The Facts of Life: Get Over It
Editor's Note: The Docket committee dredged this from the trusty Internet.
1. Big companies don't do business via chain letter. Bill Gates is not giving you $1,000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation. There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks. MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward something to the most people. You can relax; there is no need to pass it on "just in case it's true." Furthermore, just because someone said in the message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit," does not actually make it true.
2. There is no kidney theft in New Orleans. No one is waking up in a bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to their cousin. If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney theft stories, please see: http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm. And I quote: "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories. None have." That's "none" as in "zero." Not even your friend's cousin.
3. Nieman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe. And even if they do, we all have it. And even if you don't, you can get a copy at: http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html. Then, if you make the recipe and decide the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass on the recipe.
4. We all know all 500 ways to drive your roommates crazy, irritate co-workers, gross out bathroom stall neighbors and creep out people on an elevator. We also know exactly how many engineers, college students, Usenet posters and people from each and every world ethnicity it takes to change a light bulb.
5. Even if the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information would reach the public via an AOL chain letter?
6. There is no "Good Times" virus. In fact, you should never, ever, ever forward any e-mail containing any virus warning unless you first confirm it at an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with virii. Try: http://www.norton.com. Even then, don't forward it. We don't care. And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or e-mail, you have to download. . .ya know, like a FILE!
8. If you're using Outlook, IE or Netscape to write e-mail, turn off the "HTML encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care enough to save the attachment and then view it with a Web browser, since you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Nieman Marcus Cookie Recipe anyway.
9. If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months. It sure wouldn't hurt to get rid of all the " " < that begin each line. Besides, if it has gone around that many times--we've probably already seen it.
10. Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying of cancer or anything else at this time, and would like everyone to stop sending him their business cards. He apparently is also no longer a "little boy" either.
11. The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work, but they have had to establish a special toll-free hotline in response to the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation. It is distracting them from the important work they do.
12. If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that promises "something bad will happen if you don't," then something bad will happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.
Bottom Line . . . composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy as writing on the walls of a public restroom. Don't automatically believe it unless it's proven false . . . ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that it's true. Got it? Good. Now, forward this message to 10 friends and you will win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.