As long as the media keep taking bullshit stories and reporting them as fact, we're gonna keep pointing that shit out and making fun of them. And so goes another installment in our infinity-part series of stories you probably heard this month and assumed were true simply because a well-known site that millions of people read every week told you so. Like ...
#4. The Woman Who Hands Out "Fat Notes" on Halloween Probably Doesn't Exist
The story that sparked the most Internet outrage last week wasn't about communist health care or the NSA reading your old AIM chat logs -- it was about some terrible lady in North Dakota who, according to CBS, Fox News, USA Today, and many others, opted to hand out "you're fat" letters to children instead of candy:
Still better than getting raisins.
Pretty much everyone jumped on this ... so how come no one interviewed that lady after she was so happy to announce her intentions on a radio show? Probably because they made her up. The same radio station already pulled a stunt like this last year with a woman calling in about moving deer crossing signs (to help deer) that turned out to be a hoax. So while the media ran with it, anyone aware that "wacky" morning radio callers are mostly actors simply called bullshit and moved on.
#3. The Maggot-Infested Weave Is an Urban Legend
According to Nine MSN and the Daily News, a Kenyan woman named Irene Myangoh recently discovered a horrifying reason behind her constant headaches: her newly bought hair weave. More specifically, the wad of flesh-eating maggots that had hatched in the weave and begun burrowing into her skull. We'll wait while you go burn all your headwear.
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Start with that one.
As one surgeon in the story concluded, "It is better to appreciate natural beauty and be content with what God has blessed them instead of chasing artificial beauty." It would be a profound quote had it not been strangely word-for-word from another "maggoty weave" article from 2010 that keeps coming back from time to time, featuring different headache-suffering women in different countries. The best part? Apparently the Kenyan newspaper that recycled the story this time around ripped it off from the Snopes.com page classifying it as utter bollocks.
#2. Nope, a Guy in China Didn't Go on a Blind Date With His Daughter-in-Law
Here's a tip, journalists: Every time a story begins with the words "A man in China," double-check anything that comes afterward. Case in point: Metro, Business Standard, and the Daily News recently reported that a Chinese man went on an Internet-arranged sexual encounter only to find out that his blind date was his daughter-in-law, the end result being a personal tour of the inside of an ambulance courtesy of his son. They even had a picture of the woman in a robe, so it must be true!
She was arrested by China's fashion police and promptly executed.
But it turns out, no -- of course not. The story was pulled the next day with an apology admitting it to be completely false (meaning the photo was probably staged), a detail that has failed to jump overseas as fast as "guy almost fucks daughter-in-law!"
#1. The Racist Red Lobster Receipt Was Apparently Faked
A recent storm of completely understandable Internet rage came when a Red Lobster waitress posted a customer's $44 receipt featuring the N-word in lieu of a tip. But wait, there's a happy ending to this story: The waitress in question was given an online fundraiser that resulted in over ten grand in donations. Faith in humanity: restored!
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"We're giving you 15 percent ... of our hearts!"
There's, uh, just one little detail. What none of the sites reporting this tale seemed to notice is that the racist word didn't match the client's other writing on the receipt ... and, disturbingly, was closer to the handwriting found in the waitress' Facebook photos.
Faith in humanity: unrestored.
One handwriting analysis later, the customer is now suing the waitress and the restaurant. It turns out he didn't even have her as his server, since his order was to-go. In other news, anyone reading this who gave "Tips for Toni" probably needs a fundraiser for a new computer monitor.