Recently, the editor of a Tarot-related newsletter passed along a large (and ugly and badly designed) PowerPoint file, saying, “This contains a wonderful message from the Dali Lama about how to live life to its fullest. Please read these Instructions for Life and pass them along.”
Maybe I’m a skeptic, but I somehow doubted the Dali Lama would choose to distribute his latest ruminations via a tacky PowerPoint presentation. (After looking at the slides, I also doubted His Holiness would write, “Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.”)
A quick stop at Snopes.com — the online repository of urban legends and widely circulated myths — proved my suspicions were correct: the message has nothing to do with the Dali Lama whatsoever. I sent the appropriate link to the editor, who later issued a retraction and an apology for “being gullible.”
So: how gullible are you? Of the following 11 items, only 5 are true — the others are widely circulated Internet hoaxes. Can you tell which is which? (To find out, click the links to see the related Snopes.com pages.)
– A film about the life of Jesus, nearing completion, will portray Christ as “a swinging homosexual.” A French prostitute plays Mary Magdelene. Jerry Fallwell has asked followers to send letters of protest to various Attorneys General in several states.
– The Gap, a chain that started in San Francisco, is gay-owned, and “GAP” stands for “Gay and Proud.”
– The Associated Press ran a photo of a sailor aboard the USS Enterprise scrawling “Hijack this, Fags!!!!” on the side of a bomb.
– Dick van Dyke’s real name is “Penus van Lesbian.”
– A child drowned because she jumped in the ocean to find SpongeBob Squarepants, the popular cartoon character.
– There was, originally, cocaine in Coca-Cola.
– Several guests have been killed on Disneyland attractions.
– President George W. Bush was photographed reading to children while holding the book upside-down.
– The scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark in which Indiana Jones dispatches an attacker by simply shooting him wasn’t scripted — it was improvised by Harrison Ford, who, after being worn out by a persistent case of diarreah, simply didn’t have the energy to complete the scene as written.
– On Password, a celebrity guest, trying to get a contestant to say, “Deer,” offers the clue, “Doe.” The contestant replies, “Knob.”
– George W. Bush proclaimed June 10th to be “Jesus Day” in Texas.