Urban Myth?

I get a lot of e-mails.

Some from people in far off places offering me cheap/herbal viagra for my erectile dysfunction and a plethora of pills, powders and potions, to make my floppy penis grow bigger. Presumably, when the pills finally work I can then properly enjoy Teen Hard-Core Lesbian Spanking Action.

Thanks very much.

I also get the cutsie ones with angels, fuzzy animals and a Celine Dion soundtrack which finish with the promise of dire consequences if I don't immediately send it on to all the people on my Contacts List. I have friends who appreciate my low-brow humour and they send me good/dirty jokes which I am happy to pass on - long may it continue. I also get the 'public service' e-mails about missing children in Utah - have I seen them? Umm...no.

If Harry Bloggs writes to me, it's a trick, so pass this e-mail onto everyone in my Contact List to make sure, none of my friends gets caught by this awful scam. Lately, I've been employing my delete button quite a bit. Strange how hard-hearted I've become. I really don't feel moved by the plight of that Nigerian Princess in exile who will give me her fortune, if only I would just help her out.

Today, I got an e-mail which I thought I'd put out there, see if it rang any bells with any of my plod readers.

An important message from the Police -

Guys please pass this along to all the women you know.....This actually happened a few weeks ago right here in England . It was early evening and a young lady stopped to get petrol. She filled her tank and walked into the store to pay for her petrol. The cashier told her 'Don't pay for your petrol yet.....walk around the store for a while and act as if you're picking up some other things to buy. A man just got into the back of your car. I've called the police and they're on their way'. When the police arrived, they found the man in the back seat of the girl's car and asked him what he was doing. He replied, he was joining a gang and the initiation to join is to kidnap a woman and bring her back to the gang to be raped by every member of the gang. If the woman was still alive by the time they finish with her then they let her go. According to the police that night, there is a new gang forming here originating from London. The scary part of this is because the guy didn't have a weapon on him. The police could only charge him with trespassing....He's back on the street and free to try again. Please be aware of what's going on around you and for your family and friends. LADIES you or one of your family and friends could be the next victim. Please forward this on to everyone you know. Please do not discard this message it is very important that everyone knows what is happening. Please be careful when leaving your vehicle and make sure it is ALWAYS Locked to prevent this from happening to you.

Sound familiar?


  1. One of the blessings/curses of having been using the Internet and receiving e-mails like this for some ten years now is that I tend to be able to recognise what is true/false, and remember whether I have seen something before. It's amazing how you see the same ones every couple of years.

    I've got a recollection I actually heard something about this myth on television somewhere, but I can't remember what it would have been or when. I've got a feeling it originated from an American version, and was designed to promote fear in people.

    The police response was, I think, "We're not aware of this having happened, but you should always lock your car at a petrol station".

    I don't know when I became so sceptical of these things. I guess the first that really affected me was when I was still at secondary school, perhaps around age 14. It was before the X-Files had started, and before I had the Internet, and it was a good old proper "Alien conspiracy story" presented as true, including the "JFK wanted to tell the American public all about it, which is why they killed him!" plotline.

    Kept me awake at night for weeks, it did, really.

    I read it several times over, and I swear after the first time it took days just for my heart to stop beating so fast ;)

    Somewhere along the line, I guess I just stopped believing in things until I had done additional research.

    There are hundreds of sites devoted to analysing urban myths. My favourite is Snopes.com - a site I lost a few days reading some years back ;)

    Sometimes, I find, the truth is actually even more amazing than the tale itself!

    In the case of your e-mail, it apparently originated as a story in 1967! There is no record (apparently) of its having come true.

    See here for all the details:

  2. This one had us gawping a few years back at work.


    And who could forget the Internet celebrities that are... Clock Spider and Bonsai Kitten!

  3. It was the helpful petrol attendant that made me doubt the story. I've always apologised for interrupting their reading The Sun and please can I have a car wash token - sorry to bother you.

  4. Urban myth aas far as I know, but good security and spatial awareness never did anyone any harm...

  5. Oh how lovely, another story to make women afraid of going out. I always lock my car, so no one runs awqay with my bag, but the fear of crime is getting so much out of proportion to the actual occurance of events.

    I'll stop being grumpy eventually


    keeping the goth alive (or should that be undead?)

  6. ing ~ it's good sensible advice. I'll make sure to keep my car doors locked when I'm driving round ;-)

    goth mum ~ I actually fired off an e-mail back to the woman who sent it to me, with words to that effect. We don't need the hassle, really we don't.

  7. It's always good to be cautious, but these urban myths often seem to have that helpful person who saves the potential victim from harm.

    I remember someone telling me about "a friend of a friend" who was sitting on a train opposite 3 guys, and the one in the middle was starring at her intensely. Some old guy called her out of the carriage and told her that the guy in the middle was dead and that she should get off at the next stop to avoid being killed by the two thugs...


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