Presented by Steven M.
Past president of the
Association for Applied andTherapeutic Humor
Steven M. Sultanoff quoted in a newspaper
article on April Fools Day
For the ultimate in foolish behavior be sure
to visit our Darwin Awards
How about a reverse April Fools where the Truth is out there but maybe not on those forwarded emails.
Debunking all of us "Fools" on the Internet :)
1. Big companies don't do business via chain letters. Bill Gates is not giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. Procter and Gamble is not part of a satanic cult or scheme, and its logo is not satanic. MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's true". Furthermore, just because someone said in a message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit", does not actually make it true.
2. There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring stories, please see: http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm
And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None have." That's "none" as in "zero". Not even your friend's cousin.
3. Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they do, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at: http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html
Then, if you make the recipe, decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.
4. If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain letter?
5. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm that an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses. Try: http://www.norton.com And even then, don't forward it. We don't care. And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you have to download....ya know, like, a FILE!
6. There is no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes headlights at another car driving at night without lights.
7. If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off the "HTML encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
8. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the
">" that begin each line either. Besides, if it has gone around that many times we've probably already seen it.
9. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is no longer a "little boy" either.
10. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation. It is distracting them from the important work they do.
11. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that "promises" something bad will happen if you "don't," then something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.
12. Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time) but forwarding an e-mail won't help either cause in the least. If you want to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with Amnesty International or the Red Cross. As a general rule, e-mail "signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any power to do anything about whatever the competition is complaining about.
(P.S.: There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long-distance companies to charge you for using the Internet.)
Bottom Line... composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it until it's proven false... ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that it's true.
Now, forward this message to ten friends, and you
will win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.
Now that the above Urban legends are clarified let's be careful not to start others. What follows is reported to be true, however they may have originally been part of a comedian's routine and now have become urban legends. Here we go from the "truth or fiction category."
Service for Dummies
This week, all our office phones went dead and I had to contact the telephone repair people. They promised to be out between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. When I asked if they could give me a smaller time window, the pleasant gentleman asked, "Would you like us to call you before we come?" I replied that I didn't see how he would be able to do that, since our phones weren't working.
Handwriting Experts for Dummies:
I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed I had never signed my name on the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature I had just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared the signature to the one I had just signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they matched.
Deer Me for Dummies:
I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason: too many deer were being hit by cars and he didn't want them to cross there anymore.
Vegetables for Dummies:
My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for "minimal lettuce." He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.
Airline Ticket Agents for Dummies:
I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, "Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?" To which I replied, "If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?" He smiled knowingly and nodded, "That's why we ask."
Making the Connection for Dummies
The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it's safe to cross the street. I was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine when she asked if I knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red. Appalled, she responded, "What on earth are blind people doing driving?!"
Downsizing for Dummies:
At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker who was leaving the company due to "downsizing," our manager commented cheerfully, "This is fun. We should do this more often." Not a word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer in the headlights look....
Circuits for Dummies:
I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself and for the life of her couldn't understand why her system would not turn on.
Car Repair for Dummies
When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "It's open!" To which he replied, "I know - I already got that side."
The human race has one really
effective weapon, and that is laughter.
Mark Twain, U.S. Author (1835-1910)