Modern Urban Legends?

wembley8

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There's not much sign (as far as I can see) of modern ULs. In our celeb-obsessed culture there don't seem to be that many celeb-based ULs - I can only think of the "David Beckham paid my mortgage" one.

As for new technology, has there been a techno-UL since the poodle in the microwave? And that one, IIRC, was originally about new gas or electric ovens. in spite of all the general fear and suspicion of new technology, you don't have ULs about people's brains been fried excessive mobile phone use.

There's the one about reversing your PIN number, but generally it seems to be quite slim pickings; ULs - like folktales - seem to have found their current form long ago and stick to them.

Or are there lots of shiny modern ULs that I'm missing?
 

James_H

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I hear them constantly - not that I can think of any dramatic examples right now. Doh. Paul Screeton at his uncon talk mentioned quite a lot involving celebrities.
 

stu neville

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I think it's a bit like the idea that there's only six actual jokes - all others are variations on one of the basic archetypal themes. Same goes for ULs - most are at least similar to one of a very few, basic stories or concepts.
 

OneWingedBird

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I hear them constantly - not that I can think of any dramatic examples right now. Doh. Paul Screeton at his uncon talk mentioned quite a lot involving celebrities.

a lot of the celebrity ones get recycled too... though i can't say i've heard the rod steward/marc almond stomach pump one come up (no pun intended) for a while.

maybe soon we'll have the eddie murphy 'hit the floor' myth come back for mr obama!
 

GNC

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BlackRiverFalls said:
maybe soon we'll have the eddie murphy 'hit the floor' myth come back for mr obama!

Let's hope we don't hear the stomach pump myth about him!

Although with some of the anti-Barack fanatics, I wouldn't put it past them.
 
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wembley8 said:
As for new technology, has there been a techno-UL since the poodle in the microwave? And that one, IIRC, was originally about new gas or electric ovens. in spite of all the general fear and suspicion of new technology, you don't have ULs about people's brains been fried excessive mobile phone use.

There's the recent urban legend about cellphones being able to cook popcorn/eggs. It got started from a video on YouTube and has been proved false, but I still hear it getting passed around occasionally.

Maybe that's the reason we don't hear urban legends as much anymore? It's much easier in recent times to track down the origins of something and/or find someone who's proved the information false.
 

WhistlingJack

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I concur - Snopes has done a fine job in refuting interminable ULs which would otherwise have plagued the lives of reasonable people forever.
 

lupinwick

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There are a few very geeky ones

Mutant Marsupials Take Up Arms Against Australian Air Force

The reuse of some object-oriented code has caused tactical headaches for Australia's armed forces. As virtual reality simulators assume larger roles in helicopter combat training , programmers have gone to great lengths to increase the realism of the their scenarios, including detailed landscapes and — in the case of the Northern Territory's Operation Phoenix — herds of kangaroos (since groups of disturbed animals might well give away a helicopters position).

The head of the Defense Science and Technology Organization's Land Operations/Simulations division reportedly instructed developers to model the local marsupials' movements and reaction to helicopters.

Being efficient programmers, they just re-appropriated some code originally used to model infantry detachments reactions under the same stimuli, changed the mapped icon from a soldier to a kangaroo, and increased the figures' speed of movement.

Eager to demonstrate their flying skills for some visiting American pilots, the hotshot Aussies "buzzed" the virtual kangaroos in low flight during a simulation. The kangaroos scattered, as predicted, and the Americans nodded appreciatively . . . and then did a double-take as the kangaroos reappeared from behind a hill and launched a barrage of stinger missiles at the hapless helicopter. (Apparently the programmers had forgotten the remove "that" part of the infantry coding).

Which I would classify as almost true.... And quite funny (in a sad way)


http://www.snopes.com/humor/nonsense/kangaroo.asp
 

Anome

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The trick is to then explain to the visiting Americans that this is normal behaviour in your Eastern Grey. (The Red is more likely to have dug in heavy artillery on the other side of the hill.)
 

Peripart

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wembley8 said:
There's not much sign (as far as I can see) of modern ULs. In our celeb-obsessed culture there don't seem to be that many celeb-based ULs - I can only think of the "David Beckham paid my mortgage" one.
I'm glad you remember that one - I feel quite chuffed that it was me that brought that UL to these pages, although I can't claim to have started it. It was, however, told to me as a genuine FOAF(OAFOAF) story!

wembley8 said:
As for new technology, has there been a techno-UL since the poodle in the microwave? And that one, IIRC, was originally about new gas or electric ovens. in spite of all the general fear and suspicion of new technology, you don't have ULs about people's brains been fried excessive mobile phone use.

