Send this to ten people or I’ll shoot this gorilla

Every day when I open my email account, I get excited that I usually have over 10 new emails to read (personal, not the soul destroying work kind), however this usually turns to dismay and horror when I see that I have been sent: FALSE FANATICAL CHAIN MAIL.

FFCM is a phenomenon that spreads like the ‘flu’ on union day down at the local public hospital. People think they are doing the right thing by forcing it upon you, but really, they haven’t really researched what they are preaching, and let’s face it, it’s annoying.

Don't chew, swallowOne of my favourite ones lately involves a disabled boy named Stevie who works in a biker diner. Apparently in this ‘true’ story of heroism, adversity and human kindness, Stevie needs a heart operation and must take time off work (You know, the work he does for money to take care of his feeble mother or something), so all the bikers with hearts of gold raise over $10,000 for him when he returns. How very sweet. Makes me want to buy my soul back.

Except that it is a short story, fictional, short story that was published in a magazine years ago. It took me all of 30 seconds to figure that one out.

Another favourite is the one about how onions can absorb the flu virus and contain it if one is left under your bed. Yes, some people actually believe this. This is actually an old ‘remedy’ for the bubonic plague, and look how well that turned out. I guess no one remembers even the simplest of science classes in year 9 – that viruses need a live host in order to replicate, and rotting food can actually breed bacteria, not capture it.

I’m thinking of starting one of my own, to see how quickly it spreads. How about going back to basics – “Rocks with hair wrapped around them left dangling from your porch ward off home invasions”, or “Nigerians can tell over the internet what your family’s bank balance is!” Hmm. How about this?

FFCM begins:

“Please read this and pass on to everyone you know, it’s a simple thing to avoid and could save your life! A friend of mine recently was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was rushed to hospital to have it removed. Luckily, her surgeon said that they had gotten it in time. After analyzing her lifestyle and habits, her doctor discovered a weird thing about chewing gum. Over chewing it can cause the muscles in your jaw to over work, releasing too much of a hormone into your face and brain. Your brain then tries to attack the surplus hormone but instead attacks its own brain matter, causing cancer.

The reason this doesn’t happen with normal chewing is because you are swallowing food afterwards, which releases a satiety hormone that signals to the brain not to release the bad hormone from over worked muscles. You tend to chew gum way more than you would food too, so this makes sense.

If you are chewing gum to freshen your breath, or to promote saliva to protect your teeth, PLEASE STOP! Use floss after eating, or chew parsley for your breath as a brain tumor is not worth it, just ask my friend – you may not be so lucky and find it in time.”*

FFCM ends.

So, spread this FFCM, for justice, trickery and knowledge that some people out there will actually believe it.

Please, it makes me feel better for receiving them; it’s their own fault… really.

*Apologies to the chewing gum industry.