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Folklore: Is this an urban myth?

MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 07:31 AM
Hamish 15 Sep 14 - 08:06 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 08:08 AM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Sep 14 - 08:24 AM
Lighter 15 Sep 14 - 08:37 AM
GUEST, topsie 15 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM
GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery 15 Sep 14 - 10:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
Musket 15 Sep 14 - 10:40 AM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 10:48 AM
GUEST,In Spain 15 Sep 14 - 10:55 AM
mayomick 15 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,Derrick 15 Sep 14 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Sep 14 - 01:31 PM
Bounty Hound 15 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 02:00 PM
GUEST 15 Sep 14 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Derrick 15 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Rahere 15 Sep 14 - 03:51 PM
Doug Chadwick 15 Sep 14 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Stim 15 Sep 14 - 04:17 PM
Anne Lister 15 Sep 14 - 04:37 PM
Lighter 15 Sep 14 - 05:01 PM
Mr Red 15 Sep 14 - 05:06 PM
MGM·Lion 15 Sep 14 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 15 Sep 14 - 07:16 PM
Lighter 15 Sep 14 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Sep 14 - 11:12 AM
Ebbie 16 Sep 14 - 11:43 AM
Doug Chadwick 16 Sep 14 - 12:00 PM
GUEST,Justin 16 Sep 14 - 12:05 PM
Mr Red 16 Sep 14 - 01:46 PM
Lighter 16 Sep 14 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 16 Sep 14 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 16 Sep 14 - 05:00 PM
The Sandman 16 Sep 14 - 06:58 PM
The Sandman 16 Sep 14 - 07:00 PM
Jim Carroll 16 Sep 14 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,Stim 16 Sep 14 - 11:55 PM
GUEST 17 Sep 14 - 01:38 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Sep 14 - 03:11 AM
JennieG 17 Sep 14 - 03:12 AM
GUEST,Don Wise 17 Sep 14 - 03:49 AM
The Sandman 17 Sep 14 - 04:07 AM
JHW 17 Sep 14 - 05:46 AM
GUEST 17 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Sep 14 - 07:58 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Sep 14 - 08:07 AM
GUEST, topsie 17 Sep 14 - 08:16 AM
GUEST 17 Sep 14 - 09:53 AM
MGM·Lion 17 Sep 14 - 09:56 AM
JennieG 17 Sep 14 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Stim 18 Sep 14 - 12:34 AM
Jim Carroll 18 Sep 14 - 03:07 AM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM
Lighter 18 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Sep 14 - 08:16 AM
mayomick 18 Sep 14 - 11:31 AM
Lighter 18 Sep 14 - 11:44 AM
Thompson 18 Sep 14 - 03:01 PM
meself 18 Sep 14 - 03:12 PM
Lighter 18 Sep 14 - 03:57 PM
Uncle_DaveO 18 Sep 14 - 04:17 PM
GUEST 18 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Grishka 18 Sep 14 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Stim 18 Sep 14 - 06:23 PM
MGM·Lion 19 Sep 14 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,Stim 19 Sep 14 - 02:47 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 03:56 AM
MGM·Lion 19 Sep 14 - 04:48 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 05:27 AM
mayomick 19 Sep 14 - 06:13 AM
mayomick 19 Sep 14 - 06:19 AM
Thompson 19 Sep 14 - 06:37 AM
Jim Carroll 19 Sep 14 - 07:49 AM
Thompson 19 Sep 14 - 07:57 AM
Dave Sutherland 19 Sep 14 - 08:10 AM
Lighter 19 Sep 14 - 08:55 AM
Thompson 19 Sep 14 - 01:15 PM
Thompson 19 Sep 14 - 01:32 PM
Thompson 19 Sep 14 - 01:42 PM
Lighter 19 Sep 14 - 03:48 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 04:44 AM
GUEST, topsie 21 Sep 14 - 06:14 AM
Lighter 21 Sep 14 - 07:22 AM
MGM·Lion 21 Sep 14 - 07:26 AM
GUEST, topsie 21 Sep 14 - 10:42 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Derrick 21 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM
JennieG 21 Sep 14 - 05:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 21 Sep 14 - 06:58 PM
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GUEST,.gargoyle 21 Sep 14 - 09:34 PM
Lighter 22 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
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The Sandman 23 Sep 14 - 08:47 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Sep 14 - 09:03 AM
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Subject: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 07:31 AM

We all know about Urban Myths, aka Whale-Tumour Stories, or FOAF Tales [from Friend of a Friend, the inevitable experiencer of whatever the happening the myth deals with; acronym coined by English folklorist Rodney Dale, along with Jan Brunvand the most prolific writer on the genre]. The Car Stolen with Granny in her Coffin on the Roof; the Vanishing Hitchhiker; the Policeman Who Forgot To Switch off his Car's PA (so that everyone heard what he said about the woman he was trying to help out of the jam) -- all those. [Google Wikipdedia Urban Myth.]

My mother's lifelong friend Peggy Rose was a great teller of these; a real pushover: she had a new one every time one visited: she even claimed to have heard the policeman in Hampstead High Street, even though the tale is actually well-known...

She had one particular favourite story of something she claimed happened to a friend of a friend of hers, which has to me all the hallmarks of an Urban Myth -- EXCEPT that I have never come across it anywhere else. Here is the story:

--- My friend's friend and her husband got to the bottom of the Piccadilly Line escalator at Leicester Square underground station (at the time, and even now for all I know, the longest escalator [moving staircase] in the world) at a busy time of day.

"Oh, bother," he said. "I meant to buy an evening paper at the bookstall in the booking hall. Wait here a minute or two"; -- and up he went on the up-side...

