When I was a small child, I believed that the entire world was in black & white until the third season of Bewitched. I based my theory on the contents of my mother’s dresser drawer. Inside, she kept a cache of old photographs–her prom, her wedding day, baby pictures of my older sister and me–and every picture was in black and white.
Since most pictures, movies, and syndicated television shows were in black and white, it seemed logical (in my mind) that color wasn’t invented until a few years after I was born. I pinpointed the exact time of colorization to have occurred when ABC renewed Bewitched for a third season, because that’s when the show went from being broadcast in black and white to color. I used to worry that all the color might run out, one day, and we’d have to go back to living in black and white.
The more I watched Bewitched, the more mind began to speculate. In the sixth season, actor Dick York who played Darren left the series due to a disabling back condition. He was replaced by actor Dick Sargent, who played Darren until the series ended four years later. I remember being disturbed that no one seemed to notice that Darren wasn’t the same person, anymore. As I waited to fall asleep at night, I began to imagine that one day I might disappear and be replaced by someone else–and no one notice or care.
Eventually, my mother straightened me out about color. A few years later, she described some Christmas decorations that my grandmother used to put up when my mother was a child. Her words startled me. I asked her how she knew the decorations were a color. My mother gave me a quizzical look, then said, “Because I could see the color.” She inquired further about my question; I suppose she was curious. However, at that moment, I realized how stupid my Bewitched conspiracy theory had been and changed the subject. It’s odd how even as children, we sense when we’ve done something unusual that attracts the wrong kind of attention.
What odd theories did you have as a child?