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Author Topic: Have you ever been caught in an Urban Legend?
Itsy Bitsy Spider
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I work for a law enforcement agency, and all afternoon long I had to convince people that there was not a rabid group of gang members patrolling our local shopping center trying to kill an unsuspecting woman as a part of their initiation ritual. It was quite an afternoon! Has anyone else ever been caught inside of an active Urban Legend?
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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Hmmmmm... nothing anywhere near as interesting as you, but I do sometimes have to deal with people that are panicking over some virus their friends sent an e-mail about.

My mother once brought home the tale of the lost wallet, the grateful Middle-Eastern owner of the wallet and a plot to bomb a shopping centre. Thankfully that didn't take terribly long at all to convince her that it wasn't true.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Cactus Wren
Jingle Bell Hock


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I never did persuade an acquaintance of mine that it was safe to flash car one's headlights at an oncoming car. She argued that she'd heard from a friend who was In A Position To Know About Such Things that killing anyone who flashed their headlights was a gang initiation ritual.

And when my workplace re-opened after 9/11, I had to field and debunk every ... damn ... piece of multi-forwarded nonsense, from the pseudo-Nostradamus crap to the "four thousand Israelis" bullshit to all the Webdings/Wingdings wingnuttery. Along with assuring the teenagers in my workplace that after striking at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and probably the White House, the terrorists were not likely to aim their next attack our middle-sized, middle-class mall in middle-sized, middle-class Mesa, Arizona.

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“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” -- Edward R. Murrow

IOToriSparrowANK!

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callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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once I came home just as mrs. callee was deleting a windows system file from my computer, with the intent then to reset it, because her mother had called her in a panic having received an email forward herself that instructed her to search for said file, and if found, delete and reset because it was a deadly virus! Fortunately for me all I had to do was restore it from the trashbin.

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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

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dfresh
Deck the Malls


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Like callee, I have had to help people restore that evil teddy bear file that will destroy their whole computer. The person who argued with me about it was a comp sci major who insisted it was really a virus.
Oh, and there was that time that I woke up in a hotel in a tub of ice with no kidneys, but I don't like to talk about that.

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Giselle
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by dfresh:
Oh, and there was that time that I woke up in a hotel in a tub of ice with no kidneys, but I don't like to talk about that.

Oh get over it. None of that would have happened if you would have sent the money to my Nigerian bank account in a timely manner.

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Ralphie, get off the stage sweetheart.

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Elsie
Deck the Malls


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My husband had a friend in college who's girlfriend worked in the financial aid office at the school. The other couple swore up and down that one of the girlfriend's coworkers had been caught with a dog and peanut butter.

This same couple were also convinced the Nostradamus thing was true after 9/11.

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I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

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lynnejanet
Happy Holly Days


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For years I believed the story about the couple who smuggled grandma over the border for her last vacation, she up and died, they stowed her in the camper, and then someone stole the camper.

I heard that one at the dinner table as a FOAF story, from my nanna, and believed it completely.

I've never seen this as an urban legend, but it took me years my grade 7 teacher was having some fun with us. He used to love tellng us stories, and we loved it because we thought we were diverting him from real work (now I realize he had nothing planned!) He told us once that his brother-in-law owned a famous bull whose semen was in high demand all over the world. In fact, this bull was so famous, they named a satellite after it: TelStar. I'm embarassed to admit that I didn't realize that it was a bunch of bull until I was well into my 20s.

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lynne"insert appropriate punny phrase here"janet

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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My mom still insists that she knew the girl with the beehive hairdo which housed spiders. But in my mom's version "she didn't die, she just got sick."