...and never came down again. She is still 'waiting a minute or two'. ---

{This provided my first wife Valerie & me with a family phrase BTW: "I thought you had Leicester-Squared me," we would complain if left to wait for any significant length of time.}

Now, as I say, I think this incident, which my [adoptive] Auntie Peggy would ofttimes tell, bears all the hall marks of a Foaf-Tale, Whale-Tumour Story, Urban Myth ... EXCEPT, as I say, I have never come across it, or a recognisable close variant, anywhere else.

Has anyone? Or might it, after all, really have happened to Auntie Peggy's Friend's Friend?

≈Michael≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Hamish
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 08:06 AM

No. But thanks for the inspirational idea ;-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 08:08 AM

Is Mrs Hamish reading this, Hamish?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 08:24 AM

If he had mistakenly taken the down escalator, perhaps he is still walking.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 08:37 AM

I have heard of a parallel case - don;t know where or when, maybe in a novel - of a disgruntled husband who told his wife he was "just going out for a newspaper" (or perhaps a pack of cigarettes)... and never returned.

Am sure this was not to told to me as a true FOAF tale.

However, I was told in the '90s that you must never fasten your auto seatbelt, because in a certain kind of crash, it can slice your liver out.

It "actually happened" to an unfortunate FOAF.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 08:50 AM

The parallel case might be the joke doing the rounds some years ago about a woman asking for advice after her husband went out to buy a cauliflower (or maybe Brussels sprouts) and never came back.
The advice:
"If I were you I'd open a tin of peas."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Henry Piper of Ottery
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:28 AM

This probably has some basis in Fact. There are numerous recorded cases of people just walking out on friends and family with no warning, I think in the U.K there are several hundred such cases a year reported to the Police, Some return eventually, but others are never heard from again.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM

I've never heard it either, but it sounds like an urban tale to me, MGM Lion.

Didn't Peggy Rose even know the name of her friend and of her friend's friend?

Did the man leave home without so much as a change of underwear?

And of course, it's impossible to believe she's still waiting. If she were mentally handicapped or something, eventually the police will have dealt with her.

No, don't believe Peggy Rose, and don't buy any shares from her.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Musket
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:40 AM

Or lucky white heather..


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:48 AM

Be difficult to do any of that, leeneia: she's been dead for about 30 years. My memories of her go back to childhood & teenage visits with my mother, who died in 1967. Obviously it was not implied that the wife literally remained waiting in Leics Sq station. As to his underwear &c; I should take it that he had left a case at a left luggage somewhere. It was presumably all planned, to meet his mistress & vanish with her or whevs.

If it happened at all, that is.

Peggy was always a bit cagey about the names -- seemed to feel she owed some sort of confidentiality or something.

It still feels urban mythical to me -- except that this dies seem the only version of the tale; which, in myth or folklore terms, would be unusual to say the least.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,In Spain
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:55 AM

And thus do Urban Myths propagate.

We can all now say we heard it from a friend, and it actually happened to a friend of their aunt's. Although the aunt gave no names. (neither did the friend)

If you do now find another source for it, it may well lead back here!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: mayomick
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 10:56 AM

A bit of a mystery alright. Was Aunt Peggy's FOAF carrying a Yukka plant at the time by any chance?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 11:00 AM

Lighter's version with the pack of cigarettes is well-established folklore. Non-smokers will prefer the newspaper, illiterate a bar of chocolate. Like all good urban legends, it sound both spectacular and plausible; this one is more on the plausible side.

The following happened to a lady I knew: on the very morning of her planned wedding, church and everything, her fiancé told her that there was another woman he loved more, and that he had known that for months but had been too much of a coward to confess it.

Normally there is still time to pack a suitcase or two. Those who leave with just a coat - assuming they exist - are either extremely "mad" or want the others to believe they had drowned, been murdered, etc. Some actually have drowned, been murdered, etc.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 11:51 AM

Urban myths like, ufo's are extraterestrial aircraft,the chupacabra and Nessie exist in the shadow lands of possibility,it's not impossible that they might exist in some form,just highly unlikely.
The fact that the tales usually refer to unamed FOAFS means nobody can identify the subject of the story so they can never be be proved true or false even if it is plausable.
Myths are widely believed but usually based on misunderstandings of the facts, thus they are to all intents and purposes untrue.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 01:31 PM

Derrick, you are quite mistaken about the specific character of urban legends (thus properly named). Nessie and UFOs are ordinary myths, a different species, even if sometimes told in the FOAF narratives.

To qualify as an urban legend, a story must have the taste of an ordinary news story from commercial mass media, usually spiced with fragments of science (- psychology, in this case). Often the two genres become indistinguishable: my aunt's friend of a friend is my newspaper's "reliable but undisclosed source". April fool hoaxes grow wings so easily.

Our cigarette buyer is comparatively harmless; I guess he flew out of some pretty realistic novel or film, just slightly pointed.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 01:55 PM

Don't tell Mrs Hound, but I'm just popping out for a packet of fags ;)

(Actually, I can get away with that as it's my only vice, I've given up the drink and the loose women!)

Seriously though Michael, I suspect urban myth, if it was a factual story there would probably be names for the folks concerned.


John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 02:00 PM

Well, that's what I always thought, John. But, although people not named, very specific venue is. & if it is a myth, where are the other versions? No-one come up yet with an even fairly close analogue. That has always been what made me doubt. I have always thought that if it was a foaftale, Brunvand or Dale would have a variant. But no..

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 03:36 PM

Griska,
         Myth and legend are intertwined,both are ancient stories told to explain things that people had no other explanation for.
Legends often include mythical or supernatural figures as part of the stories.
Urban legends and myths are similar stories set in modern or recent history.
The stories that MGM is talking about above are just that stories,
the inclusion of FOAF's is just a attempt to give them credence


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 03:38 PM

Unnamed guest above is me


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 03:51 PM

More like an urbane Mithith, methinks


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 04:14 PM

They say that truth is stranger than fiction. I think that some urban myths may well have their basis in fact but, with the retelling, specifics get lost or changed. Birmingham becomes Newcastle becomes Glasgow; an uncle becomes a friend becomes a colleague; a bus ride becomes a train journey becomes a car trip; and so on, but the kernel of the story could remain intact. After all, we accept that songs relating to real events go through the folk process to give us widely varying versions.


DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 04:17 PM

MGM-"Urban Legends" tend to revolve around a core which the tellers have embellished with details that will be familiar to the listener. The essence of your aunt's story is that someone excused themselves for a moment at an underground station, and never came back.

Change the pair from husband and wife to school friends, take away the newspaper, and move from Leicester Square to King's Cross, and you are essentially telling the story of 15 year old Martin Allen, who disappeared In 1979. Don't know when your aunt told her story, but there is a possible commonality.

From WIKIPEDIA:

On 5 November 1979, Allen travelled home on the London Underground. His intention was to go and see his older brother, but he needed to go home first in order to collect some money. At around 3.50 pm he said goodbye to some school friends on King's Cross Station and set off in the direction of the Piccadilly line platform to travel home. This was the last positive sighting of Allen and he failed to reach either his parents' or his brother's home.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 04:37 PM

Not convinced that the other abandonment stories are necessarily folklore either. I stayed at a hotel once on my own and sat for some time with a lady in the bar who told me how her husband had got up one evening and said he was going to close the front door properly and then not returned. She later discovered he had a mistress across town he had been in the habit of visiting and in due course moved in with "but," she said, "of course he always came around for his Sunday roast." Which was the only odd note in the tale and I thought that in her position I might slip something into the gravy ...

And an old school friend of mine who had got married at the age of 17 to an older man was brought back to her parents' home a few months later and went inside while her husband brought in the luggage. She then found he'd unloaded all of her luggage and left his wedding ring on top of the cases and then driven off ... Well, it's one way to make a clean break, I suppose.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 05:01 PM

Not even the great Holmes was able to resolve the curious case of "Mr James Phillimore, who, stepping back into his own house to get his umbrella, was never more seen in this world."

As Dr. Watson tells us in "The Adventure of Thor Bridge."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 05:06 PM

I heard one from a friend of a friend where the man left home without warning. Unbelievably he walked through the door many years later and sat down in his favourite chair. The woman took him back!


The only lie I told was it was a girlfriend of mine who told me.
I did meet the woman involved.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 05:19 PM

Stim == well before 1979. Auntie Peggy would tell this story in the 40s. But not really a related story. Such disappearances as that you relate quite often get told of. But in Auntie Peggy's story, the point is that he had planned it to leave his wife & perhaps go off as arranged with a mistress, or some such.

The story of the MP, Stonehouse, who (unsuccessfully) faked his drowning to vanish & escape arrest is nearer; but not that near.

Actually, Lighter, Holmes did eventually solve that mystery, in one of the follow-up stories from the 1950s by Adrian Conan Doyle [son of Arthur] & John Dickson Carr, published as The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes (1954), which took up & expanded some of Watson's throwaway refs from the originals.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 07:16 PM

Mr. Red,

Your story is told by Roald Dahl in one of his shorts titled, Open Window

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Hundreds of Thousands


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Sep 14 - 07:25 PM

Ambrose Bierce told a comparable tale, "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field" (1893).

As a teenager, I read the "strange-but-true" story of David Lang, an American farmer who vanished in full view of his family while crossing a stubble field [n.b.].

A year later his children visited the spot: they faintly heard the voice of their father crying "Help me! Help me!"

Creepy!

Turns out it was a hoax, and possibly based on Bierce's story.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 11:12 AM

You haven't heard other version, Lion, because the story about the husband is totally unbelievable, too unbelievable to make it as an urban legend.

Take the part "
...and never came down again. She is still 'waiting a minute or two'. ---   "

Not even a credulous teenager would swallow that part.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Ebbie
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 11:43 AM

The part of it that sounds FOAFish to me is the 'longest escalator' specificity. Being so very long, of course, the woman would not have expected him back momentarily thus giving him ample time to make his getaway.

We frequently say something like: And she waits for him still.

We don't mean that she is standing at the foot of the escalator, leenie.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 12:00 PM

Good Heavens leeneia, I though that it was only the Bible that people took literally. I'm sure that Michael isn't implying that the woman is camped out at the bottom of the escalator.

Perhaps the reason why this story is not doing the rounds as an urban legend is that it's all too believable. In fact, I would go as far as to say, commonplace. People walk out on their partners all the time and in circumstances just as quirky as this. What is lacking may be originality rather than believability.

DC


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Justin
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 12:05 PM

It sounds like a more descriptive version of the old 'he popped out for a box of cigarettes one night and never came back' story.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 01:46 PM

well I believe my story because the woman was a colleague of my girlfriend and they worked together for at least 10 years. I can't remember if the woman ever confirmed the story herself, but it was acknowledged that there had been a long separation.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 01:51 PM

You know, fifty years later I still kind of like that David Lang story.

So I'm going to start believing it again right now.

Quite harmless, really.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 03:19 PM

Exit Stage LEFT

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

That's ALL she wrote


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 05:00 PM

I just lost a post chock full of elaborately researched blickies, which I have no inclination to duplicate now.
The gist of it was, this is a network of closely connected weird stories.
The David Lang story was included in two compilations of strange tales in the 1950s. Both authors were suspected of cribbing from Bierce.
There is a real life David Lang, a composer, who evidently has created an opera based on "The Difficulty of Crossing a Field." (Coincidence, or just the composer's understandable fascination with a story obliquely connected to his own name? He doesn't say.)
And Bierce himself became the subject of a disappearance legend, having apparently vanished after announcing his intention to travel to Mexico to relive his fondly-remembered soldier days.
You can easily find the links yourself by a little clever Googling.
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 06:58 PM

is this a version of the game mornington crescent?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: The Sandman
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 07:00 PM

mornington crescent


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 07:52 PM

Wonder if I might throw in another urban myth for consideration.
Years ago I worked in an apartment block outside London and was told by my customer of a couple who had lived there a few years earlier.
It was their regular practice to film themselves making love and play it back on their video player at a later date to 'relive' the moment.
After a time, they began getting strange looks from their neighbours, until, in desperation, they demanded to know what was going on.
They were eventually told that the owners of the apartment block had installed a new communal aerial system which inadvertently allowed the neighbours to tune into the replays.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 16 Sep 14 - 11:55 PM

That's a good one, Jim!

