Ranting

It's Not Helpful

March 15th, 2012

The other day, I got an email from a high school friend. Like you, I get a lot of those. But this one wasn’t about cancer from cling wrap in the microwave or third degree burns from exploding cups in same. Nor was it about the end of days or today’s conspiracy. It was about how people we know have come to believe not only what’s in those emails, they also believe – quite literally – that we can’t live without them.

So, for the record, stop. Even if you can see the meteor out your window, even if your brother-in-law’s friend at work knew a woman whose second cousin’s arm fell off, even and most especially if somebody heard it anywhere on talk radio or saw it on Fox news — please — don’t tell me.

If you want to talk about the big game in 1966 or just how big an order of onion rings was at the Pig, fine. Otherwise, try these simple steps.

1. Think.

2. Go to snopes.com.

3. Don’t send it to me.

4. Repeat.

As published in The Daily News, March 16, 2012, and in The Memphis News, March 17-23, 2012

(pictured: Donna and Dan, Class of 1967, White Station)

IF YOU WANT TO HELP, STOP.

My high school classmate, Donna Davis, and I are doing an intervention. We’re asking our other classmates, and yours, to stop sending helpful, lifesaving email. Tell us what you’ve been up to…briefly…maybe even something…a little something…about your children/grandchildren or your plastic/heart/knee/hip surgery, but, please God, stop spreading the dismal fog of spreading germs and apocalyptic prophecy.

Write this down – snopes.com.

Donna forwarded me an email…I read Donna’s emails…with tongue-in-check grateful recognition for all that the sender has learned from her high school friends over the years.

“I can no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, or ask for lemon slices in my ice water, or touch a purse that might have touched a bathroom floor,” the email said, “I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat. And I keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by email that water splashes more than six feet out of the toilet.”

Snopes.com. Bookmark it.

“I can’t use the remote in a hotel room, because I don’t know what the last person was doing while surfing the adult channels,” she continued. “Can’t sit on the hotel bedspread either.”

“I send special thanks to whoever sent me the one about rat poop in envelope glue because I now have to use a wet sponge to seal them. I scrub the top of every can for the same reason.”

That’s snopes.com.

“I no longer worry about my soul,” she’s sure, “because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, St. Theresa's Novena has granted my every wish, and I don’t drink soft drinks made by atheists who won’t stamp ‘Under God’ on their cans.”

However, as we all know, all of that is in jeopardy if you don’t make a wish and email it to seven friends within seven minutes.

“I can’t have a drink in a bar,” she bemoans, “because I’ll wake up in an ice-filled bathtub without my kidneys. I can’t bend over to pick up a quarter in a parking lot because I’ll be jumped by a sex molester. But I can’t drive anyway, because if I buy gas a serial killer will hide in my backseat.”

As we’re all aware, you can’t buy gas anyway because that funds either al-Qaeda or Hugo Chavez.

“I can’t eat fast food chicken because it’s made from horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers,” she fears, “and even if I smell like a water buffalo, I can’t use deodorant because it causes cancer.”

In short, leave us alone. If we die, we die, blissfully unaware of the brown recluse in my golf shoe or the black widow in the flat of impatiens Donna just brought home.

Snopes.com, and for those of you claiming that snopes is a vast liberal conspiracy to deny God’s own truth, well, bless your heart.

I’m a Memphian, Obama is a native Hawaiian, and absolutely nothing is happening in Roswell, New Mexico.

Donna 67
Dqn 67

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