Things I Learned as a Kid

Douglas Crockford

Sometimes, when confronting the difficult problems in design of experience, it is useful to go back and look at what we've learned. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when milk cartons had the word HOMO printed on them.

You can get cooties by touching the cooty door, or a person known to be infected with cooties, or a girl.

Writing TCP (Top Cooties Protection) on your hand can reduce your risk of infection.

Never take candy from strangers.

We were never told why exactly, probably because of tooth decay and spoiling our dinners.

A 5 year old Russian girl can beat up an 8 year old American boy.

I learned this from a red-hating cold war calisthenics instructor who was trying to motivate a bunch of 8 year old televisionlanders at a YMCA summer day camp at the Dad's Club in Houston, Texas. It is sort of exciting to imagine that WWIII would be settled by hand-to-hand combat with girls.

All tombstones have the word RIP carved on them. It has something to do with Jack the Ripper.

When a person is drowning, particularly a non-swimmer, they will come up to the surface exactly three times before they die. It is not uncommon for the victim to count to three on his fingers as he is drowning.

You only live once, and then you die. That's why you should bleach your hair and drink beer.

If you say "fuck" on the telephone, the phone company will get you.

Never wake a sleepwalker. The shock will kill them.

If you make a mistake it will go on your permanent record and follow you for the rest of your life.

When you die, you get wings and go to heaven. But if you've been evil, then you go to Hell, and a devil pokes you in the ribs and butt with a pitchfork forever and ever.

In an earthquake, the ground opens up and people fall into the hole. When that happens to you, you don't go to heaven, even if you were ok.

If you drink a lot of Tabasco sauce, you'll catch fire, belching smoke and flames, and then you'll be shot into the air. After that, you should drink a lot of water and make steam.

If you hide under your school desk and close your eyes, you can survive a nuclear attack. But if you aren't at school when the bomb falls, you'll die. Hopefully, the Russians won't think to drop the bomb when school is out.

When people are electrocuted (by being hit by lightning, touching a live wire, or sticking their fingers in a socket) they are levitated and their bones become visible. If you touch a person who is being electrocuted, then you will also be levitated and your bones will also become visible.

If you swallow too many watermelon seeds, then watermelon plants will begin to grow in your ears. My dad taught me that.

People in movies don't actually kiss, because the stars are not married to each other in real life. A movie kiss is simulated with trick photography, same as fights and other stunts.

On car trips, parents will make threats. "I'm stopping the car." "I'm going to let you out here." "I'm never going to take you anywhere ever again." Parents never follow through on those threats.

A bicycle can be made to seem much faster by sticking baseball cards in the wheel spokes.

It is better to wad a slice of Wonder Bread into a ball than to eat it.

If you fall down in the snow, you'll fall asleep and die.

Don't get IT caught in your zipper.

If you say something incorrect or ambiguous to a computer, it will say "That does not compute."

There is a Santa Claus.

There isn't a Santa Claus.

The deal about Santa? The same goes for his elves, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God, and the Halloween Ghosts and Goblins.

Eat it. It will grow hair on your chest.

Don't believe David Smith when he tells you that the way you make cinnamon toothpicks is to put toothpicks in a frying pan, sprinkle cinnamon powder on it, and leave it at a medium heat while you go outside to play.

If you are stabbed with a pencil, you'll die of lead poisoning.

When someone farts without making a sound, it is called "Silent But Deadly" (SBD). It is especially effective in crowded automobiles.

Don't ever do anything "cute" when grandma is around, because she'll remember it and remind everyone about it at every family get-together as long as she lives.

Douglas Crockford presents

Christmas Songs I Learned as a Kid.

He remembers Chistmas as only He can. "This collection of songs is my special Christmas gift to you. It is all you're going to get from me. Hope you like it."

This heart-warming, in the house for the holidays assortment includes these timeless classics:

And new favorites, like:

The lowest form of life in the school yard is the tattle-tale.

The most beautiful women of all time were cave girls. Not just cartoons like Betty Rubble. Real cave girls.

If someone asks "Did you just fart?" you should say nothing and look sheepish.

Watch your step when you go barefoot around smoking grownups. Oh, and don't step on bees.

Just because you built something that has roughly the same shape as an airplane doesn't mean you can really fly in it. The same goes for boats.

You can't change channels at a drive-in, even with that remote control thing you hang on the window.

The atom is our friend. Nuclear power is safe, clean, and cheap.

Christmas toys are not made by elves at the North Pole. They are made in factories in places like Hong Kong.

If you want to get any more presents, kid, you'll keep your mouth shut.

Girls fart, too.

Do you know what it's like to be a peasant in Soviet Russia?

Imagine this: You're in bed. It's cold. Suddenly, guards kick down the doors to the barracks and rush in to unshackle your feet. You think of your hunger as you put on your only shoe.

You are then marched, to the music of a whip, outside, into the snow, where you will work until dawn, when you will be given a cold cup of water and a wormy crust of bread.

I'm sure that doesn't appeal to you as much as the American Way of Life.

That's Communism, babes.