The Museum of Hoaxes
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Hoax Museum Blog Posts From
November 2004
Coca-Cola Fantasy Items — Here's an interesting piece from a newspaper about the burgeoning market in Coca-Cola Fantasy items. One of the paper's readers wrote in to ask whether their Coca-Cola belt buckle designed by Tiffany Studios and showing a nude woman sitting on a crescent moon was of any value (unfortunately there's no picture of the item). The paper's reply: No, because the item is a fantasy fake: [This] is what Coca-Cola collectors call a "fantasy," which is a piece that never existed as an old…
Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004.   Comments (31)

Branston Pickle Panic — A fire at the only factory that produces Branston Pickle reportedly sparked panic buying of the popular brown relish, spurred on by a comment from Premier Foods (its manufacturer) that within two weeks stock levels would run out. So sellers of Branston Pickle began asking as much as £16 or £25 for the stuff on eBay (a jar usually sells for less than £1). For Americans who don't know what this stuff is, it's kind of like a savory brown chutney, very popular in Britain, and often spread…
Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004.   Comments (3)

New Member Registration — This is my new anti-spam system. Comments submitted to the site will be approved by a moderator (me) before they appear on the site. HOWEVER, if you choose to register as a member, your comments will appear immediately. They'll skip the moderation process. So this is how you register as a member (it took me all weekend to figure out how to get this to work, so there may still be some bugs in it): Step 1: Go to the Member Registration page and fill in the info. Step 2: An email…
Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2004.   Comments (11)

Too Much Spam — I've got to say: spammers really suck. My site is being aggressively comment spammed. Hundreds of comments inviting people to check out 'interesting' information about personal finance credit reports, etc. are appearing on posts throughout my site. Most of it is being left on older entries, where I guess the spammer figures I won't notice it. The spam seems to be coming from a wide variety of different servers throughout Europe, which makes it impossible for me to effectively IP ban it.…
Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2004.   Comments (17)


A Hand of Corn — Virgel Fisher owns a hand of corn. He inherited it from his grandfather. But this is the part of the story that I don't understand. He says that when his grandfather found the 'corn hand' two of its fingers were missing, "so his ancestor searched until he found them, using pins to reattach the dismembered digits". Does this mean that the fingers were an artificial add-on? Or had they simply broken off? Either way, Virgel could probably make a bundle if he sold his 'corn hand' on eBay,…
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004.   Comments (8)

Weird City Names — Here's an amusing list of weird city and town names. Of course, I immediately wondered if all these names were real, so I checked a random sample in Mapquest. Nothing came up for Hornytown, North Carolina (a google search didn't turn up any offical website for it either, though there is a widespread report, probably false, that Hornytown has banned massage parlors). Nor was there a Love Ladies, New Jersey in Mapquest. That doesn't mean Hornytown and Love Ladies don't exist. It's just…
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004.   Comments (88)

Indecently Exposed Toothbrush — Jan Harold Brunvand calls it the "Indecent Exposure" urban legend. It involves a vacationing couple whose hotel room is broken into and robbed of everything save a toothbrush and a camera. When they get home and develop the film in the camera, they discover pictures of their toothbrush up the robber's rear end (to put it not so delicately). It appears that this urban legend has now served as the unfortunate inspiration for a prank that a New Zealand golfer played on his rival. As this…
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004.   Comments (1)

Woman Learns of Her Death in Iraq — I've heard about people who find their own obituaries mistakenly printed in papers, but I imagine that discovering you've been killed by Islamic militants in Iraq would be a little more off-putting. As the Associated Press reports: A woman was shocked to learn Friday that a photo of what appeared to be her old driver's license showed up on an Islamic Web site along with a claim that she had been captured in southern Iraq and slain. She's never been anywhere near Iraq, but she speculates…
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2004.   Comments (4)

Girl Gets Her Ride Pimped, Then Carjacked — An urban legend has been circulating about Pimp My Ride, the MTV show on which people get surprised by having their raggedy hoopties (read: old cars) transformed into tricked-out pimp-mobiles. I'll let this poster from the Elle.com forums describe the rumor, since she does it so much better than I could: okay remember the beloved episode of the girl Nile with the pink cadillac and they put the river in the back her car. i think it was like episode 2 or something. i was told that she…
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004.   Comments (11)

