the sides of houses! Somehow, I managed to do this without once falling . Alas,  between grade school and becoming too interested in TV, I became far more sedimentary than I should have. Hence, by my teens, my climbing days were over.

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Do they still have those ropes in school gymnasiums that students could climb right up to the ceiling?  Ours was over a story high and had a half inch pad on the floor below.

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When I was a toddler (probably around 3, but I can't be sure), I burned down my (step) grandfather's house.  

Well, not burned it down, but did some serious damage.  My father and grandfather were on a hunting trip.  My mom was working as an interior designer.  My aunt and (step -- long story) grandmother were watching me and my sister.  I got bored and wandered off to one of the bedrooms.  The house was so old that it had gas-fired heaters in each room, with the blue flames.  Which I found immensely interesting.  So I went into the kitchen, climbed onto the counter, and got a package of birthday cake candles.  

Everyone knows where the story goes from here, right?  I woke up in the ambulance without a scratch or burn on me, with an oxygen mask on my face.  My mother looked at me and said, "I thought I told you to put your clothes on!"

Years later, I found out that my aunt (who was taking a bath) heard me screaming and ran to the room.  Apparently, the room (rugs, curtains, bed) was on fire around me.  The fire department never suspected me, for some bizarre reason.  Probably because I was so young.

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I remember my mom and her boyfriend taking me and my sister from Miami to Ocala (N Florida) for a minor league car race. He drove a pickup truck and my sister and I traveled the whole way in the pickup truck bed. We had our packs of gum cigarettes and we thought we were the coolest kids ever.

The convenience store near where I grew up sold chewing tobacco right next to the chewing gum. My sister once purchased it by error ( and was allowed). Should of seen our faces when we tried it. In fact, up until the mid-90s I was able to purchase cigarettes for my mom and no one batted an eye.

My father had an old car with a rusted-out hole on the floor of the back seat. He would sit us back there and just simply tell us to "keep our feet up".  Its amazing neither one of us slipped up and put our leg down.

I used to have to take 2 city buses to get to and from school. On a rainy day, my friends and I thought nothing of it if a friendly stranger offered a ride home. I knew one or two kids with peanut allergies but they were directed to bring their own lunch from home (as were other kids with food allergies). No one took allergies all that seriously back then.

I'm embarrassed of the way my family treated our pet cats back then.  It was basically that one of us would find a friendly cat/kitten, bring it home, it would become indoor/outdoor pet, no one ever bothered to spay/neuter and the cat eventually disappeared or if we moved, my parents would not allow us to take it with us, saying "They are outdoor cats, they'll survive".  Now my cats are indoor only, have regular checkups/vaccinations, etc. I would never treat a pet cat the way my parents did growing up.

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Oh boy, I'm constantly amazed my siblings and I survived our childhoods. We were farm kids and left unsupervised more than we should've:

  • One snowy day we noticed that the low side of one barn roof was low enough we could climb on the roof easily, hike to the top (about three stories high) with our little plastic toboggan and get good enough lift off to fly for a bit. Man was that fun until mom saw what we were up to and stopped us. Not because it was dangerous, mind you, but because it was an old wooden roof and we were breaking the shingles.
  • We sometimes used temporary electric fences to keep the animals out of an area or while we were rebuilding fences and such. Me being the youngest, my siblings got endless sources of amusement out of talking me into touching it..."No, seriously, it's not on. We wouldn't lie about that, that would be mean..." Yeah, only took me four or five times to realize they would lie about anything, especially if it was mean.
  • I once put two saddles on a horse because my friend's bum got sore when riding double and bareback. I was probably 8- or 9-years old at the time. Let me explain: they were child-sized saddles, with the back saddle latigo cinching up at the horse's flank. My sister saw it and told us we were idiots. I, of course, felt I was not an idiot, but definitely a genius and I had stumbled on a new way ride a horse never before discovered. Not able to deter us with insults, my sister got my mother to come stop us. I still think there was some genius to this plan, even if there was more amounts of stupid. Oh, and I learned what the word asinine meant, so, not a total waste!
  • My brother practiced his roping skills by getting me to run and heeling me. Only took me a couple face plants to realize that was only fun for one of us and that one person was not me.
  • Of course there's the standard no seat belts, riding in open pick up trucks, driving around fields when we weren't tall enough to reach the pedals, but my grandparents provided me with the best danger with regards to driving. Visiting them never failed to be loads of danger and fun. They had a small stick shift car, my siblings would sit in the back seat and I, being the youngest and smallest, would sit on the "hump" between the seats in the front and sometimes when I got excited I'd accidentally kick the car out of gear. They also would encourage us to dangle our feet out of the windows when driving down the freeway. 
  • Oh and I once had this bottle calf who grew into a huge steer...go figure. One day I began to wonder if he remembered me bottle feeding him. So, of course I had to do an experiment. I grabbed the empty calf bottle and headed out in the field calling his name. Boy did he remember the bottle! Chased me all the way back to the yard where I hopped the fence to safety. But, not satisfied, I stuck the bottle over the fence and the "calf" was none to pleased to find the bottle was empty. The yard fence never was quite the same again.