Jim's story has a sort of punch line, with a bit of a moral in it(embarrassed for videoing sex), as well as a slightly inexplicable causality (after the story is over, you realize that playing a video on your TV won't broadcast over a communal aerial, but it sounds good for just long enough to get the desired response). These elements make it a classic urban legend.

Aunt Peggy's story doesn't have a punch line or payoff, like the man returning to his favorite chair in the Roald Dahl story (sorry Mr. Red, you've been foafed) so it is kind of incomplete, as far as being an urban legend.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 01:38 AM

C'mon. it's got to have a punchline, or at least a twist, to become a true and memorable UM.

I rather like Bernard Wrigley's tale of Bill and the Concrete Mixer. Strangely, the almost identical tale turned up in a local paper only a few weeks ago: "Victoria Police are investigating an incident...etc. etc." Obviously a slow news day....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 03:11 AM

"it's got to have a punchline, or at least a twist, to become a true and memorable UM."

Sez who?

What's the punchline or twist to "Car stolen with granny's corpse on the roofrack"? They left the car while they had coffee. Came back. Car + corpse gone. That's the tale. Some embellish it with difficulties about reporting death to authorities &c; but these are outward limbs & flourishes. No punchline or twist to main tale SFAICS. And these additions don't lead anyhow to an actual identifiable punchline in any version I can find.

But it's still probably the best known UM.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: JennieG
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 03:12 AM

Anne Lister is right - some abandonment 'stories' are, in fact, true.    One instance happened in my family, a man who walked out on his wife and family and never contacted them again. Arriving home one evening he was met by his wife, who told him that, while he was out, a bloke had called to see him. "What did he want?" asked the man. "I don't know, he didn't say" replied the wife. "Right-oh" said the man, who then got back in his car and drove off - she assumed to see the bloke who had called. He never ever returned.

The man who walked out and never spoke to his family again was my father.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 03:49 AM

My grandfather (mother's side) was never talked about at home. Years later, I think my aunt from NZ was over for a visit, it came out that she'd met him in Australia. It's a long way from Belfast/Crewe to Oz. I'd left home by the time my aunt came over so I have to go on what my sister told me years later. What led up to him leaving is not recorded.

As far as 'The stolen car with the body on the roof' story goes, I turned a variant of that into a song, "The 'New' Body Snatcher".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 04:07 AM

i was under the impression it was woody guthrie who said im just going out for cigarettes and left his wife, presumably his first wife is this incorrect.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: JHW
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 05:46 AM

Went upstairs and forgot what she'd gone for. Happens all the time


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 07:47 AM

Sez who? Well, me for one.

Humour tends to be more memorable, and therefore more likely to spread than just some deadpan, open ended story. I've forgotten the one in the original post already, so that proves it!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 07:58 AM

Regarding Jennie's account - maybe he realised that the 'bloke' was the 'other woman's husband' and that there was serious trouble about to break out.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 08:07 AM

This is not a thread on 'humour', GUEST 2 posts back. So what are you on about? It is about whether a particular story fits a certain category, and whether anyone else knows any recognisable variant of it. Whether you remember it, and what that is supposed to 'prove', is a matter of considerable indifference, thank you. So shove off, please; and take your 'sez-ing' with you.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 08:16 AM

Maybe that GUEST went upstairs and then forgot what he came in here for.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 09:53 AM

MGM.Lion, please accept my apology.

I was genuinely trying to contribute with an opinion that I hold, which differs from your own in the matter of what consitutes an urban myth. An attempt at gentle humour, tinged with a little sarcasm, I admit, but no longer acceptable, I fear. However, I didn't expect such belligerence from you, and I'm truly sorry that I was the cause of that.

I somehow mistook Mudcat for a friendly discussion group as it was in the days when I posted regularly as a member. I now remember why I no longer do so, though I can't recall personally being on the receiving end of such aggression.

So I shall now "shove off", which I assume you meant in the nicest Naval sense (and not in the "go forth and multiply" sense).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 09:56 AM

Apology accepted, indeed. I am not generally a particularly contentious person. Must have had a touch of dyspepsia and expressed self more aggressively than normal.

You sail careful, now, ya hear!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: JennieG
Date: 17 Sep 14 - 06:06 PM

Guest topsie, no, there was no other woman or jealous husband.........but it turned out there were gambling, and debts arising.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 12:34 AM

Richard Dorson says so, for one, though he didn't call it a punchline. Perhaps that was an ill considered choice on my part. Twist, payoff, point, are probably better words.

