I have been interested in myths and urban legends ever since a preteen sleepover introduced me to the story of the The Hook (You know, the one about the couple at the local makeout spot who hear a strange scraping noise on the car. They get scared and drive quickly home — only to find a bloody hook hanging from the car door handle). I have since learned to be skeptical of these stories — though it sometimes is hard to tell what is based on fact and what is fantasy.
I picked up Albert Jack’s book, and skimmed several stories before sitting down to read it cover to cover. I was pleased to find many a tale I hadn’t heard before.
Did you hear about the scorned woman who stuffed seafood in the curtain rods throughout the home just before her ex-husband and his new wife put it up for sale? No one could find the source of the growing odor, and no one wanted to buy the home. After several months the man sells his share of the house to his ex-wife very cheaply just to get it off his hands. And when the woman goes back to claim the house, she finds it stripped of all the fixtures — including the curtain rods. Her ex had taken everything to be installed in his new home! See “The Seafood Effect” in the book.
Or what about the woman who put her Winnebago on cruise control, then walked into the back to make herself a cup of coffee? After the vehicle left the road and overturned, she supposedly tried to sue Winnebago for not making it clear in the owner’s manual that cruise control, as she understood it, was not a feature in the vehicle. See “Winnebago Whiner” in the book.
Read Jack’s book to replenish your collection of stories to share around the water cooler — and maybe find the glimmer of truth in a few of these tales. It’s very entertaining reading.
Check the WRL catalog for Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends.