Admittedly, the name Urban Legend Reference Pages doesn’t sound like it promises tons o’ fun, but this myth-busting site, found at www.snopes.com, will fuel your cubicle chatter for ages. The husband-and-wife team behind the site euthanize tall tales, like the ones about the restaurant that served food containing semen from several men, the stray dog that turned out to be a sewer rat, and the stoned baby-sitter who cooked a baby.
In one fell swoop, you can find out that the suicide rate doesn’t increase during the holiday season, Keith Richards did not have all of his blood replaced at a Swiss clinic treating him for heroin addiction, and eelskin wallets don’t demagnetize credit card strips.
Those with a cynical nature will be at least as surprised to find out which legends and rumors are true. A Marlboro man actually died of lung cancer, a married couple accidentally returned a homemade sex tape of themselves to a video store, and porn star Marilyn Chambers did appear on the Ivory Snow box.
Sometimes it’s not possible to render a verdict on a rumor, so this site lets us judge for ourselves. Did a 1975 Sears catalog show an underwear model’s penis peeking out of his boxers, or was it just a photographic imperfection, as the company claims? Look at the scanned image and make the call. Did Donald Duck really use a racist slur against Daffy Duck in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? We’ll never know, but it sure sounds like it when you play the sound file.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 6, 2001