Grandma's remains were not properly and respectfully handled, so the payoff is that thieves didn't recognize them for what they were and stole them.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:07 AM

The similarities between this disappearance tale and a number of traditional stories has just struck me.
Below is a story we included on an cassette album of traditional storytelling from various collectors from all over the British Isles which we edited for The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, '...And That's My Story' back in the 1980s'
The Stewart family had a number of similar ones, some much longer and more complex.
The matriarch of the Stewart family, Belle Stewart, told the collectors, Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, another remarkable tale of a Perthshire fisherman who was driven out to sea by a storm in his small boat.
Eventually, he falls asleep and when he wakes up he finds he has landed on a strange beach - but he has turned into a woman.
The local people take him/her in, feed and clothe her and find her somewhere to live.
It is far to remote a place for her to attempt to try to return home, so she settles in and eventually, she marries a local man and they raise a family.
They grow old together and eventually, he dies, leaving her a widow.
One day, she decides to seek out her old boat, which has been left near where it landed and she sits, musing on her strange life.
She falls asleep in the boat, and awakes to find that another storm has swept her far out to sea again and she has returned to her former sex.
Eventually he drifts back to her former home village, where he is greeted as if he has never been away.
It is one of the finest pieces of storytelling I have heard.
MacColl used to tell a similar one to this and Cathie Stewart's (below) which he recorded in The Hebrides for the B.B.C. in the 1930s
That tells of a farmer who goes out to find someone who can repair a hole in his wellington boot.
He wanders the world in search of one, having various adventures on the way, and eventually returns home complaining bitterly that he couldn't find anybody who could repair his boot.   
The motif of the disappearing person is a common one in folklore.
Jim Carroll

OOT (Out)
Cathie Higgins Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland
Well, y'see, this was a man and a woman and they were very comfortable in this nice wee cottage.
So she ...this woman had aye a habit when her man came in tae have his slippers a' ready for him and his easy chair and his cigarettes and a' the rest o' it. So this nicht she'd his slippers a' laid oot for him and his fags and a' the rest o' it a' laid oot for him. But he never come in.
"God 'imichty me," she says, "whit's happened tae that man o' mines?"
But, however, three month gaed on, six month gaed on, twenty year gaed on. Nae man.
So this nicht he came in, miraculous. Set doon in his chair and put his bachies on.
And she just come fillin' ben fae the kitchen and she says, "Whaur hae you been, man?"
"Oot!

'miraculous' - drunk;
'bachies' - out of shape shoe or slipper

Recorded by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, 1962
Cathie Higgins' fine sense of the absurd is clearly demonstrated in this story which appears, at the start, to herald one of the long epics for which the Stewarts are renowned. The twist in the tale is its sudden, unforeseen end.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 06:07 AM

The point of the story is not that they never come back (with few exceptions), but that they neither announce nor explain their step. Possible explanations:
  • They fear that their partner or family would hold them back physically (not as rare worldwide as we like to think)
  • Their explanation is too weak to stand a fair discussion, and they are afraid of losing or even being held back by their own moral standards
  • They want to punish their partner, e.g. for failing to listen
  • They have heard of that story and find it a cool statement of personal freedom.
Although I cannot witness personally for the pack-of-cigarettes variant, I know of many similar cases, and I think everybody does. The currently active thread aptly titled nope.. not my fault.... illustrates a situation which may (but need not) precede an event as discussed here. We often see that something is going wrong; it may be harder to guess which of the partners is going to quit first. Both are likely to say: "nope.. not my fault....".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 07:48 AM

> and I think everybody does.

Suggesting that most of them are "urban legends" (as they are officially called).

Even if such things do happen, the story in the abstract is still an "urban legend" because it's *also* being circulated anonymously and generically, even if we can't always tell in which particular instance.

Meanwhile, several David Langs have appeared on Facebook. Which one is from 1880? (And can you blame him for calling out "Help me!"?)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 08:16 AM

Lighter, what I would call "similar cases" is that partners split up at short notice, rather than without any notice. I think it is a safe statement that such cases are very common, I personally know of many. Often the quitter claims that the other partner just didn't take the prior hints.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: mayomick
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 11:31 AM

A FOAF worked with a man who disappeared overnight , never even came back to the job to pick up his back money and abandoned his wife and young family . A few years later somebody who very much resembled the disappearee was spotted by one of his former colleagues in a smart area of London getting out of an expensive car and dressed to the nines. The ex workmate approached him ,but ,on seeing him, the man jumped straight back into his swanky car and tore away . The people at work remembered how around the time the man went awol there had been an anonymous , "no publicity" winner of the football pools .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 11:44 AM

Yes, the theme of the legend is that there's been no notice, no hint whatsoever, and certainly *no explanation* forthcoming.

"Even our loved one's can vanish from our lives for no reason we can understand - or, sometimes, even begin to understand" (as in the Bierce story).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:01 PM

Wasn't there a whole battalion of (American?) soldiers supposed to have marched into a mist and disappeared in World War I?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: meself
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:12 PM

English. There was a movie based on that incident made not too many years back - maybe called "The Lost Battalion". If I recall correctly, investigations came to show that they were wiped out by the Turkish enemy, but the story of their mysterious disappearance into the mist lived on.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 03:57 PM

The true story:

www.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/2/.../azmak.pdf

Scroll to bottom of page six. Or read all the way through!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 04:17 PM

I don't see the original post's story as an Urban Legend,
nor is it even ripe fodder for one.

Why? Because, although not explained in the telling, it's not inexplicable, it's not humorous, it doesn't suggest anything supernatural--and on and on. Could be spousal desertion, amnesia, sudden death from natural causes, murder, kidnap, absconding from debt collection . . . There's an infinitude of possible ordinary-world scenarios for the story's events to happen, so that it doesn't have the aroma of strangeness or maybe spookiness that would make hearers or readers repeat it as a folktale, possibly with embellishments. In short, it's just not worth repeating with a little gasp or a knowing smirk or shiver.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 04:43 PM

Urban Legend were a great, if short lived, band. What about 'The Juke Box As she Turned'?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 05:53 PM

Hints that are not taken are equivalent to no hints. Explanations that are not understood - and very few are really - amount to no explanations. Reality is more mysterious than legends, which often offer simple though unrealistic explanations.

A classical legend tells us who is the good one, e.g. "our people" in WWI or in religious conflicts. Urban legends do not offer such a meaning, but often a full scientific-looking explanation such as a spider hatching in a wound.

