Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hell has a hot room for hoaxsters, where the worm dieth not

At times, my skeptic soul drives me crazy. I have blogged several times about my struggle to believe in things theological -- the heart warring with the head.

But in realms non-spiritual, I am grateful for my doubting nature. I run little risk of ever having my life savings swindled away, because I buy nothing over the phone and nothing at my door except Girl Scout cookies. I have an unassailable distrust of get rich quick schemes and of scary emails.

Today some well-meaning relative sent me the latest annoying hoax, some stupid thing about deadly chlorine supposedly infesting baby carrots that you buy from the supermarket. Beware the white coating that forms, this nonsense goes.

It's not chlorine, moron, it's dehydration. You can take an organically grown carrot from an Amish farm never exposed to chlorine in its entire carrot career and slice its peel off and it will turn white in your fridge after a while, too.

These hoaxes are not just a problem for suckers who get scared and stop using a favorite product, and annoying for the rest of us. They can cause real problems. They cost corporations considerable amounts of money. Just ask Procter and Gamble, which fought for years against a hoax that their CEO was a Satanist and their logo a mascot for the devil.

They also hurt gullible people who innocently forward the email to friends and co-workers with their name and company attached. Suddenly the hoax has a "real-live" person and company to give it legitimacy and it travels the globe. The company gets mad and the worker gets punished.


Trisia said...

Such a funny post. I feel your pain, but I can't help but feel amused by all these silly things. Saddening that sometimes friends get caught up in them.

Eastcoastdweller said...


I guess the choice is to laugh or cry and we might as well laugh.