There's the one about reversing your PIN number, but generally it seems to be quite slim pickings; ULs - like folktales - seem to have found their current form long ago and stick to them.

Or are there lots of shiny modern ULs that I'm missing?
Most new ULs come via email these days, and they seem to concern the very medium that transports them. I've lost count of the number of "WORST VIRUS EVER!" or "BIG VIRUS COMING!" messages that I've received from otherwise intelligent people, messages that could easily be verified (or otherwise) via Snopes.

Before that, of course, there were all the "AIDS-infected needles in cinema seats", complete with warnings from the local police department, so I do think new ULs are born all the time, and I suspect that these scaremongering ones are merely reflecting our current fears and worries.
 

Suzie1980

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The 'newest' one I can think of is the one about the snake who lies beside its owner in bed; measuring him/her up to be eaten.
 

GNC

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Suzie1980 said:
The 'newest' one I can think of is the one about the snake who lies beside its owner in bed; measuring him/her up to be eaten.

Yeah, last Christmas you couldn't move for people telling you that one. I even started a thread on it.
 

Anome

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Oddly enough, some people mentioned this one on the radio this morning. Reported as fact, having happened to a friend of a friend.

Someone else sent them a text explaining how it was a UL.
 

Littlegreylady

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From my frequent readings on Snopes, most of those UL seem to date back as far as the 1800s. I think it's just a case of the old ones always being recycled and updated so that they sound modern. I hear them all the time and get the emails all the time to the point I am always teased about my willingness to go to snopes to prove people wrong.

My mum's friend's friend apparantly got their mortgage paid by David beckham and a friend at work claimed her friend found a wallet and returned it to an Asian man and in return was warned not to go to Merry Hill (big shopping centre by me) on a certain date near xmas.
 

LordRsmacker

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Littlegreylady said:
a friend at work claimed her friend found a wallet and returned it to an Asian man and in return was warned not to go to Merry Hill (big shopping centre by me) on a certain date near xmas.

That sounds fair, it's mental there at this time of year! :lol:
 

TerenceOblong

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The "sweetcorn under the foreskin" tale seems quite new. Two unrelated people have told me the same story. It has been mentioned once on here before in the "Soggy biscuit game?" thread, but I can't find any reference to the story anywhere else on the net.
 

Fizz32

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May I throw in a "things people thought were urban legends but turned out to be true"?

My bloke is a Scouser. There was a discussion on this board about Purple Aki, Akinwale Arobieke, who has been convicted numerous times for various offences. I mentioned the article to my partner in passing and asked him if he'd ever heard of Purple Aki.

He had - the threat that Purple Aki would get you was well known when he was at secondary school and he had always thought Aki was some sort of bogeyman, made up for the purpose of scaring kids. He was amazed to find that the myth of Purple Aki is based on a very real person.

See:
Purple Aki (Acki; Ackey; Accie)
https://forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/purple-aki-acki-ackey-accie.68782/
 
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OneWingedBird

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The "sweetcorn under the foreskin" tale seems quite new.

is that a varient/the same as the one where the guy cops off with the woman who's been masturbating with corn on the cob? i think the version i heard had the sweetcorn in her pubic hair :shock: but i can't find it on Snopes.

sweetcorn isn't called something else in the US is it?
 

GNC

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BlackRiverFalls said:
The "sweetcorn under the foreskin" tale seems quite new.

is that a varient/the same as the one where the guy cops off with the woman who's been masturbating with corn on the cob? i think the version i heard had the sweetcorn in her pubic hair :shock: but i can't find it on Snopes.

sweetcorn isn't called something else in the US is it?

This isn't the old joke about "Yeah, the last guy threw up as well" is it? Don't make me tell it!
 

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Bloke I knew slightly woke up one morning with a leaf stuck to the end of his old man. It'd arrived there via his girlfriend, who'd been having it away with two blokes in a field the day before.

After that, the story went, he'd punch anyone who mentioned leaves, foliage, chlorophyll... :lol:

I believed this at the time but I'm not sure now.