Those who want to understand their fellow human beings, at least to some extent, must first learn not to be too sure about anything, e.g. about the quality of their marriage. The best stories teach us that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 18 Sep 14 - 06:23 PM

Interesting stories, Jim, and I think you have offered something important. Auntie Peggy's story does seem to take it's form from the disappearance stories.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 12:55 AM

I think, Uncle Dave, that you are being a bit too prescriptive as to what elements the relation of an incident must contain for it to be categorised an Urban Legend. It just seems to me to be any story of an unusual incident related as having happened to foafs -- as here. It is unusual for a husband to go up an escalator & vanish from his wife's life entirely. It is, according to Auntie Peggy, what happened to some foafs of hers. & as to your list of possibilities -- it could only have been spousal desertion. Are you really suggesting that a man could drop suddenly dead in the booking hall and nobody take any notice & his wife just below at the foot of the escalator not hear about it? The story certainly produces a "little gasp" IMO, if not necessarily a smirk or shiver -- but those too for my money. Seems to me that such a cold-blooded way of deserting a spouse is highly smirk-or-shiver-inducing. YMMV.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 02:47 AM

So do you remember any more of Auntie Peggy's stories?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 03:56 AM

"disappearance stories."
One of the most enduring superstitions we found, both among Irish Travellers and rural settled Irish people, was the 'Jackie Lantern' group
It is claimed that if you go into boggy ground late at night you can sometimes see balls of light floating above the ground
The somewhat boring rationisation of this is that they are parches of marsh-gas, but locals here have it that they are spirits of the dead who have died by being sucked under the wet land.
You are told not to look at them for too long, otherwise they will lead you astray until you meet the same fate as the spirit that has created them.
The only cure for being mesmerised by one of them is to take off your jacket, turn it inside-out and put it back on again, then you will be able to find your way onto safe ground.
We were once told a story which I think was made up by the teller, but might have been a rural/urban legend - we only heard it once.
A couple of city lads went on holiday together to one of the West Kerry villages and made a habit of drinking in the local bar util the early hours each night.
One night they were staggering home when they wandered off the road and into the bog - they had been warned about the Jackie-Lantern and had been instructed what to do if they encountered it.
When they didn't arrive back at their lodgings, the locals set up a search party and eventually found one of the lads sitting shivering under a bush with his jacket turned inside-out, there was no trace of his mate.
The following day they found the drowned body of the second lad - they couldn't tell if his jacket was turned inside-out, it was one of those M&S reversible ones!      
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 04:48 AM

Stim: I definitely remember her telling the one about the woman having trouble in traffic -- a recently only just passed-test driver. A passing police car turned on its PA and politely and helpfully asked the traffic to stop for a moment, please, while the lady manoeuvred her car out of the tailback it had got caught in after taking a wrong turn. She tried a three-point turn as instructed but didn't brake in time and backed into one of the other cars. Forgetting he had not switched off, the policeman exclaimed, heard fortissimo by every driver and passer-by around, "What the fuck is the stupid bitch doing now!" [of course Aunty Peggy said "What the hell", but...].

Now, that is certainly an urban myth which I have heard elsewhere, tho I am not sure if Snopes includes it. Peggy, however, retailed it as her own experience -- not even claiming a foaf in this particular instance; said that she was there, she heard it, it was near that awkward junction just down Hampstead High Street from Hampstead Station, "just as I was driving by the other day". She lived near Belsize Park Station, which is about ¾ mile further down that road, after it has become Rosslyn Hill, just to furnish the sort of exact detail with which she would augment her Urban Myths.

So as she was wont to retail such tales as foaftales, or even her own experiences, I still wonder, despite Uncle Dave's prescriptive animadversions that I still don't quite see the point of, whether the OP story is an UM, even tho I can't find any other examples; or if 'Leicester Square' really did happen to some foafs of Auntie Peggy's.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 05:27 AM

A little off-topic.
I used to take an elderly friend, the widow of a musician we had recorded, into our County Town, to sort out bits of business she had to sort out with the bank there.
On one trip, I left sitting her in my van in order to nip into the bookshop.
When I came out I apologised for the time I'd been away; she replied, "I'm fine, I've been watching all these young women walking around with mobile homes pressed to their ears".
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: mayomick
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 06:13 AM

Uncle Dave O, re your comment : "it doesn't suggest anything supernatural"
You missed the cthonic thing - the reference to the deep underground


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: mayomick
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 06:19 AM

Jim .I'll start telling some of the Maughans I know up this way how the Kerry Travelers think they are very posh . Marks and Spencer types


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 06:37 AM

Lighter, this link www.iwm.org.uk/upload/package/2/.../azmak.pdf doesn't work. Could you add it as a blue clicky please?

The 'Jacky Lantern' (jack o' lantern) story has got a bit mixed up; normally that belongs to the fields of hungry grass. You're walking and you take a short-cut across a field, only to feel a ravenous hunger coming over you, while you can't find the exit from the field, no matter how you search. (They are generally supposed to be forgotten mass graves from the Famine.)