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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One of my very good friends told me the famous black man in the elevator incident happened to her cousin. I'm not sure how she came to believe this but she did; she isn't the type who would take ownership of a good story on her own. I had the unpleasant task of telling her the story wasn't true so that she wouldn't repeat it and embarrass herself. She was quite gracious, didn't get mad at me or anything, but she was confused about how she came to believe the story was true.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Much of the presentation I heard on Sunday from some nitwit pseudoscientific group was supported by urban legends. The two that came up as fact were the "loss of weight due to the spirit leaving the body" one and "buy Coca-Cola and popcorn". Everyone accepted these as fact. When I talked to one of the members of this group, she was very sympathetic to my claim that practically none of what she was being told was true but she replied that she had no way of sorting out truth from fiction when hearing something for the first time, especially when it involved a lof of science that was over her head.

I think the real reason, however, is that when someone stands up in front of a room with TV cameras, a computer, projectors, and people listening intently, most people don't even consider that what they are hearing could be complete BS. (I was able to convince her that some of the supporting evidence may not be true but, of course, when she asked the group about these discrepencies, they had their own "answers". *sigh*)

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animal73
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Itsy Bitsy Spider:
I work for a law enforcement agency, and all afternoon long I had to convince people that there was not a rabid group of gang members patrolling our local shopping center trying to kill an unsuspecting woman as a part of their initiation ritual. It was quite an afternoon! Has anyone else ever been caught inside of an active Urban Legend?

Were they a new, deadly gang of Mexicans that have a hangout in the only Mexican restaurant in suburbia? That's the one making the rounds over here.

Animal "Don't you think that a woman being shot at a shopping mall in broad daylight would make the news?" 73

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Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative the same night.

Canton Maddogs Rugby

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Hastings
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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A similar thing - my dad told me about the story my brother's classmate told him - that he did a favour for a 'muslim guy' and the guy told him to avoid a local shopping centre last weekend because there were going to be bombs set. I was fascinated to hear a local version of the legend.

My dad also said that he was on a bus in the town mentioned and he heard two girls talking.
Girl 1: What do you want to do this weekend?
Girl 2: I dunno. Let's not go to [the shopping centre]. Apparently there's going to be a bomb.

*sigh*

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1958Fury
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
One of my very good friends told me the famous black man in the elevator incident happened to her cousin.

My step-sister swears that one happened to a friend of hers.

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I believe I'm growing skeptical of cynicism.
Myspace NWN Board

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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One of the teachers I work with swears he saw an undercover special on TV about KFC not being chicken anymore. He won't eat at KFC anymore, because "what they are serving is definitely not chicken."

I also have faced the 'It's illegal for the government to require us to pay taxes', from my pastor, no less.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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SirKnight-Protector of Lady Visa
The First USA Noel


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I am back working for Blockbuster for the Christmas Break. I had to debunk the "Hanging Munchkin" in the Wizard of Oz last night.

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You have the Right to Remain Silent. Anything you say CAN and WILL be twisted around, taken out of Context and used against you.

All we need is love and beer. Old school metal and some holiday cheer to be happy.

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Wolf333
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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When the remake of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was releaed on DVD, I debunked the "it was a true story" myth.

Same with "The Blair Witch Project."

Ditto for "Fargo."

Just the other day, I debunk one mini-myth that had been going around my work place; that chicken MCNuggets were made from fertalised chicken eggs. It seems that the originator misremembered a quote from "Supersize Me." The original quote (that McNuggets are made from old or diseased birds) was mere an allegation to begin with.

My mother still believes that cats can steal your breath and that warts can be cured with a penny.

My home town had the "family mysteriously flees house, leaving all of their belongings" myth.

Minorities are underrepresented in the U.S. military.

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"We take evil really seriously"

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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My in-laws seem to believe everything they hear. From the baby breath thing to the coke-and-pop-rocks story. Of course, these are also people who tell my kids: "Don't go outside with a wet head, you'll catch cold!" and once while visiting them my husband was going to help his father outside on a cold morning. FIL handed my husband a little thing of lip balm and told him to put it on before they went outside. My husband asked why and was told: "to keep cold sores from forming." That was a new one on me!

I also told a relative of mine that their son's camel spider story was greatly exaggerated. The reply was: "Things have changed over there since 1991!" (my husband's deployment year).

