Friday Happy Hour: Urban Legends

Jason English

Any discussion of favorite websites has to include, the Urban Legends Reference Pages maintained by Barbara and David Mikkelson. Here are some legends they've proved are true:

  • "A store made good on its offer to sell stereos for '299 bananas' when customers proffered the fruit as payment."
  • "A speeder caught by photo radar mails the police a picture of money to pay his fine."
  • "Thief who tries to rob a gun shop is shot dead by those in the store."
  • "Subway sandwich store tray liners used in Germany depicted a fat Statue of Liberty."
  • "When a Nebraska church exploded in 1950, no one was injured because every member of the choir was late arriving for practice that evening."

So I'll start our weekly discussion with two questions. Answer both, answer either. You decide.

1) What's your favorite urban legend? (And is it true?)
2) What are some of your favorite websites?

By the way, the name "Snopes" comes from William Faulkner:

"The Snopes were a family of characters weaved throughout the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer William Faulkner. When David Mikkelson, creator of, first came onto the Internet in the late 1980s, he worried even back in those relatively uncrowded days that no one would remember yet another David. He was thus inspired to adopt a nom-de-Net, selecting one that honored those fictional Faulknerian characters, and began signing his newsgroups posts as 'snopes.' Over the years snopes established a fearsome online reputation for his ability to thoroughly research and debunk false claims. When it came time to name our domain, seemed the obvious choice."