PHILADELPHIA, PA (Special to TSD After Dark) Urban Legends. Little Mikey died from eating Pop Rocks and drinking Coke. The Proctor and Gamble corporation is affiliated with the Church of Satan. Mama Cass Elliot died from eating a ham sandwich.
These are just a few urban legends that have made their way around the globe. And of course, they are untrue.
But why have urban legends gained great popularity, while rural legends have flown essentially under the radar, or perhaps more appropriately, below the cornstalks?
The question was brought into the light last week when nearly one hundred residents of the Southeastern Pennsylvania farming community of Birdsboro descended on Philadelphia’s City Hall to lodge a complaint.
“We got some legends too,” said Carney Brittlehump, a veteran agricultural farmer. “Like when old Skeeter Wilkens went down the fishin’ hole for a spell, and never came back. They found all his fishing gear – and his clothes neatly folded on the shore and an open bag of beef jerky, but Skeeter was never found. Just plum disappeared like a fart in a windstorm.”
Though many from Birdsboro and other farming communities continue to be vocal in their efforts place rural legends alongside its urban cousin, the numbers don’t add up.
“We’d love to give these nice people their due – but ultimately it’s about the bottom line,” said Councilman Sal Cacciapuoti. “Urban legends are more developed and have a longer history of success. There’s not enough population in these small, rural areas for their legends to catch on – as interesting as they can sometimes be.”
Part of the reason for the inability of the rural legend to gain traction is that every year, Americans are moving from the country to the big city. They claim opportunity and cultural activities as the main reason for the move which the rural areas don’t have.
But Brittlehump isn’t giving up the fight.
“There are some truly great stories,” he added. “Granted, some are pretty tall tales – but eventually they’re going to catch on. Like when Thelma Lou Stokes made her blueberry buckle muffins and placed them on the windowsill to cool off. She went into the other room to check on the youngin’s, and when she returned, they were gone. That’s one scary heap of cow dung, don’t cha think?”
Brittlehump left the meeting amid chuckles and a gathering swarm of flies.