The solution is to stop and sit down, turn your waistcoat or jacket inside out, and take "a thrawneen from the east of you and a thrawneen from the west of you" - which is to say, a handful of grass from in front of you, and a handful of grass from behind you - and then stand, and holding the two thrawneens, walk in a straight line, and you'll find the field's gate or stile.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 07:49 AM

"The 'Jacky Lantern' (jack o' lantern) story has got a bit mixed up; normally that belongs to the fields of hungry grass"
In this part of Ireland the Jackie Lantern and The Hungry Grass are two very distinct traditions.
As you say the HG is associated with mass unmarked famine graves, but, that er than getting lost on them, yo are said to experience acute griping hunger pains.
There is said to be a patch of it at The hand Cross a few miles out of Miltown Malbay - just beyond the location of two other local legends.
Diarmuid and Gráinne's bed is a prehistoric dolmen associated with the Finn Cycle legends
It is said that the couple were on the run from a jealous Finn MacCumhal and they stopped on the slopes of Mount Callan for a night's rest
They collected together three large stones, 2 about five feet long, the other about 8 feet (photograph on the Musical Traditions site to our 'Around the Hills of Clare' notes) and formed it into a bed.
Dairmuid was said to have carried the two uprights, one under each arm, Gráinne brought the cap-stone down in her apron.
It is claimed that if a couple were unsuccessful in producing children, the wife should spend the night sleeping under the stones - she will wake up next morning pregnant.
The other local legend in the area is a bit more down to earth, it is referred to as 'The House of Blazes', though no evidence of a building remains.
One of the singers we recorded told us of it, describing it as a haunted house, having been told by his parents to steer clear of it.
We discovered recently that it was in fact, a 'knocking shop' where the local farers would drop into regularly to 'relieve the pressures of life!'
Interesting place, West Clare.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 07:57 AM

Diarmuid and Gráinne certainly got around; their fertility-arousing beds are all around the country.
I somehow never envisaged the noble Gráinne in an apron, but perhaps that's my own lack. Here's one version of their story.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 08:10 AM

I don't know whether this fits in here or not but back in early sixties I had a part time job selling ice cream and hot dogs at St James' Hall the wrestling venue in Newcastle. One night after having cashed in my takings at the office, upon leaving, I came face to face with the 24stone masked American wrestler The Zebra Kid. He told me he was just about depart when his taxi arrived and I was to make sure that the foyer was clear and that I didn't tell any of the youngsters who hung around that area for autographs and photos that he was there as "he was in a hurry and someone might get hurt".
Half an hour or so later when I arrived at Newcastle's Central Station to catch my train back to South Shields the youngsters in question were outside and very eager to tell me that The Zebra Kid was on the station without his mask! Sure enough as soon as I entered the station concourse there he was which made me rather uneasy should he have thought that I had told these kids, who were obviously hassling him, where he was headed. However before he came into my vicinity he detoured into W.H.Smith's kiosk as an attempt to shake off these kid's attention; minutes later at 9:45pm Smith's began closing, down came the steel shutters, out went the lights and the staff emerged… but no Zebra Kid?
Surely I would have seen someone his size emerge and over the next forty odd years whenever I thought of this it niggled me until a few years ago after relating the same story (in more detail) on the Wrestling Heritage web site one of the aforementioned youngsters replied telling me that The Kid had been allowed out of Smith's back entrance and onto the Inter – City platform to make his escape. Since, in my experience, the staff at Smith's were the curmudgeonliest lot and favours were not part of their remit you might understand why I was so puzzled for so long.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 08:55 AM

Thompson, the link seems to have...disappeared.

However, I can still access the pdf by first googling for

"But what actually happened on 12th August" + "Philip Dutton"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 01:15 PM

Ah, thanks, that found it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 01:32 PM

Further…

However, I thought that the battalion I'd heard of marching off into the mist and smoke were in the trenches of France, rather than in Gallipoli.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 01:42 PM

Oddly, AR Pelly seems to have resigned his commission a month earlier. His private papers are in the Imperial War Museum in London, and they include a regimental photo; a web reference has him painting in Devon and Cornwall in 1918, and as a Rotarian in Lisbon in 1926. Nice little spooky sketch for someone if they cared to gather the documents and photos together and illustrate them with contemporary songs.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 19 Sep 14 - 03:48 PM

> in the trenches of France

Quite what you'd expect of a legend, since France was a more crucial and enduring focus of attention.

Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves, and all that.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 04:44 AM

Before this fascinating topic disappears entirely, did anybody ever come across the (apparent) myth connected with drinking Pepsi Cola, in the early sixties?
I was a regular visitor to The cavern, in Liverpool, in the days when it was a superb jazz club, featuring such bands as Colyer, Barber, Fawkes and Lyttleton.... magic days.
The premises were unlicensed for alcohol, so we drank endless quantities of Pepsi Cola, which was sold at considerably reduced prices - until a rumour spread throughout the city that too much of it made you impotent.
It was still going strong when the bands were finally ousted by the ******* Beatles.   
I've always wondered whether it was a Scouse phenomenon or if it spread to the lesser regions of Britain!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 06:14 AM

I do have a vague recollection of something about dissolving an aspirin in it - but I can't remember what the effect was supposed to be.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 07:22 AM

In America in the '60s & '70s an aspirin dropped in Coca-Cola was supposed to make you high or make women horny.

It might also kill you, possibly by making you too high or too horny.

(All such incidents were presumably kept out of the papers....)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 07:26 AM

There was also a myth about someone leaving an extracted tooth in a glass of either Coke or Pepsi, according to version; which had dissolved by next day.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 10:42 AM

There was also a rumour that the 'secret recipe' for Coca-Cola contained a small amount of cocaine, hence the name. This was supposed to make consumers become addicted to it and so guarantee future sales. Could the story about Pepsi causing impotence have been put about by Coca-Cola, as there was fierce competition between the two?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 11:59 AM

"or make women horny."
Damn - missed out on that one!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Derrick
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 12:13 PM

With regard to cocaine in Coke a quick google on the question says it probably would have, and the fact at the time would have been used to help sell it.
Coke had and is still likely to have coca leaf as an ingredient,cocaine is a refined and concentrated product of coca leaves.
When coke was first made, cocaine was seen as a medicine and tonic.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: JennieG
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 05:17 PM

In the mid-1980s a student at the high school where I worked told us (library staff) that green M&Ms cause girls to be horny.

That's an urban myth for sure, if ever I heard one.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 06:58 PM

Coca-Cola became coca-free in 1929. But since 1902, the trace was so small it was barely measureable.

