Win A Book, Contest #2

image I've received a free copy of David Wilton's new book, Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends, courtesy of Oxford University Press. So I'm having a contest to give it away. The book has just been published. I'm not sure it's even out in stores yet, but you can get a copy here... if you win the contest.

First, what's the book about? Wilton debunks all those stories about where words come from, such as 'is GOLF really an acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden?' or 'does SOS stand for Save Our Souls?' or 'was F**K originally an acronym meaning For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge?' You'll have to get the book to find out the answers. It's a lot of fun, and quite enlightening.

Here's what I've decided for the contest: urban legend haiku. I figure this is appropriate since it's a book about urban legends and language. Whoever comes up with the best haiku describing an urban legend (or a hoax, since this is the Museum of Hoaxes) wins the contest. What's 'best' will, of course, be subjectively decided by me.

If you need inspiration, examples of urban legend haiku can be found here or here. I'm not going to be a stickler about whether or not entries maintain proper haiku form (three lines: first line five syllables, second line seven syllables, third line five syllables), since apparently the idea that haiku must adhere strictly to this form is itself a bit of an urban legend. Keep it to three lines, but if the number of syllables isn't perfect, I don't care.

Here's my own rather weak attempt at a hoax haiku. It took me all of a minute to write:

Enclosed in glass,
Soon she'll be rectangular,
My Bonsai Kitten.

You'll have to do better than this to win the book.

The contest will end on Nov. 20, about a week from today (oh, and you can submit as many haiku as you like).
Update: And one more thing, submit your entries as comments. Don't email them to me directly.
Update: Okay, the contest is now closed. I need a day or two to review all the entries.

Miscellaneous Urban Legends

Posted on Fri Nov 12, 2004


Price soars on Branston Pickle,
Stock value fickle:
Now worth only a nickel.
Posted by Helen Thies  in  Germany  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  05:40 AM
Girl thumbing a ride;
disappears from my back seat.
Oh no! She's a ghost.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  08:47 AM
Some say thirty pounds
Of undigested meat in the Duke
I believe it was forty
Posted by robert  in  Quebec City  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  01:53 PM
Remote Control hunts
and the feared StunStrike Stun Gun
Posted by Darrien  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  02:03 PM
A toothless ad man.
He is old, yet he can dance.
Who is this Mr. Six?

I go down the well.
I look to the distant sky.
Now I can see stars.

Buy a Bonsai Cat!
Chicken Head in Happy Meal!
Next time visit Snopes.
Posted by PlantPerson  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  02:31 PM
Heart failure did it for Jim
For Jimi, barbiturates overdose
And for Cass : Ham Sandwich
Posted by Robert  in  Quebec City  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  04:35 PM
Haiku's to Hoax to.

No Such Agency,
They Can't Let You Know The Truth.
Yet, Drink Boo Bee Juice.

Bush Wins Election,
Remote Control Hunting though,
suddenly sounds good.

Again Not Suprised,
Pop Star Not Performing Live,
Tickets Please? Hmm Dead.
Posted by Miguel  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  09:28 PM
email attachment
man holding gigantic cat
skilled in photoshop
Posted by coffee  in  new york  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  09:57 PM
an empty phone booth
dangerous coin slot awaits
don't reach for the change
Posted by coffee  in  new york  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  10:06 PM
a secret message
new friend from nigeria
send account info
Posted by coffee  in  new york  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  10:16 PM
bug spray in toilet
an extinguished cigarette
badly burned rectum
Posted by coffee  in  new york  on  Sun Nov 14, 2004  at  10:25 PM
At risk of seeming a complete prat, I've written one for each of the top 20 April Fools hoaxes (my fave is no. 18 - though they're all pretty bad:).

1 Three words in the news
Hint at untold suffering:
Spaghetti crop fails

2 Legend
Posted by paul in prague  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  06:34 AM
I met her last night,
but now she has gone away.
So has my kidney.

Our lovely Peaches
sucked the life of the baby,
She wanted the milk.

Ashes to ashes,
this cocoa mix is no good.
Oops, we ate grandpa.
Posted by Netta  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  08:31 AM
A lovely cactus
shivers in my living room
Posted by kvn299  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  09:10 AM
Mild winter and no
dreaded spaghetti weevil
make dinner yummy.
Posted by Krista  in  Ottawa  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  09:40 AM
Agressive rabbit;
do not milk the Jackalope.
Lure him with whiskey.
Posted by Krista  in  Ottawa  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  09:48 AM
The charity says,
"Homeless are Americans,
too, so give them guns!"
Posted by Krista  in  Ottawa  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  09:51 AM
I was there I saw
Hidden away denied all
Five and One forgot
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  11:17 AM
Lonely gamers seek
Russian girlfriends for to love
Dissapointment bitter
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  11:20 AM
Scotland vacation fun
No return Alex Boese
Hail replicant Alex
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  11:23 AM
Sitting - cannot go
Close walls now are second home
Need Dr Pepper
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  11:25 AM
Weevil aphid mite
Borer caterpillar worm
No problem - now use Coke
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  11:36 AM
theft - but not all lost
hang on - photographs reveal
anal toothbrush fun
Posted by sophie  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  11:39 AM
Unattached units
Dream of future proleptics
Meta-treason, no?
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  12:12 PM
Idiots are pissed
Only because they believed
No smoking in cars
Posted by Ghostchild  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  04:05 PM
It's Alex Boese
Living in San Diego
He's losing his hair
Posted by John  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  05:17 PM
I'm sorry, John. That's not a hoax. That's sad reality.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  05:20 PM
Like my beauty mark?
It itches like crazy. Eek!
Spiderlings hatching!
Posted by cantwaltz  in  Chicago  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  05:26 PM
We brought our cute pet
Back from our Mexican tour.
He loves cheese; fears cats.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  05:56 PM
Naughty teens romp naked
in dark living room. Surprise!
Big birthday party!
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Mon Nov 15, 2004  at  05:58 PM
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