You wouldn’t know it, necessarily, to look at me, but I’m kind of a kill-joy.
I haven’t always been that way; but dagnab it anyhow, the e-mail chains have got to stop.
What do you mean “what e-mail chains”? Well, sure, I could list them here: the perfume-spraying kidnapper, the headlight-flashing gang initiations, the incredibly funny whatzit that goes dancing across your screen if you’ll just forward the e-mail in question to several hundred people...
But I’m not going to do that.
What I would like to talk about, however, is my inability to just shut up and let the people who seem to know no better –friends and relatives, yet! – continue to forward these things as if they are true.
As if their having been written – and subsequently forwarded – somehow makes them true.
Now why in the world would anyone just accept, whole cloth, things that are contraindicated by common sense?
I have a thing about the truth. Once I know what it is, I can’t let it go.
Me and facts? Good friends. While I freely admit to a host of misconceptions and preferences, once I’ve seen the light, I can never go back. Works with friends, jobs, the distinctions between butter and margarine, mayonnaise and salad dressing: I can be gullible, but once I know the facts?
It’s all over now, baby blue.
And so for years now I have been one of those who receives the e-mail, goes to Snopes to check on it, and then does a “respond all” to everyone who received the e-mail with me.
Surprisingly enough, not everyone is appreciative of this.
“Sheesh, Pearl, why do you have to ruin it for everyone?”
Ruin it? Ruin it. Indeed, why in the world would we let facts get in the way of an urban legend? What the hell! Let's just let this sucker circulate the globe a couple more times!
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the story of the man with the hook for a hand or the dead hitchhiker with the folded sports jacket at her headstone as much as the next guy. That’s one thing. But when we start accepting, as true, things that are not, we’ve entered into new territory.
Forewarned is forearmed. Don’t send me the forwards of the forward of the forward. I check forwarded e-mails. And I report back.