This is probably the most enjoyable article form Barbara and David I’ve ever read. Not only does it debunk a UL (par for the course), but it provides a wonderful insight into the nature of modern folklore. And it amounts to a treatise on critical thinking skills in action.
I think the Mikkelsons are among the most valuable researchers on the web today. Read, learn, enjoy.
I always enjoy a trip to Snopes, but I really wish Barbara Mikkelson could resist the urge to end her pieces with those stupid puns. Barbara “Top Hat and Tales” Mikkelson, or whatever. That stuff drives me up the wall. They’re seldom witty, funny, or even appropriate, and they (in my opinion) really undermine the work.
Yeah, I think the puns undermine the work. I admire the work as well-researched, well-documented information. I don’t admire the stupid puns, and it always jars me to read a good snopes article and then get the little ‘witticism’ at the end. If that’s shallow, than I’m shallow, but I don’t think it’s a good thing.
Perhaps it Is because of the link with a.f.u. I briefly read a.f.u. until I realized there was nothing there worth reading, as actual discussion about urban legends was off-topic and the newsgroup was chiefly devoted to a handful of people all admiring each other and insulting anyone outside of the clique who dared to post. I know it’s cliche to talk about newsgroups and forums as giant cliques, but a.f.u. was the absolute worst offender in that department I have ever seen. So yeah, perhaps I associat those puns with the obnoxiousness there. Either way, I don’t think they’re clever or witty, just silly.