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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DAnnino
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Originally posted by Itsy Bitsy Spider:
I work for a law enforcement agency, and all afternoon long I had to convince people that there was not a rabid group of gang members patrolling our local shopping center trying to kill an unsuspecting woman as a part of their initiation ritual. It was quite an afternoon! Has anyone else ever been caught inside of an active Urban Legend?

I'll do you one better, Spider. I've seen the "Don't flash your high beams," the "AIDS-infected needles in gas pumps," and the "Guy sneaks into woman's car at the gas station" passed along by higher ranking officers as INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION! [Eek!]

Sleep well, America! [Wink]

Edit: Now if I can just get them to stop forwarding me glurge! [Roll Eyes]

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NO BETTER FRIEND, NO WORSE ENEMY
--
"I grok when apes learn to laugh, they'll be people."

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VersesBatman
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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My husbands late grandmother believed in the cat stealing baby's breath legends. Long time ago my mother in law warned me about disposable diapers. She said that they could cause sterility in male babies. I asked where she got this information and she said she got an e-mail. Shje never fails to fall for those. I tried to tell her about Snopes, but she said she didn't have time to research the e-mails.

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It's like they took a bunch of movies, put them in a blender and turned it on really fast!-Mystery Science Theater 3000

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Rebeca by the Sea
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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A few days ago I got to debunk the "KFC is made from mutant chickens with no beaks or feet" one to a volunteer-training group I was in. Though I don't think they believed me.

*Sigh* Why is it that "mutant chickens" is so much easier to believe than reality?

Rebecabythesea

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Arriah
The First USA Noel


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A guy I used to work with tried to tell us that when they flew out of state to buy and drive back a car, the security agent at the airport told his wife how much money she was carrying and that she should be careful.

Of course the security screener knew how much money she had on her because the metal detector was able to calculate it from the metal tracking strips that was in all of the money. [Roll Eyes]

He was not pleased when I pointed out that the little strips were plastic and were not for tracking.

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Conforming meant that everyone liked you except yourself
Rebecca

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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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My mom will be next week when she works Watch Night Lovefeast. [Smile]

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"But about the reindeer...what kind of a nose shines? How did he get it? Maybe it's not a reindeer after all. It could be something else."

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LyndaD
Jingle Bell Hock


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I forgot about the cat stealing a baby's breath. I got one of my cats once because a neighbor found out she was pregnant and was convinced her cat would harm the baby.
Also, my ex MIL, upon hearing I was expecting her first grandchild, immediately responded, "Well, you'll get rid of the cats now, won't you?" I didn't. DS survuved. I have pictures of DS and my 12 lb. cat sleeping on a blanket on the floor together, sitting in the high chair together, and so on.

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I'll drive it ugly. You can't see the paint job when you're behind the wheel, anyway.

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
One of my very good friends told me the famous black man in the elevator incident happened to her cousin.

My step-sister swears that one happened to a friend of hers.
My grandma swears it happend to a friend of hers and gets really angry if I suggest otherwise.

I work for a law enforcement agency and recieved a call last week from a lady wanting to confirm or disprove the "put the PIN code in backwards if being robbed at an ATM" e-mail. I told her it was untrue and gave her Snopes' URL for future reference.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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Moth Drone
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I once had a friend who swore Welcome to the AIDS Club happened to her mothers' friend. At the time it seemed so fanciful yet who would not believe that it was true especially if her mother's friend actually had AIDS?
Her friend told us the maid with a toothbrush in her bum as happening to friends of hers while on vacation.
And long before Snopes existed - well in Internet form anyway - ULs were pretty hard to debunk.

I call a friend of my husband's "the king of the urban legend" because it seems everytime we meet he'll launch into a new one but swear "it's the truth." I just elbow my husband in the ribs as soon as I hear one coming down the pipe. Seriously, it would do no good confronting this friend since he's a nice enough guy, believing every UL aside.

