Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A man eating a lollipop choked to death when his car's airbag deployed, forcing the candy down his throat.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
Origins: The year 2002 kicked off with yet another specious "freakish fatality" tale. Short and sweet, no such death was mentioned in any U.S. paper, in California or elsewhere. The Social Security Death Index also contains no mention of anyone named Bidasoe. (The name of the victim provides a further clue to the intent of the author of the tale: "Stu Bidasoe." Or, for those who sound things out, "Stupid Asshole.")
The meme of "mysterious death caused by implement which has since been ingested or melted away" is a hoary one. Children routinely query one another with the following puzzle:
A pool of redIn
A man is dead
A stick nearby
How did he die?
Those fond of mystery short stories will no doubt recall a number of similarly-themed tales wherein murderers do in their victims with implements that subsquently melt or are eaten. The "stabbed to death with an icicle" plot is a classic, as is the "walloped over the head with a roast." The latter's most famous use was in the Roald Dahl short story, "Lamb to the Slaughter" (which was subsequently dramatized on Alfred Hitchcock Presents on
Barbara "crazy for ewe" Mikkelson
Last updated: 19 January 2007
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