Claim: A little boy named Anthony Parkin, dying of leukemia, sent a message out on the Internet asking people to keep forwarding it so that some small part of him would live forever.
Origins: It was touching, heartbreaking . . . and not at all true.
Subject: My dying wish
My name is Anthony Parkin, and you don't know me. I'm 7 years old, and I have lukemea. I found your name using gopher, and I would like for you to carry out my dying wish of starting a chain letter. Please send this letter to five people you know so I can live forever.
Thank You very much
That's the text of an e-mail many people received. Went straight to the heart, it did. So little was asked . . .
Other than having to field inquiries about the non-existent Anthony Parkin since 1999, the Mayo Clinic knows nothing about him. He's certainly never been a patient there. Someone's prank kept them hopping, though: they had too many phone calls to answer and too many e-mail messages to reply that took time away from their real business of medical research.
Barbara "not only am I in favor of chain letters, I think they should lock 'em up and throw away the key" Mikkelson