A Salute to Snopes

The Internet has been a part of my life for seventeen years. It’s amazing the impact it has had in that time. It’s helped me reconnect with childhood friends. It’s provided me with the first glimpses of my niece and nephew. It’s given me the ability to pursue my dream career. Go Internet.

The Internet also amazes me with the ways it has changed over the years. Scoops used to be my first stop every day for wrestling news. I used to live on my Friendster page. I must’ve checked Cardinals Diaspora every five minutes during the Cards 2006 World Series run. But now? Tastes have evolved, trends have evolved. Some sites went out of business, some are now obsolete.

Except for Snopes.com.

For the uninitiated, snopes.com considers itself to be “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation.” Basically if you’re mother forwards you an email about how Crayola has been pumping their crayons full of asbestos (and Mama Holmes loves her some e-mail forwards), Snopes is where you go to discover the truth.

I don’t remember what drew me to Snopes in the first place, but I do know it’s been the only constant in my Internet-using days. And for that, they are to be commended.

Which leads me to a question; where the hell do urban legends come from? I know the majority are morality tales, but surely someone had to be the first person to tell the story about the venomous snakes that lurk in all fast food ballpits.

Actually, not to go off on a tangent, but did you hear about the killer that’s running rampant in the midwest? All of the victims have family decals on their minivans that have at least one adorable stick-figure pet.

The cops haven’t been able to figure out what exactly it is about these decals that sets the killer off, but they think it somehow ties into his own family. Or it’s a gang initiation. Or he’s trying to steal kidneys.

But, it’s totally true…I heard it from a friend of a friend. Pass it on.

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