Coca-Cola As An Insecticide — Can Coca-Cola work as an insecticide? Indian farmers seem to think so. The Guardian reports that many of them have taken to spraying their cotton and chilli fields with the soft drink. The article quotes an agricultural analyst who suggests that this might actually work because the sugar in the drink would "attract red ants to feed on insect larvae". But a Coca-Cola spokesman dismisses the entire story as an urban legend: "We are aware of one isolated case where a farmer may have used a…
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004.   Comments (13)

Clooney’s Anti-Bush Blog — Defamer reports (via A Fly on the Wall) that George Clooney has his own weblog, titled A Chronicle of Bush's Failures. It's purely political, focusing (as you might guess from the title) on all of Bush's shortcomings. The question is, is this really Clooney's blog? I'm not convinced, mainly because whoever is writing the blog doesn't seem to claim anywhere that he or she is Clooney. And I'm not sure why we should believe A Fly on the Wall's anonymous source. More likely it's some…
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004.   Comments (5)

Rectoscalar Wave — Here's a strange email hoax that reportedly is spreading around India: Tonight a rectoscalar wave is passing at 10.25 pm, Indian Standard Time.... This causes damage in mobiles and computers..... So switch off your mobiles and computers at the specified time... This has been published in todays The Hindu paper also.... Keep fwd this message to your friends and loved ones..... Is there even such a thing as a rectoscalar wave? I did a google search and didn't pull up anything.…
Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2004.   Comments (19)

Human Taxidermy — A recent article in the Phoenix New Times describes Phoenix-based Preserve A Life, a company that specializes in Humidermy... a.k.a. Human Taxidermy. If you can't stand the idea of cremating or burying your dearly departed, then Preserve A Life will freeze-dry and 'mount' them for you. Bring Granny back home and have her on display in the living room. You can pose the body in any position you want: "Children have been posed on bicycles and skateboards, grandmothers in rocking chairs,…
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004.   Comments (8)

Survive 9/11 — According to Replay Studios, Survivor will be a computer game that will allow people to "experience the most dramatic disasters of the 20 - 21th century in independent game episodes." The goal will be not only to virtually experience these disasters, but also to see if you could survive them. Here are some of the scenarios gamers will be able to play: Hiroshima, the Titanic, Hurricane Andrew, and (of course) 9/11. Replay Studios seems to be a legitimate game developer, so I'm almost…
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004.   Comments (18)

Coffin Racing — According to local legend in Manitou Springs, Colorado (legend that may or may not be true), a young woman named Emma Crawford was once buried at the top of nearby Red Mountain. But during a rain storm, her coffin came loose and raced down the side of the mountain. To commemorate this event, residents of the town now hold an annual coffin racing contest through the center of town. A few pictures from yesterday's race can be seen here. I'm not sure who won.
Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2004.   Comments (13)

Man Dies, No One Notices — Yahoo News offers up this brief report about a British train conductor who "stamped and carefully returned the ticket of a slumbering passenger without realizing the man was dead." I guess people only realized the guy was dead once the train pulled into the station (York) and he failed to wake up. Now, by coincidence, I took this very same train last month, and the seats were pretty cramped, so either the train was quite empty, or whoever was sitting next to the dead guy was really…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (7)

You Are Being Watched — From the Flickr Photo Sharing site: "On a road in the middle of nowhere there are signs posted every few hundred yards warning that you are being recorded on CCTV. This is apparently an effort to stop illegal fly tippers from dumping their rubbish along the road. I had a look around for some cameras, but couldn't see any. I think it's a hoax." Although maybe there really are cameras hidden in the trees. There are speakers hidden in the trees at UC San Diego. You'll be walking along…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (8)

Fidobag — Here's an odd product from Samsung-Italia. It's the Fidobag. The site explaining the Fidobag is in Italian, but apparently it's a suitcase that will respond to the voice of its owner and come at their command (that would be useful for finding a bag in an airport). Also, if someone tries to steal your bag, all you need do is call out and the Fidobag will start to 'bark' at an intensity of 197.5 decibels, thereby stunning and exposing the would-be thief. Gizmodo offers a more complete…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (8)

A Visit from the Secret Service — A couple of stories about writers receiving visits from the Secret Service have been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere, and a lot of people have been wondering if they're real or fake. The first case involves fanfic writer Annie Sewell-Jennings who posted an entry on her blog in which she satirically prayed that Bush would die. A couple of weeks later, according to her, "the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door to talk to me about what I said about the…
Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2004.   Comments (11)

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