1. Why wouldn't he notice the leaf sooner than the next morning?
2. Seems a bit farfetched for her to been entertaining two blokes in the field.
3. If he found the incident so upsetting, surely he wouldn't have told anyone: also, he was a violent bloke so you'd want to keep any secrets he told you. ;)
 

TerenceOblong

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The sweet corn under the foreskin story -

Boyfriend/husband starts to itch under his foreskin after a few days of indulging in anal sex with his girlfriend/wife. Eventually, when he is in the shower he finds a piece of sweetcorn under his foreskin. Apparently, his girlfriend/wife is a big fan of sweet corn, but as the human body can't easily digest it, he finds a whole kernel lodged under his prepuce!

The story is obviously a load of bollocks. How would someone not realise something that big under there?

BlackRiverFalls, what is the corn on the cob story? It sounds like it could be a variation of the same tale.
 

OneWingedBird

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I think i heard it about 10 years ago... it invovles a guy picking up a woman in a club and shagging her, then afterwards he looks and sees bits of sweetcorn in her pubic hair.

think it's meant to imply she's desperate/been wanking with a corn on the cob!
 

mugwumpaddict

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Theres the one about the slasher hiding under cars waiting to cut the ankles of unsuspecting lone women returning to their cars. The motive being robbery, rape or murder.
I recently got an email forwarded to me a friend warning me about this and linknig the story to The Metro centre in Gateshead. I sent her back a link to the Snopes page on it.

I'm glad Fizz32 meantioned Purple Aki cause i was going to if nobody had yet.
 

Anome

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We had the old "man lying on the backseat of lady's car" one go round at work. Specific details relating to the petrol station, etc, making it local. I pointed them to the Snopes page as well.

In a similar vein, does the recent story about women putting chloroform on their breasts in Africa remind anyone else of similar stories going around a few years ago about Thailand or something?
 

Littlegreylady

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My sister told me a new urban legend at the weekend. (When I say new, I mean new to me but still obviously all the elements of a UL)

A friend of a friend went shopping at merry hill and went to the toilet. She hung her handbag on the back of the door. Someone came in, and as the door had gaps at the top and the bottom, put their hand over the top and ran off with the bag.

Woman goes home, gets a phone call from Debenhams to say they have found the bag and can she come to identify it. Get to Debenhams... they haven't heard anything about it. Goes home and she has been burgled. Her handbag having contained housekeys and drivers licence with address.
 

IvanVolle

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Razor Blades in Water-Slides!

This rumor scared the hell out of me when I was a lad (a young lad anyway) & greatly decreased my enjoyment of water-slides.
 

Ringo

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This is a warning for people who shop at Sainsbury's.

It turns out that two very attractive eastern European girls are targeting men as they leave Sainsbury's supermarkets. They claim to have been robbed and need a lift into town. The men usually oblige and once they arrive in town, the girl in the passenger seat says she would like tot hank the man for his kindness by pleasuring him. She removes his trousers, performs oral sex on him and then the girls get out.

Only then does he realise that they have stolen his wallet/money, mobile phone etc.

Let this be a warning to you all, it happened to me only last Tuesday, Wednesday, twice on the Thursday and I'm off shopping tonight as well!! ;)
 

sonofajoiner

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Littlegreylady said:
A friend of a friend went shopping at merry hill and went to the toilet. She hung her handbag on the back of the door. Someone came in, and as the door had gaps at the top and the bottom, put their hand over the top and ran off with the bag.

Woman goes home, gets a phone call from Debenhams to say they have found the bag and can she come to identify it. Get to Debenhams... they haven't heard anything about it. Goes home and she has been burgled. Her handbag having contained housekeys and drivers licence with address.

Thank you for this! The other half told me this story before xmas but in that version the store was the John Lewis in our local shopping centre. I strongly suspected it to be bs and you've confirmed it for me! He's in for a proper gloating now.
 

OneWingedBird

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3. The hookman

Another campfire must, this tale features an amorous young couple out for a drive when the radio informs them a hook-handed lunatic has escaped from a local institution. Either the couple go home to find a hook embedded in the back of the car or one of them ends up suspended above the car with his fingers scraping against the roof.

Perhaps the most popular U/L I heard in middle school, cira late 70s, was a version of that only the killer didn't have a hook.

The boyfriend gets out of the car to go and investigate, then the woman hears something land on the roof followed by this repetitive banging, then this police car pulls up nearby and a cop with a loudhailer tells her to get out of the car, walk towards them and DON'T LOOK BACK.

She almost makes it to the cop when her curiosity gets the better of her, and she looks around to see this mongy* on the roof with her boyfriend's head on a stick that he's banging on the car roof.

* don't ask.
 
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