About 1939 the sodajerks at the fountains would put a couple drops of ammonia in Coca-Cola if asked. It was supposed to help -you know.
This was in New Mexico, don't know if this was done elsewhere.

I also remember the aspirin, but I think our myth was that it would help keep one awake during exams.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 08:45 PM

Actually, spirit of ammonia was added to Coke as a treatment for headaches, stomach aches and such. It seems a bit unbelievable today, but originally, carbonated fountain drinks had medicinal purposes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 21 Sep 14 - 09:34 PM

Mr. Lighter,

RE: Coke and asprin..

The legend was common in So. Cal 1962, (11-14 yo males) regarding "slipped two aspirn in her Coke." It was ambiguous about making the date "horney, drunk, or infertile. (Pop Leuders park, Compton CA 1963, registration park Friday night public youth dance) The more "refined" youth would attend " dance lessons" at the "Pathfinder Club" where only red-punch was served.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

Perhaps, some 16 yo instructors had a cache of bottled Coke by the parking lot....but for the main-stream it was simple "red punch"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Lighter
Date: 22 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM

Most interesting.

So the consensus among the post-pubescent was that there was something magical about the combination of aspirin and Coca-Cola. (In my experience, no other brand was believed to work.)

Why on earth? The alleged "cocaine" component of Coke was never mentioned in connection with this. In fact, I can only recall it \as a "fun fact." "Did you know that Coke has cocaine in it?! Why do you think it's called 'Coke.' The government lets them get away with it!"

No reason for governmental indulgence was ever given or even asked for. And nobody claimed that drinking Coca-Cola in general would trigger the "cocaine" effect. The cocaine was supposedly just there.

Also weird. More like one-up-manship ("I know more than you do!") than anything else.

Or maybe it implied that if Coke contained coke, coke couldn't be bad for you.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:39 AM

It's a bit difficult to talk about urban myths when you've lived in rural Ireland for fifteen years, other than to recall them, but I wonder if some of the practices we discovered around here have their counterparts elsewhere.
All the houses around here stand alone, other than those on the main street in town.
The older generation have told us that you should always leave a house from the same door you entered it - never come in the front door and leave at the back, otherwise you will take the luck of the house away with you.
When we had this house built we were told by the builder that our elderly neighbour had insisted on placing four two-shilling pieces in the stonework at each corner of the building (for luck).   
We were told that, if we wanted good luck, we should always move an item of furniture into the house on the Thursday before we moved in.
Shortly after we moved in a neighbour presented us with a paper bag containing a clove of wild garlic, a potato and a coin, wishing us 'health, sustenance and prosperity' thoughout our time here.   
Interesting place and nice people
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:56 AM

Interesting post indeed, Jim. But I am not sure that superstitions, which it seems to me what you are relating, quite come within the category of Urban Myth. Related but similar, I should say. But, then, I am a bit of an obsessive taxonomist!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:24 AM

I agree Mike, though many of them come with consequences and actual reports of what happens if.....
We have a rather beautiful early 19th century bridge here - a classic piece of engineering I believe.
In the late nineteenth century, a local landlord was murdered by two women relatives, who threw him to his death from it.
One of the prevailing stories is that, if you stand at a certain point in the field below on the anniversary of his death, you can see gouts of his blood streaming down from the mortar - it used to be our camping spot, but the only time we stayed their in October, our tent collapsed in the high winds, so we had to retreat to the local b&b.   
The classic happened the year we moved here.
The construction company laying the four-lane by-pass around our county-town, Ennis, encountered a white-thorn bush (a 'fairy-thorn') in their path.
It was claimed that a local protest led to them re-routing of the by-pass at the cost of millions - denied by the local authorities, though the bush is still standing on a patch of land right in the middle of two elevated sections of motorway - two legends rolled into one - did the council or didn't they?
Don't really want to take up too much time with this sort of thing, but it is pleasant to be able to share them
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:47 AM

jim is right whitethorn is very unlucky, it isvery bad luck to cut a tree, as i have experienced.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:03 AM

Inevitable, of course, that the thread should have drifted into a rehearsal of some other urban myths, + a general consideration of urban myths as a genre, &c. I am not complaining -- it has been very interesting.

But just a reminder that my purpose in OP-ing was to solicit opinions as to the putative urban-mythical status of a particular narrative, which I related.

Anyone any further observations to add to that topic?

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:07 AM

I had not noticed that that last, 'back·to·the·topic', post should have been

                               100!

But I consider it perhaps more 'meant' than merely adventitious.

Thanks & reverence to the Mudcat Gnome who was clearly watching over me!

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 03:20 PM

Leave a house by the same door- I have heard this one in the States, so it has migrated along with the Irish.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:27 PM

And yet a west Cork friend tells me that priceless archaeological remains are being daily ploughed under now because the EU's Single Farm Payment requires that old stones shouldn't be a hindrance to putting more and more land under the plough.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Is this an urban myth?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 03:26 AM

"priceless archaeological remains are being daily ploughed under"
Up to recent times, Irish fairy mythology could be described as the saviour of Irish archaeology.
Ireland is peppered with 'fairy forts', large prehistoric mounds which were claimed to be evidence of fairy dwellings, but which are in fact, prehistoric burial mounds - there are several within walking distance of our home.
If a farmer had one on his land, he would not disturb it, even if it was in the most inconvenient place on the farm
About thirty years ago a craze developed here for erecting small wind turbines to take advantage of the Atlantic gales - several homes had their own (till the wind blew them all down)
The Electricity board caught onto th craze and erected a very large, strange-looking one about half a mile from here - the locals referred to it as 'the egg beater'.
It never workd - it refused to move, or when it did, it went around the wrong way.
We were recording a local singer, Tom Lenihan, at the time, and when we asked about the generator, he shook his head and said, "They'll never get that yoke to work - they've gone and built it on a fairy fort"
Jim Carroll


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