Afternoon Inquisition

AI: The call is coming from inside the Skepchick Villa!

Today I got one of those stupid email forwards. You know the ones… the urban legendy proof that God exists ones? This one was the one where the kid says that God smells like rain, and the girl totally knows because she survived almost impossible odds when she was born 15 weeks premature.

It’s supposedly a true-ish story, at least Snopes seems to think so. (True in the sense that the story itself is true, not the the smell of rain is proof that kids chillax with Goddizzle.) As much as I want to hit “Reply All” and say, WTF? Do you have any idea who I am? Do you know anything about me? I restrain myself and do the decent thing… delete it and then bitch about it on Skepchick. Cuz that’s how I roll.

But the urban legend thing has always fascinated me. Especially now that anyone with an email address can watch them evolve, and often times, a good skeptical sleuth can find the origin of the legend.

Today, let’s start our own urban legend! Start a story… give us a few sentences, 5 tops, and then let the next person take the story where they want to take it… and keep it going. After 15-20 replies, end it with a classic urban legend ending, and start a new one! Ready….. GO!

Or, if you hate participation, tell me What’s your favorite urban legend/crazy chain email ?


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. Last month the US Congress passed another bill that we can be sure that none of them read. One of the items in the bill bans the distribution, sale and possession of Dihydrogenoxide. The rest of us know this chemical as water.

  2. A Priest and a Minister were found unconscious on the sidewalk with no signs of violence. When the paramedics arrived, they found strange marks on their bodies.

  3. You know how they say that things happen in three’s? Well, the following tale happened to my sister’s friend, Gina. One day she was hanging out at the lake near her house, walking down a dirt path. She heard a weird noise in the bushes ahead and a rabbit jump out and sat on the middle of the path looking right at her…

  4. She was so distracted by the bunny that she walked right into this Priest and Minister, knocking them off a pedestrian bridge onto a sidewalk below. She vaguely remembered something about Dihydrogenoxide being dangerous, so she found herself wishing she had some to fight off the bunny with.

  5. @Skept-artist:She heard a weird noise in the bushes ahead and a rabbit jump out and sat on the middle of the path looking right at her…

    Which she though was weird, right? So she looks over her shoulder, and there’s another rabbit behind her, just staring at her. She starts walking again, and two more rabbits hop out of the bushes in front of her. So there’s three rabbits in front, sitting up, staring at her. She looks back, no there’s three rabbits behind her.

    That’s when she sees the severed hand…

  6. @Joshua: But, she had nothing, so she ran away. She came to an apratment complex, and started pounding on doors and ringing doorbells, but no one answered the door. She saw an old couple walking though the complex, so she ran up and yelled, “A Priest, a Minister, and a bunny!” while pointing back at the bridge.

  7. “What’s your favorite urban legend/crazy chain email ?”

    I quite like the “Mars as big as the Moon” one. Despite its complete impossibility, the emails keep showing every year around August.

  8. The old couple turned towards Gina, responding to her screams. She noticed that their faces were those of the Priest and the Minister. The Priest held the bunny in his arms.
    Gina was paralyzed. The rabbit stared at her with bright red eyes. The rabbit asked,” What are you running from?”

  9. The rabbit hopped out of the Priest’s hands. The Priest and Minister shied away from the bunny.

    “What are you so afraid of?” said the bunny to them.

    “Rabbits don’t talk,” responded the Minister.

    “And snakes do?” The rabbit pulled a small pocket watch from nowhere in particular and sped off.” I’m leaving this story, as I’m very late. It appears to be train time.”

  10. @MathMike: Unfortunately, due to a groundswell of public support for the bill, many protests have been seen surrounding “Dihydrogenoxide Treatment Plants”. Protesters can be found with signs proclaiming that H20 can cause everything from autism to homosexuality, and that this is a “Nazi-style” plot of the Obama government to contaminate our “precious bodily fluids”.

  11. But just as he said that, a snake came out of nowhere and asked, “Where do you think you’re going?” At which point he bit the rabbit and proceeded to attempt to digest him whole.

  12. My “favorites” are those that are so obviously designed as scare-the-women-and-keep-them-in-their-house-where-they-belong! stories. There’s ether in the perfume! The flier on your window means someone’s going to kidnap you! Etc. etc. etc. Luckily, I have been so diligent in my “reply all” habit that the only person who still sends me these, despite my recurring requests that she stop, now just goes right into my deleted mail…

    I like urban legends involving celebrities. Because we’re all sooooo sure they’re true. Let’s start one about Adam Savage!

  13. “What’s your favorite urban legend/crazy chain email ?”

    The one that claims the 11th verse of the 9th sura in the Qur’an (i.e. verse 9:11) says something about twin towers and an Eagle and essentially something predicting that America was going to get bombed. It’s so blazingly stupid because anyone can go to their nearest library, pick up an English version of the Qur’an, and find out that if very clearly says nothing of the sort. I wonder if there’s a Snopes link for it.

    ::scurries off the search Snopes::

    Yep, here it is:


  14. Two years prior to writing this when I was in England , Exeter to be exact, there was this small pub off of a side road within the hedges. A still-silence chilled the air as the group of us opened the door and walked inside to blank faces, oblivious of us like time itself in this pub had been put in indefinite pause. Upon leaning into a woman’s ear to ask her a question, a patron arose from her zombie-state at the site of my Surly-Necklace catching the sun-light. Simultaneously startled and perplexed, we decided to further study the powers held within the Surly-Necklace…

  15. @infinitemonkey:

    But, she had nothing, so she ran away. She ran past an apratment complex, having had a bad experience with an aprat when she was younger, and entered a pub, where the barkeep was wiping down the bar. So she ran up and yelled, “A Priest, a Minister, and a bunny!” while pointing back at the bridge. The barkeep looked at her and asked, “What is this, some kind of a joke?”

  16. LOL I was just thinking yesterday, when I received yet another “woo” email with a bazillion openly forwarded emails for employees of Bank of America, that we need to have atheist things to forward.

    Hmmm, do you think it’s against the law to post all the emails in the forwards I get in a blog or something?

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