Wednesday, December 1, 2004

The Dangling Horseshoe

Dear Friends,

    Have you gotten the email about the girl who falls out of a ship after eating too much Spanish Fly? 
    How about this one? A man misses his flight because he sees a ghost in his bathroom. Later, he finds out that the plane he was supposed to be on crashed. The ghost was just trying to warn him! 
    How about this? A couple of teenagers are "parking" when they hear on the radio that a psychotic horse has escaped from a nearby farm and may try to kill people. Frightened, the boy decides to take the girl home right away. When they drop her off, they find a horseshoe dangling from the door handle of the passenger seat!
    The people sending you these emails will swear up and down that the stories are true, but they aren't. Here are a few red flags to help you pick out the urban myths:
1. They always happen to "a friend of a friend." No one actually knows the person in the story by name.
2. There is always some kind of moral or lesson (i.e. you shouldn't take Spanish Fly when you're on a boat, or you shouldn't put your lap dog in the microwave to dry its fur.) 
3. There is often some kind of unheeded warning, (i.e. "Whatever you do, don't turn around while the Lord is smiting Sodom and Gemora!")

    I want you to know that the Hard Taco Digest is a source you can trust. I write five to ten completely different emails every month and only send out one. Why? Because if my fact checkers can't verify every single statement with at least two sources, I throw out the entire email and the computer it was written on. 

    With that in mind, I want you to know that the story I'm about to tell you is absolutely true. My friend Roni told me this, and she was directly related to the person who told her the story. 

    Apparently during World War I the United States government employed an elite team of scientists and pseudoscientists to develop a machine that emitted a very specific low frequency... a frequency that caused everyone who heard it to instantly lose control of their bowels. The intention was to unleash this terrifying device on the battlefields of the western front, paralyzing the enemy ground troops. The brave American foot soliders would then come swarming out of their trenches and swiftly neutralize the dumbfounded Germans, who would be rendered completely defenseless by their recent pants-soiling. 
    It was a great idea in theory, but the scientists and pseudoscientists who co-invented this awesome machine were not able to devise a means for using it without exposing themselves to the frequency, as well. In fact, everyone in the Pentagon testing facility lost control of their bowels, including Secretary of State Robert Lansing and a group of Chinese ambassadors touring the facility. The nearby US Mint facility was also affected, and all of the paper money was soiled and had to be cleaned (very carefully, without ripping it.) 
    In the bloody wake of the Battle of Neuve-Chapelle in 1915, the bodies of 11,000 dead British and American soldiers were found, all wearing clean diapers. This led to rumors that Wilson was intending to deploy the machine in combat, after all, but it could never be proven.
    That was the last that anybody heard of the machine. Most people believe that the government is still hiding it somewhere in Los Alamos. They are biding their time, waiting for another ground war or perhaps a race riot to unleash this ungodly device on anyone... and everyone! 

    The Hard Taco song this month is called "Despair." It's part of the Hard Tack Medicine Show and it features Good King Stereotypies and his hairdresser, Benlolo. In case you're not caught up with the plot, the King's first two wives died in shipwrecks greater than twenty years ago, and he is still overcome with grief after all this time. Benlolo is not only his hairdresser, but his most trusted advisor. See how it plays out between these two!  

With warmest regards,