Thursday, June 15, 2017

Believe in you later, alligator

I read a Harlan Ellison story this evening that ties into folklore about alligators in the New York sewer. This has to be one of the sillier urban legends out there. Just try flushing a baby alligator down the toilet, or better yet, don't. If you still have both hands and manage to pull the handle, then still the only thing you'll manage to accomplish is blocking your own pipes.

On t'other hand, I can see why people flock to this one. It's colorful. We might have a need to credit florid situations, or at least keep them in mind.


susan said...

I remember being grossed out as a kid by the story of the woman who wore her unwashed hair in a beehive where a spider had taken up residence. Of course the thing laid eggs..

You've probably heard a version of that one too. Nowadays Snopes is there to spoil the fun but people do continue to make up more.. some of them not very funny. However, this one is just that:

Outside the Bristol Zoo, in England, there is a parking lot for 150 cars and 8 coaches, or buses. It was manned by a very pleasant attendant with a ticket machine charging cars 1 pound (about $1.40) and coaches 5 (about $7). This parking attendant worked there solid for all of 25 years. Then, one day, he just didn't turn up for work.

"Oh well", said Bristol Zoo Management, "we'd better telephone the City Council and get them to send a new parking attendant..."

"No", said the Council, "that parking lot is your responsibility."

"Er... no", said Bristol Zoo management, "the attendant was employed by the City Council, wasn't he?"

"No" insisted the Council.

Sitting in his villa somewhere on the coast of Spain, is a bloke who had been taking the parking lot fees, estimated at 400 pounds (about $560) per day at Bristol Zoo for the last 25 years. Assuming 7 days a week, this amounts to just over 3.6 million pounds ($7 million).

Ben said...

If she was wearing a beehive on her head wouldn't it be bees living in her hair? Oh, right. Sixties, different kind of beehive.

Rest assured, there's still weird stuff going on in the world. Snopes mostly debunks the big stuff. Littler bits of bizarreness get lost in the shuffle. But yeah, a lot of the old urban legends don't hold up.

That story about the parking lot attendant is pretty crazy. I tend to think there would be more red flags thrown up about the money that was being spent. But maybe not. Maybe everyone was just shrugging it off.