Urban Legends

The Cells

I'm a bio major at IUP (Indiana U of Penna.) and was taking a cell biology course my freshman year. Our task of the day was examining epitheleal cheek cells under a microscope. We had to scrape the inside of our mouth with a toothpick and make a slide from it and id the different types of cells that were found. One girl in my class (a rather well built sorority gal, which is why I sat next to her) was having some trouble identifing some cells. She called the prof. over to ask him. After a moment or tow of peering in her scope, he looked up, and said in a loud voice, "Those are sperm cells" The girl turned bright red and ran out of the room. Needless to say, she dropped the class. (Although I spent two weeks looking for her, I never saw her again.) Such is life :)

The Swimmer

The following is a true (ha!) story taken verbatim from Bloomberg on Wednesday. I believe the reference to it is: dg23 Equity M S G

A Reuters News Wire Dated 3/28/96

A recent response to a wildfire on the south of France's Cote D'Azur was billed a marvel of modern fire-fighting technology.  Two specially built flying boats zoomed in, skimmed the waters of the Mediterranean, scooped vast amounts of water into their belly tanks, and then dropped the water on the hillside fire.  All was jolly and the wine flowed freely until a body was found in the ashes.  The coroner found that the gentleman had apparently fallen from a great height, suffered serious injuries before being burned to death.  The report further noted that the victim was wearing a bathing suit, snorkle, and swim fins.

Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Mexican Pet

This is a version of "The Mexican Pet". The pet in question is Brazilian, and the ending has been embellished with an "autopsy of the animal uncovering an important thing it had eaten". Also, this version has them finding the super-rodent on a beach in the US rather than while vacationing in a foreign land.   Enjoy!

This is such a GROSS true story that I simply had to share it with all of you. It comes courtesy of [name deleted, California employee of a large software company--erk], a highly reliable source. She heard it from a woman in her Jazzercise class. DO NOT read this if you have just eaten, or are in your first trimester of pregnancy.

A couple was vacationing in Florida. One day, while on the beach, a small dog comes to them and they start playing with it. The next day they go to the same beach and the same dog shows up and they play with it. This goes on for a week and by the end of the week, the couple decides to take the dog home with them since it does not have a collar and is obviously a stray. They bring the dog back to their home in Wisconsin and one of their two cats doesn't like him very much. The couple decides to take the dog to the vet to get his shots and such. Two hours later, the vet calls them and says that he has some very serious news. The dog, apparently, is not a dog, but a large Brazilian rat!!!!!!! These rats weight 50-60 lbs and supposedly resemble dogs. (Francois and I will verify this tonight at the bookstore.) THEN, the vet says that these animals carry all sorts of diseases and everything that this rat has touched must be burned. Well, this couple was sleeping with this "dog" in their bed, so you can imagine what they felt like.

But the story doesn't end here. The vet decides to do an autopsy and when he opens up the rat, he finds one of the couple's cats--apparently the one that didn't like the new "dog" very much. He'd eaten the cat that morning.


© 1997 William Geoffrey Shotts. Last update: Sunday, November 16, 1997