I could go on and on and on. Ahhh, good times! ;)

Edited by DittyDotDot
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OMG some of these incidents are terrifying! but very interesting!

As mentioned upthread, when you tell some kids not to do something, that's all they can think about doing.

I guess I was 6 or some young age, my dad told me that his gun was in the top of his closet and never touch it .

I rarely went in their bedroom except to pass through the room to get to their bathroom bc for some unknown reason my mother didnt' want us to shower in the hall bathroom (weird. why not? It worked fine.)

Anyway, I never would have known the gun was there if he hadn't told me. I'm sure that he thought he was doing the right thing.  You know in a regular closet of that era there was the long bar that you hang clothes on and then a shelf above that. It was all too high for me and I'd never have tried to get up there.... except, "NOW I HAVE TO"  bc my neighbor, a year younger than me, was showing off and I had to top her. So I tried to climb up to that shelf on one of those flimsy things that you use to store your comforter or extra blanket on. (Cant think of the name of the thing.) Well, I fell hard. I was not seriously injured, but I fell hard enough to give up. Thank god I didn't get that gun. And it was   loaded. Imagine trying to climb down that flimsy , shaky, rickety stand thing with a loaded pistol.

A weird sidenote, after I took a shower, every shower,  my mom made me wipe down the whole shower with a towel. It never really dried the tile and someone else was going to shower anyway. I never understood the whole "necessary" task.

Edited by ari333
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2 hours ago, ari333 said:

So I tried to climb up to that shelf on one of those flimsy things that you use to store your comforter or extra blanket on. (Cant think of the name of the thing.)

A quilt rack?  

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19 minutes ago, Demented Daisy said:

A quilt rack?  

Hee. YES!

The name just flew out of my head there for a moment. :-) and a rickety quilt rack at that.

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Any other hitchhikers? My friends and I used to thumb rides to the beach in the summers, even though we had access to cars. Didn't want to bother with crowded beach parking. I'd also hitch to high school if I didn't feel like walking or riding my bike. This was in the suburbs of the Santa Clara Valley, so not a small town. There were a couple of times when a driver tried to paw me, but I just got out when the car was stopped at a light. Did not think anything of it!

I was also in the habit of picking up hitchhikers when I was driving. This was in the 70s and a lot of them looked like Haight Ashbury rejects. Not a problem!

Before seat belts and recessed door handles, my sister and I both fell out of the car at separate times. We were on the expressway when I tumbled and it took a while for mom to double back. She later said she was afraid to look, but honestly. My sister got a concussion but I only ended up with a patch of skin scraped off my back. When I fell, my precious cowboy boots were knocked off and I blithely ran around in traffic to pick them up before going to the side of the road. Probably 8 years old or so. Mom later had the back seat door handles removed.

Another favorite pastime was to use a magnifying glass to see who was quicker at setting dry grass on fire in open fields or our back yard. California in the summer, so not that long.

My favorite cereal as a kid was, of all things, Grape Nuts. Four teaspoons of sugar from the bowl.

Edited by Lord Donia
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Lord Donia, It wasn't hitchhiking, but I took a ride from two guys in a van. I got a good vibe from them and staying at the place where my tire blew out was far far scarier, so I rolled the dice and took the offer of a ride home (three miles ish).  I got there safely.

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Anyone remember the paper strips of caps intended to go in cap guns? We used to buy the strips, and scratch off the caps, one by one, with a fingernail.  No crying when you burned your finger.    When I was about 8, my friend Heather and I spent $1 on 100 books of penny matches.  The shopkeeper didn't bat an eye. Then we took them down behind the school and lit them one by one until the janitor caught us.

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22 minutes ago, Quof said:

Anyone remember the paper strips of caps intended to go in cap guns? We used to buy the strips, and scratch off the caps, one by one, with a fingernail.  No crying when you burned your finger.    When I was about 8, my friend Heather and I spent $1 on 100 books of penny matches.  The shopkeeper didn't bat an eye. Then we took them down behind the school and lit them one by one until the janitor caught us.

OMG I remember all of that! Me too! Our janitor's name was "Shack" and he was so cool and looked the other way, but he had his limits heh. I still remember that sweet old dude.

