"urban legend awareness" meme

Hal Dunn (johngalt@digital.net)
Mon, 21 Apr 1997 21:17:20 -0400

Anyone notice an "urban legend awareness" meme lately? A.K.A. the "Here's
something else that didn't really happen" meme or the "Be careful what you
THINK you know" meme.

It's either:

A. Just me.


B. There is a lot more awareness of urban myths and legends lately.

The "urban" from urban legend comes from the idea that it is in the cities
where there are a large number of people to spread them (transmitters or
"vectors"). The same happens in the corporate workplace where there are a
lot of people. And, now with the Internet there are a lot of people sharing
info and spreading stories, some of which are urban myths, for example see
the following list of urban myths that are false. My theory is that the
Internet has also facilitated the spread of the "Here's something else that
didn't really happen" meme.

* The criminal ring of highly-skilled surgeons who steal kidneys from
unsuspecting victims to sell on the black market.

* The homosexual act of sending a gerbil (or hamster) up a toilet-paper tube
in the anus.

* The helicopter that fights forest fires by scooping water from lake.
Charred body of scuba diver found in ashes.

* People occasionally spontaneously combust and burn to death.

* The razor blade in the Halloween apples and other Halloween candy-tampering.

* Snuff films exist.

* There are satanic symbols on the Proctor & Gamble logo.

* Numerous Internet virus hoaxes.

* Suicide rates go up around the holidays.

* Domestic violence goes up on Super Bowl Sunday.

* People are much loonier (e.g., shoot, screw, etc.) during a full moon.

* "Blue star" or cartoon character (esp. Mickey Mouse) tattoos laced with
LSD is sold at schools to hook kids on acid.

* There was a fried rat served in a Kentucky-Fried Chicken restaurant.

* Aspirin and Coca-Cola taken together get you high. (Nope. May cause insomnia.)

* Henry Ford/Gen. Douglas McArthur/T. Edison/IBM Rep./et al. tests an
interviewee by when they salt their food during lunch.

* Albert Einstein did poorly in school.

* We only use 10% of our brain.

* NASA did experiement on making love in zero gravity.

* No two snowflakes are alike.

And here is an urban legend that is true:

Disney parks are riddled with secret tunnels and surveillance equipment.

If your interested in this stuff, see:


Hal Dunn