Date:         Fri, 8 Oct 1999 00:42:23 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen 
From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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    Some More Silly Urban Legends
    See below (they won't fit in this space!)
Howdy, y'all, greetings from the beautiful, Southern city of
Tuscaloosa, Alabama!  :)
Each week, we thank our sponsors for keeping our little bus of
Internet happiness on the road week after week, but we forget to thank
the one person who makes all of this possible: YOU!  Were it not for
you -- and 100,000 of your fellow TOURBUS riders -- Bob and I would be
pathetic losers with no social lives.  Wait ... come to think of it,
Bob and I *ARE* pathetic losers with no social lives.  Nevermind.
Anyway, thank YOU for your support of TOURBUS.  It means a lot to me.
And, as always, please visit our wonderful sponsors and thank them for
also helping to keep the bus rolling!
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On with the show ...
 From time to time we use our little bus of Internet happiness to
squish some of the urban legends that have been cluttering up your
inbox.  Here are a few of my favorites that I have been saving for the
past couple of weeks.
Here Kitty Kitty Kitty ...
You've probably received dozens of those silly warnings urging you not
to open a particular email message with the subject line "blah blah
blah" because it contains a virus.  Of course, EVERY ONE of these
warnings is a hoax -- you cannot get a virus by simply opening an
email message, regardless of the email's subject line -- but that
hasn't stopped people from creating a swarm of fake email virus
warnings.  My favorite one first appeared about a month ago:
      In case you receive an e-mail titled "How to Give a Cat a Colonic"
      DO NOT open it.  It will erase everything on your hard drive ...
Vivid image, isn't it?  While clever, it is still a hoax (and, if you
do decide to give your cat a colonic, let me assure you that lost
computer data will be the LEAST of your worries!)  You can find out why
the "cat colonic warning" is a hoax, and learn everything you need to
know about Internet viruses and virus hoaxes, at .
Click on the "TRUTH about Internet Viruses and Virus Warnings" link on
the top right-hand side of the page.
The Blare Butt Spider Project
Continuing our scatological tour, the next urban legend starts by
announcing that
      According to an article by Dr. Beverly Clark, in the Journal of
      the United Medical Association (JUMA), the mystery behind a
      recent spate of deaths has been solved ...
The message goes on to announce that the spate was traced to Chicago's
Blare Airport and was caused by -- get ready for this -- spiders
living in the toilets of a restaurant named "Big Chappies."  These
weren't just ANY toilet spiders, mind you.  These toilet spiders were
the dreaded "arachnius gluteus" (which, if memory serves me, is Latin
The sad thing is that many smart people actually fell for this hoax.
There is no Journal of the United Medical Association.  And, as the
Internet mythologist for WGN Radio in Chicago, I can assure you that:
      1. There is no "Blare" airport anywhere NEAR Chicago (there is,
         however, an O'Hare ... and their toilets are (relatively)
      2. There is no "Big Chappies" restaurant anywhere in the
         Chicagoland area; and
      3. If there were a bunch of Chicagoans dying of butt spider
         bites, the media -- especially WGN -- would have told you
         about it by now.
Fortunately, you don't have to worry about the dreaded arachnius
gluteus gnawing on your well-toned posterior the next time you visit
the water closet.  The butt spider story is yet another hoax.  You can
read more about this hoax at either
or .
On a serious note, while the butt spider story is a silly hoax, there
is a real, insect-borne disease currently affecting parts of New York:
West Nile encephalitis.  The Associate Press reports that the virus is
believed to be transmitted by mosquitoes that bit infected birds, and
it is feared that the disease could spread as migratory birds head
south for the winter.  According to the Chicago Tribune, 50 people in
New York have tested positive for West Nile encephalitis and five have
died from the new virus, including one virus-related death confirmed
You can find out more about the West Nile encephalitis outbreak at .
and you can find out more about encephalitis in general at .
Unlike the butt spider hoax, the encephalitis story is real, and you
can expect to hear more about it from your local media sources in the
days and weeks to come.
When Bad Chain Letters Happen to Good People
While we are still on a serious note, I urge you to read David Emery's
latest article about David "Darren" Bucklew.  You can read Emery's
article at
urrent.htm .
Bucklew is that kid supposedly dying of "severe ostriopliosis of the
liver."  Unfortunately, while there is no such thing as ostriopliosis
of the liver, David "Darren" Bucklew really does exist, and he and his
family are the victims of malicious Internet prank perpetrated by one
of Bucklew's "friends."
According to Emery,
      More than a year later ... [Bucklew's] family still receives as
      many as 10 phone calls weekly from people all over the world
      inquiring about Darren's health ... or saying he ought to be
      ashamed of himself.  All of [the family's] efforts to correct the
      misinformation have proven futile. "It's like throwing spit on a
      forest fire" ...
      The hoax has affected others, as well.  Both the Bethel Park
      School District and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh have had to
      post notices on their Websites in hopes of stemming the tide of
If you want proof that mass-forwarded email messages really CAN and DO
hurt people, take a look at Emery's article.  It will give you a
moment of pause the next time you think about forwarding an email
letter to all of your friends.
I'm a Lumberjack and I'm ... OW!
Finally, I don't want to end today's post on a serious note, so let me
ask you a question: is it possible for a regular, nondescript Web site
to have an unfortunately hysterical address?  You betcha!  A special
tip of the hat goes to our friends at PC Magazine
( for discovering one of the funniest URLs
I have ever seen: The Original Lumberman's Exchange at
This certainly gives new meaning to the saying "careful with that axe,
Eugene!"  [If you are having trouble understanding why this address is
so funny, write the address on a piece of paper and insert a dash
before the letter "s" and after the letter "x."]  :P
With that, I'll leave.  Have a safe and happy weekend, and we'll talk
again next week.
    Some More Silly Urban Legends
    See above (they won't fit in this space!)
SOUL (noun).  Firm land.
Usage: "Did the county ag folks do that soul sample for ya yet,
[Special thanks to Jan Oberla for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
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TOURBUS -- 7 OCTOBER 1999 -- SOME MORE SILLY URBAN LEGENDS, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
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