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MacLloyd
God Rest Ye Merry Merchants


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quote:
Originally posted by Bach_girl:
quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
One of my very good friends told me the famous black man in the elevator incident happened to her cousin.

My step-sister swears that one happened to a friend of hers.
My grandma swears it happend to a friend of hers and gets really angry if I suggest otherwise.
Wow, MY grandma swears it happend to a friend of hers and gets really angry if I suggest otherwise.

Even when I showed her Brunvard's book detailing the history of the story she was all "That may be so, but it DID happen to Sally!"

Mac"and Grandma is so smart otherwise"Lloyd

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"May you make the Yuletide pay!"

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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I had an encounter with the professor of a Women's Studies class I took in freshman year... She told the whole class that tampons were made with asbestos to promote bleeding. The classroom was a computer lab so after class ended I brought up the snopes page and explained to her that it was an urban legend. She got mad at me and said something like why should I trust this website, who knows who their sources were (I refrained from pointing out the sources at the end of the page, at that point I just gave up and left.)

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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Class Bravo
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by Cactus Wren:
Along with assuring the teenagers in my workplace that after striking at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and probably the White House, the terrorists were not likely to aim their next attack our middle-sized, middle-class mall in middle-sized, middle-class Mesa, Arizona.

This made me think of an article from The Onion that came out shortly after 9/11.
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Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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One of my coworkers is a former EMT, and a lovely woman except for her insistence that she once had to rescue a naked woman whose husband had handcuffed her to the bed and then knocked himself out swinging from a light fixture while dressed as Tarzan. I've kept my mouth shut so far.

-Tabby
the princess with claws

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If you don't appreciate the irony, the irony appreciates.

"Sappiness and medieval violence: it's a wonderful combination. Like chocolate and peanut butter for the mind." -me on my fantasy novel-in-progress

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ToadMagnet
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:
Originally posted by LyndaD:
I forgot about the cat stealing a baby's breath. I got one of my cats once because a neighbor found out she was pregnant and was convinced her cat would harm the baby.
Also, my ex MIL, upon hearing I was expecting her first grandchild, immediately responded, "Well, you'll get rid of the cats now, won't you?" I didn't. DS survuved. I have pictures of DS and my 12 lb. cat sleeping on a blanket on the floor together, sitting in the high chair together, and so on.

But ... but ... the cat stealing the baby's breath is true! I saw it on snopes!

[Razz]

ETA: (P.S. From this thread, only I don't know how to ref a particular post ... I should pay more attention.)

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Listen ... it's Mellow!

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SiKboy
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by MacLloyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Bach_girl:
quote:
Originally posted by 1958Fury:
quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
One of my very good friends told me the famous black man in the elevator incident happened to her cousin.

My step-sister swears that one happened to a friend of hers.
My grandma swears it happend to a friend of hers and gets really angry if I suggest otherwise.
Wow, MY grandma swears it happend to a friend of hers and gets really angry if I suggest otherwise.

Your grandmothers friend must be my brothers friends cousin, because my brothers friend swears up and down that it happened to his cousin at a hotel in disneyworld, and that the man in question was eddie murphy.

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This Space For Rent.

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Strawberry Limeade
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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My mom swears that she's got the recipe for Fannie Mae fudge from a friend who was stiffed a la the Neiman Marcus cookie story. It is really good fudge, and I don't have the heart to deny her her fantasy.

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"My artist statement is incomprehensible and therefore full of deep significance." - Calvin

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franjava
Deck the Malls


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I was told the "don't flash your headlights" story. My friend swears Marilyn Manson is the nerdy guy from "Wonder Years." Same friend is positive of the "Phil Collins publicly confronts murderer at concert." Mom believes all the "meanings behind nursery rhymes." I received the 9/11 tourist on top of the WTC with plane in the background picture. Too many more to name!

Everything's a conspiracy!

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Never eat anything given to you by a toddler.

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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A former co-worker of mine insisted that a child in her hometown had been killed by tampered-with Halloween candy.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

Posts: 8322 | From: Columbus, OH | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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