Giving up the concert tickets...
Paying for pornography...
And the list goes on. Of all the things to go extinct, I believe none will be missed more than the stories you would hear from your older brother's friend who heard from a guy back at his dorm...
The Urban Legend
One would think that the broad and with communication capabilities of the Internet-especially with the insanely popular Facebook and twitter-the 21st century would be the greatest era ever for the urban legend. And in a way it still is...
The urban legend still exists, albeit in a cheap, watered down version of itself.
Sure a few keystrokes to get the world gabbing about something but with just as many keystrokes, the bubbling rumor gets squashed; never really making it to that rarified air of legendary status
These days, while there is plenty of shit flying around, nothing lasts long enough for even the best rumors to stick (the best modern era urban legend currently is the one about Lady Gaga really being a man).
Back in the day things were different...
Whispered by lockers and spoken in hushed tones over lunchroom tables, these rumors managed to make it to every corner of this country (and in some cases the whole fucking world) in an era before e-mails and tweets-does the legendary status.
Don't believe me? Why not have a gander at five of the greatest old-school rumors ever and see what I mean.
The great urban legends
1). Richard Gere had a gerbil stuck in his ass.
This is the greatest urban legend of all time. Here's the back story:
During the mid-80s the heterosexual world was having a couple of good chuckles at the rumors that a practice called gerbaling (or the coaxing of a live rodent [usually a gerbil] into crawling up a person's rectum for sexual pleasure) was all the rage in the homosexual community. One day, someone claims that Hollywood heartthrob of the day Richard Gere had to go into emergency surgery in order to get a gerbil removed from his anus.
Everyone (under the age of 21 that is) knows this rumor. For 30 years this story has stuck to Richard Gere like glue
Go figure... a guy with a middle name is Tiffany have a hard time shaking the rumors...
For the record, Richard Gere has never addressed the rumor publicly and there is no evidence to prove he has ever had a gerbil stuck up his ass.
2). Rod Stewart had a gallon of cum pumped out of his stomach.
This one has had a few variations (Elton John, Mick Jager, Brittany Spears to name a few), but the ruler of Rod having a gallon of baby batter removed from his Tommy seems to be the most popular version.
And while the idea of androgynous rock stars that chicks swoon for being not just gay but “sucking cock for three days straight (the estimated time it would take to get a gallon of cum one ounce at a time) gay” might have been something one would love to buy into, the store is a total fallacy.
For one thing the stomach can hold a gallon of anything. And even if the stomach could hold a gallon of jizz, it would be no less toxic to the body than a gallon of salty Jell-O.
3). Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite.
This one was a favorite of radio shock jocks.
The rumor was that the onetime teen scream queen was born with both male and female sex organs and that her father Tony Curtis had been no one's removed.
For her part, Curtis herself was never publicly commented on the rumors.
Truthfully I have no idea what to think about this one. Growing up, I heard radio gods Don & Mike and Howard Stern spends segments arguing over whether or not Jamie Lee was really a boy. And to be honest where there is smoke there's fire... she does have a very mannish look to her. But that said, she had an immaculate set of cans in Trading Places.
Thankfully though I'm not alone in my confusion on this subject. The next time you're bored feel free to Google the phrase “Jamie Lee Curtis hermaphrodite” and get ready to take a wild ride...
4). Mama Cass choked to death on a ham sandwich.
“All the leaves are… <gasp>… <choke>…”
This urban legend is just plain mean and what's funny about it is that it lives on even though it is known to be an out and out lie. The story stems from cast as Dr. telling a reporter that the singer had “… probably choked to death on a sandwich…” when asked about her death. Her autopsy was her true cause of death to of been a heart attack.
So while metaphorically one could say that a ham sandwich is probably did kill her, in truth she died of heart disease. Unfortunately though, dying of a heart attack does not have been same knee slapping effect as imagining the morbidly obese singer choking to death on a ham sandwich.
5). Danny Thomas was into scat.
Quite possibly my favorite of all the great urban legends, the “Danny Thomas” story might be the oldest urban legend out there.
The rumor goes that Danny Thomas, who made a career for himself in the 50s by playing an adoring father as well as a child loving priest, had a real weird sexual proclivity. See, he would like to lie under a glass coffee table and watch a woman take a nice mealy shit on it (known in certain circles as the “Hot Karl”).
[It has also been alleged that Orson Welles shared a similar sexual fetish]
Obviously, no one is ever spoken out about this nor has any intrepid reporter ever dare to ask whether or not this was true.