Urban legends are fascinating; they are the folktales of our modern culture.
Unlike ﬁction or a comic story, which must have a plausible framework to give it structure, and ironically, believability, an urban legend creates framework by claiming the story is really true. This is how a urban legend begins: I know a woman who is the aunt of a boy who went to school with me. This is pedigree enough, and the teller launches into the story of: The woman (the aunt of a boy who went to school with me) who dried out her poodle in the microwave. Or the uncle who woke up in Vegas in a bathtub of ice and one less kidney. You know these stories, you hand them around during a break at a conference or as a way to start a conversation with a group of strangers at a party. There is nothing wrong with passing along a “fabulously-true-because-you- heard-it-from-someone-who-knows” story, but be more careful in writing these down, or citing the stories as “fact” in a school or business paper. And also know that in a good fictional story, the situation and resolution must make more sense than the “true” urban legend ever did.
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