This article originally appeared on VICE Serbia
Kids lie – a lot. But it's not until you get older you realise your parents were the worst, most lie-ing liars there are. At some point, probably in your twenties, it'll hit you that your mum and dad were just as young and dumb as you currently are, and they were making wild shit up because it was the only strategy they had to keep you alive.
In an attempt to dig at the true depths of parental deception, I asked people to break down the weirdest lies their parents ever told them. I heard about pregnant dads, snot monsters and how a persons limbs can just randomly fall off.
"When I was little, we had an elderly neighbour who didn't have any teeth. She always walked around hunched over with a scarf covering her hair. Of course as a child, that's exactly what you picture witches and bogeymen to look like, so my parents decided to work with that to keep me in check. I had a lot of toys that I loved, but I was incredibly messy with them – they all ended up strewn across my bedroom floor. My parents used to scare me by claiming that if I didn't pick them up, Grandma Slavka – that's the name they gave our neighbour – would come over and steal them. They told me she had a basement full of toys from children who wouldn't tidy up their rooms. I had nightmares of Slavka in her cold basement torturing my stuffed bunny."
– Nikola, 25
"I remember my old man telling me that I shouldn't eat margarine because it was melted plastic. When I would press him to elaborate, he would say that it was 'one molecule away from plastic', which, I've come to realise, is a statement that doesn't make any sense."
- Mihajlo, 40
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Little people living in the TV
"I was a really hyper toddler, and the only thing that could keep me still was the TV. But that was only because my parents told me that all the folks I watched on screen actually lived in their own world inside our TV. This made watching television infinitely more interesting, but it also made me flip out every time someone turned it off because I worried they were killing the little people living inside."
– Jovana, 28
Random limbs falling off
"This lie actually came from my grandma, who was the person who looked after me when I was younger. I hated milk as a child – I hated the smell and it always made me feel sick. Eventually, grandma got so fed up with my whining that she decided to tell me that my body was held together with milk, and if I stopped drinking it, I would completely disintegrate – my arms, legs and teeth would just fall off. That lie turned into a nightmare for me as I'd dream about walking around with no legs or teeth. I still hate milk."
– Selena, 29
"Growing up, I was really close to my dad. We seemed to live in a world of our own. I got on with him more because he wouldn't yell at me as much as my mum did, and he always took my side. For some reason, my dad started joking that he gave birth to me and not my mum, and I started to take it seriously. I remember that he used to have a noticeable belly, so it was easy for me to imagine him pregnant."
- Ivana, 30
"I really loved to pick my nose when I was little. I just found it really interesting, especially when I was bored, which was almost constantly. My mum used to tell me off about it all the time because I would do it in front of other people. She found it embarrassing, but I didn't care if people laughed because I really enjoyed picking my nose.
I guess mum had just had enough of it, so one day she sat me down for a serious talk about snot. She told me that just like me, snot had a mother who lived on another continent, and had entrusted her little baby snots to me. And so when those snots want to come out, it's important that I gently blow them into a handkerchief and not touch them, otherwise a huge snot monster would come and our entire family. The story didn’t quite have the desired effect – it didn’t scare me, but I did start talking to my snot."
– Petar, 26