Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2001]
My mother called me last night and I want to share with you what she told me. She said she didn't want to scare me, but needed to tell me the warning she heard from her good friend in Hawaii.
A professor at the University of Hawaii has a daughter living in an apartment complex in
I have been recently concerned over a recent "rumor" that has been circulating around Los Angeles. A friend of mine told me the recent account of his close friend : He told me that this girl had lived across the street from a middle eastern guy for quite some time and became friendly with him. Just before the
There is a rumor circulating L.A. today that an arab man suddenly moved out of his apartment last week. He told his neighbor (while sobbing) please do not be in
My sister in LA has a friend who is a laywer and his secretary has some guy friends who are muslum and they gave her $3000 yesterday and told her to leave LA before Friday. She went to the Feds of course and they went to the guys appartment but it was cleared out already. Sis and her friends and boyfriend as well as the entire law firm the guy works at are leaving town tommorow. Sis is going to her friends cabin for friday, sat and sunday morning just in case.
Origins: Once again, rumors were afoot about additional acts of terrorism looming on the horizon, and once again blabbermouth conspirators were supposedly passing along to ordinary folks mysterious warnings against being in a certain place at a specified time. This time the purported target was
A key element of the Mall-o-Ween rumor ("Stay out of shopping malls on Halloween") has been incorporated into many of these L.A. Confidential whispers; namely, the motif of the Arab significant other who issues a written plea for his loved one to avoid a particular venue on a named day. Likewise, other previously sighted forms of "warned to stay away from
Uncertain times breed rumors, and the lurking possibility of further terrorist action guarantees that "warned to stay away from
Folks who encounter such rumors need to keep two things firmly in mind. First, terrorists do not telegraph their plans to those who could potentially interfere with the success of their operations. Those who have devoted their lives to bringing about the downfall of a particular government or country will not jeopardize their thirsted-for goal merely to spare a stranger, a daughter of a friend, or even a wife. The terrorists who attacked America on
Additionally, society has a strong need for rumors of this nature because they tend to reduce the sword of Damocles hanging over all of our heads to a mere butter knife. The blood-curdling reality of terrorism — even outstripping the death, destruction, mayhem, and unspeakable tragedy in terms of individual lives lost — is its unpredictability. No one knows when or where the next strike will be. How comforting it thus is to entertain such tales that tell you the "when" and the "where" and thus return the issue of your own safety back into your own hands rather than leaving it to the whim of the homicidal. We like such rumors because they reduce the chilling reality of "Anyone could be a target at any time" down to a matter of "Don't be in
Until our sense of safety is regained, we will see wave upon wave of similar rumors, and in each case hearts a'flutter over them will not be mollified until each
Barbara "naught's landing" Mikkelson
Last updated: 7 April 2008