8: Animatronic Chicks (Gullibility)

When I first looked at a chart of female Asperger/Autism traits, I vehemently disagreed with the idea that I might be gullible. Actually, I like to think I have a healthy amount of skepticism. But the more I reflected on my childhood, the more I remembered instances of being over-trusting as a child and teen.

One memory stands out vividly.  Shortly after a trip to Disneyland when I was about 8 or 9, we visited Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. They had an exhibit called “The Hatchery.” In the center of one room stood a massive, hexagonal, glass incubation case. It was filled with dozens of eggs and egg shells. I remember seeing the top of one egg move sluggishly as the chick inside worked to get out. I was absolutely blown away.

I turned to my dad with starry eyes and demanded, “Is it REAL??”

With a straight face, my dad replied something like, “No, honey. Remember how Disney had so many animatronics in their shows and rides? Amazing what they can do with animatronics now!”

I remember being so confused and torn between what I saw with my eyes and what my father was insisting. I remember he kept the gag going for a while before finally fessing up. I was really angry and confused.

Fortunately, I can laugh about it now and I bring it up anytime he tries to pull a fast one on me. We even have a running joke in my family where–anytime we think my father might be joking and trying to trick us–we say, “Animatronic chicks!”

This is only one instance, but there have been a lot like this one over the years. It’s taken a lot of effort and healthy skepticism, but I have gotten much, much better at spotting lies. I probably owe this skill to my father.

I sent my parents this picture from the museum’s current Hatchery website (with my alterations). [The unaltered picture can be found on the Hatchery website. I do not own this picture and this is not my father or myself. It’s included for comedic effect. Please don’t sue me. lol]

A still image from the Museum of Science and Industry's site. A father and young girl look into a giant chick incubation cage. A photoshopped speech bubble attached to the father reads, "Amazing what they're doing with animatronics these days!" A line at the bottom reads " 'Betrayal' circa 1997."

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