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Folklore: Is this an urban myth?

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
GUEST,Stim 21 Sep 14 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 21 Sep 14 - 09:34 PM
Lighter 22 Sep 14 - 10:38 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 04:39 AM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 06:56 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Sep 14 - 08:24 AM
The Sandman 23 Sep 14 - 08:47 AM
MGM∑Lion 23 Sep 14 - 09:03 AM
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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 ĺ 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 GrŠinne'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, GrŠinne 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 GrŠinne certainly got around; their fertility-arousing beds are all around the country.
I somehow never envisaged the noble GrŠinne 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 emergedÖ 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 Ė 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

FurtherÖ

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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