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1 hour ago, Lord Donia said:

Before seat belts and recessed door handles, my sister and I both fell out of the car at separate times. We were on the expressway when I tumbled and it took a while for mom to double back. She later said she was afraid to look, but honestly. My sister got a concussion but I only ended up with a patch of skin scraped off my back. When I fell, my precious cowboy boots were knocked off and I blithely ran around in traffic to pick them up before going to the side of the road. Probably 8 years old or so. Mom later had the back seat door handles removed.

The same thing happened to my little sister when she was probably 4, but we were just in the parking lot at the time so she was fine. My dad removed the door handles to the back seats himself.  It was the 80s version of child safety locks.  

I used to play kitchen in the real oven.  When I was probably 5 or so, I put some sort of plastic colander in there and forgot about it.  My mom pre-heated the oven without opening it first, because why would you? Unsurprisingly, it melted and started a fire.  Whoops!

We used to sled down a really steep hill behind my house.  This was not inherently dangerous, except for the fact that at the base of this steep hill was a creek, so you needed to stop yourself in time, unless you wanted to end up in it.  One time, I knew I wasn't going to stop, so I pulled a hard right, straight into a thicket of pricker bushes.  The neighbor had to pull me out.  

I met with strangers from the internet and flew to Chicago for a concert maybe 15 years ago.  We had never met before, and I didn't know them from Adam. Back then everyone on the internet was supposedly a murder or something.  All of those strangers are now my best friends.  None, as far as I know, was or is an ax murderer.

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Not that this was any major risk but one of my fave childhood memories was when I was about four years old walking the street with our family housekeeper when suddenly a UPS truck pulled over and offered us a ride. We rode around the block standing up with the doors wide open and I've often wished I could do that again! In retrospect, though, I wonder why the UPS man decided to offer us a ride since neither of us had met him before (and I don't recall seeing him again)  and I wonder why the housekeeper ( no longer in this world) didn't make any objections.

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Back then everyone on the internet was supposedly a murder or something.  All of those strangers are now my best friends.  None, as far as I know, was or is an ax murderer.

But how well do you really know your friends here on PTV?

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I thought I was the only axe murderer!  There are others?

What we did growing up was play mumbley peg.  With knives.  In elementary school.

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25 minutes ago, meep.meep said:

I thought I was the only axe murderer!  There are others?

I've given it up for Lent.

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17 hours ago, Lord Donia said:

None the wiser was the underlying theme of my childhood.

That works up until your mid thirties.  That is the age when you go senile enough that you forget that your parents never found out about certain stunts.  At that point you accidentally start confessing shit as you reminisce about your youth, adult to adult with your parents.  Then you get that feeling that you are still twelve on the inside when they are retroactively horrified.

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On 3/2/2017 at 2:47 PM, janestclair said:

Traction park!  

My parents would never let us go, but I've heard so many stories of people getting maimed there.  It's open again now, isn't it?  

We also rode our bikes all over the neighborhood and played outside all day until our parents yelled for us to get home.  No helmets with those bikes, either.  I don't think I ever wore a seat belt as a child.  

We also didn't have peanut free cafeterias, and no one died.  Though I might have if we did when I was a kid, because literally pb&j was the only thing I ate for awhile.  

I had never heard of Action Park until your post.  I googled it and have been reading about it.  Yikes!!  Why would anybody go there?! 

I don't have much to add here, I did the standing up in the front seat on the freeway thing,  we rode in the back of a pickup, again on the freeway and we stayed outside all day long. 

I actually don't think its any more dangerous to let kids play outside all day now than it used to be.   Stranger abductions aren't happening more now than in the old days, its just with instant 24 hour news we hear a lot more about them than we used to.  The only problem now with letting kids play outside all day is that people will call the cops on you for not having your special snowflake in your line of vision constantly.  We didn't have childhood obesity when I was a kid, maybe one or two kids were chubby but not like it is today and that's because we played outside, ran around, rode bikes and got plenty of exercise doing it.  I go with my daughter to pick up the grandkids at school sometimes and I'm shocked that almost every other kid is obese.  People are even removing walls in their homes now so that they can see little Jr 24 hours a day.  

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My dad was letting me play with tools (but not power tools) before I started first grade. When he was working on projects in the garage, he'd put a block of wood in a vise and give me a hammer and some nails. Other than the standard hit-thumb-with-hammer bit, I never injured myself. I turned out to be a pretty good handyman, and would rather roam the aisles at Home Depot than go shopping for clothes.

My sister was born with spina bifida, so she couldn't play with me outside when we were little. I played with the boys who lived on either side of us and my cousin (also a boy) who lived down the street. As a result, I was a girl who played with Matchbox cars, dug worms out of the dirt, and acted out Speed Racer with the boy next door (I was Trixie). Calling a girl a "tomboy" back then wan't considered an insult, and I never thought I was a boy or wanted to be a boy. I just liked boy things. You know, until I got old enough to like boys.

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