When I was younger I was quite fleeceable. Pulling the wool over my eyes was no difficult task and thus made me the obvious victim for any pranks my older siblings wanted to play. I was so gullible that it’s possible they weren’t even trying to trick me at all; off-handed remarks and sarcasm were often taken very seriously by me and once I reacted to anything they said they would take the ball and run with it.
So it’s not entirely their fault.
I like to think that I’ve changed since then. I’ve grown to be more of a researcher and question things that people tell me instead of taking whatever anyone says at face value. I don’t think it’s cynicism, really, because I still trust people and human nature. I don’t think it’s a need to always be right, either, because I’m perfectly happy being wrong as long as I am really wrong…It’s more of a defense mechanism of sorts.
Andrew was on a little 80’s movie kick this summer. We watched E.T. and Ferris Buhler’s Day Off, among other films. I can only remember those two, though, because it was my first time watching E.T. and his first time watching Ferris. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape was another one, Andrew just reminded me.
Anyway, we were talking about old movies and somehow got on the topic of Jurassic Park. Usually when we talk about sci-fi I let Andrew say whatever he wants; I’m just not that into sci-fi and don’t have a lot of facts to contribute.
However, I made him get out of bed and research Jurassic Park in the middle of the night simply because he said something I couldn’t believe. He said that Jurassic Park was made in 1994.
“Can’t be,” I said. “I was moved to Calgary in 1994 and I know that Jurassic Park was released when I was living in PoCo and that my parents let me watch it while living in PoCo, but not for a long time after it was released.”
My life is divided into eras based on where I was living at the time. I don’t associate things with years so much as location. But I can associate location with years so I always have a general idea of when things happened, as long as I never live in the same place for too long.
“What year do you think it was released then?” he asked.
“I’m going to have to go with 1993,” I said.
See, in the summer of 1993 I was eight. Eight-year-olds are much more gullible than nine-year-olds—there is a big difference between someone in grade three and someone in grade four. While I was still gullible at age nine I would never have fallen for this:
It was bedtime, so my mom had us all gather for scriptures and prayer and then sent us off to bed. Usually my dad would be the one calling us to get together for family prayer but he had taken David out to go see Jurassic Park and they hadn’t gotten home yet.
This concerned me.
I had wanted to go see Jurassic Park so badly but was told I couldn’t go because it would be too scary for me (sheesh, it’s not like I was prone to nightmares or anything…oh, wait…yes, I was). I wanted David to get home so that I could get the run-down on the movie.
But bedtime was ordered, so off we went. My room was in the basement at the time, a little makeshift room off to the side of my sister Abra’s room. Her room had actual drywall on all four walls. My room was separated from the rest of the basement by our organ, but at least it was a place to call my own.
We walked down to the basement together and Abra mentioned being a little worried that Dad and David weren’t home yet.
“Why?” I asked.
“Oh, didn’t you know?” she asked, “They didn’t go to Jurassic Park the movie. They went to the real Jurassic Park.”
“Jurassic Park isn’t real,” I weakly protested.
“Yes, it is,” she assured me, “And I’ll bet Mom’s worried, too. That’s why she sent us to bed before they got home…because she doesn’t know when or if they’ll be coming home.”
“You’re just trying to scare me!”
See! I was already suspicious of being duped at age nine. I catch on quickly—at least as quick as some four-year-olds.
“No, I’m serious. Anything could have happened. Maybe they got eaten by a tyrannosaurus rex!”
I ran away from her to the half-shelter of my room (that didn’t even have a door because you can’t attach a door frame to an antique organ). Abra followed me and just as I was about to turn on the light let out a tremendous roar right above my head.
I started crying, my mom intervened, Abra was forced to apologize, and all was well. Except that I couldn’t fall asleep until after I had made sure that Dad and David made it home alive…and then for the about a week and a half after that.
So you see, I would never have fallen for anything like that when I was nine because I had already fallen for it when I was eight. Another reason I knew it wasn’t 1994 was because Josie didn’t enter into my memory at all; she wasn’t around in 1993.
Andrew looked it up and was shocked to see that Jurassic Park was released in 1993. He is usually the only one who can be counted on to bring sci-fi facts to the table. His rough estimate was no match for my childhood memory.
I still am just as easy to scare, I’m sure, and am likely equally gullible. However, after years of schooling I’ve armed myself with fact-finding skills and with the “recent” invention of the internet I’ve been able to call a time-out during a battle of wits to bolster or breakdown my preconceived notions before making my next move.
The internet was made for gullibles like me. Gullibles who’ve become slightly jaded and don’t believe everything they read.