OK, it’s V day, so I’m taking a break from my usual scribblings to indulge in something a bit different. Here are a couple of classic Valentine’s day urban legends for you to enjoy.
Legend 1 – Robin Hood
This story dates to the first release of the movie “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” with Kevin Costner back in 1991. A young couple went out to see the movie when it was first released and loved it, especially the Bryan Adams theme song, “Everything I Do, I Do It For You,”. That is of course understandable because it is quite a romantic song.
Later that night, while out to dinner after the movie, the boyfriend proposed. The song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You,” became their song.
For the big day, they decided to break with tradition a bit and so requested the church organist to play this theme song from Robin Hood instead of the more traditional wedding march. The organist was a bit surprised, and asked, “Are you really sure that is what you want?”. The couple warmly assured him that it was indeed, because this was their song. He simply shrugged his shoulders and said “Ok”.
The big day arrives. The bride entered the church and as she walks down the aisle to say her vows, the organist began playing the Robin Hood theme song.
Unfortunately, the organist had not seen the movie and did not realise that it was the Bryan Adams song that they had been asking for. Instead he played the only Robin Hood tune he knew, the theme of a late sixties television series “Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen.”.
Legend 2 – Unexpected Date
Next we have the story of the self-proclaimed French playboy Daniel Anceneaux. The story told is that he had been spending many weeks talking with a woman on the Internet. As often happens after corresponding for some time, they began to fall for each other, so they decided to meet up. Daniel and his online love arranged a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach.
“I walked out on that dark beach thinking I was going to hook up with the girl of my dreams,” Daniel admitted afterward. “And there she was, wearing white shorts and a pink tank top, just like she’d said she would.”
“But when I got close, she turned around — and we both got the shock of our lives. I mean, I didn’t know what to say. All I could think was, ‘Oh my God! It’s my Mother!’ ”.
Legend 3 – Glove Love
Now this is a very old story and goes back to at least the 1920s….
A young man wished to purchase a gift for his new sweetheart on Valentines day, and as they had not been dating very long, after careful consideration he decided a pair of gloves would strike the right note — romantic, but not too personal.
Accompanied by his sweetheart’s younger sister, he bought a pair of white gloves; the younger sister purchased a pair of panties for herself.
During the wrapping, the clerk mixed up the items and the sister got the gloves and the sweetheart got the panties. Without checking the contents first, he sealed his package and mailed it to his sweetheart along with this note:
I chose these because I noticed that you are not in the habit of wearing any when we go out in the evening. If it had not been for your sister, I would have chosen the long ones with buttons, but she wears short ones that are easy to remove.
These are a delicate shade, but the lady I bought them from showed me the pair she had been wearing for the past three weeks and they were hardly soiled. I had her try yours on for me and she looked really smart.
I wish I were there to put them on you for the first time, as no doubt other hands will come in contact with them before I have a chance to see you again.
When you take them off, remember to blow in them before putting them away as they will naturally be a little damp from wearing.
Just think how many times I will kiss them during the coming year. I hope you will wear them for me on Friday night.
All my Love,
P.S The latest style is to wear them folded down with a little fur showing.
Legend 4 – Hooters
Hooters has run an ad campaign inviting you to bring in a photo of your Ex on Valentines Day so that they can rip it up for you. If you do then you get a free serving of wings.
It sounds bizarre, but this turns out to be really true …
Heartbreak doesn't live here! Shred your ex and get free wings 💔 https://t.co/Su1k7NEVvB #ShredYourEx pic.twitter.com/7Mf8AO5QG2
— Hootie (@Hooters) February 2, 2017
Are any of these stories actually true?
I really do not need to tell you, but if you do wonder, then no, none of them are true … well OK, The Hooters one actually is quite real.
What does make them interesting is that they all circulated as true stories at one time or another, and that is quite fascinating. We tell each other stories that we are convinced are true because we hear them from a friend who warmly assures us that it really happened to a friend of a friend. If it successfully tickles our imagination, then it sticks, and so we in turn tell the same tale when hanging out with friends.
I remember once hearing one of these stories in office-cooler circumstances. After finishing a story that was a truly scary one of somebody having a very close encounter with a crazy person and almost ending up being murdered, the guy I worked with assured me that it had really happened to the wife of a friend. At the time I believed him, I had no reason not to. A few months later, while on a business trip on the other side of the Atlantic, I heard the exact same story. Once again I was assured that it had apparently really happened to a friend of the guy who was telling me the story. That perhaps was my lightbulb moment, and so I learned to be just a little bit more skeptical.
We might of course bemoan the circulation of fake news stories, but it is not new. Part of our human heritage is that we have always told each other stories with an assurance that it is all true. You need not doubt the sincerity of the story teller either, but unless you can actually verify it, then doubt is your best friend.
Happy Valentines day.