The dangling conversation, the superficial sigh

I think I'm having an argument at work.

Can you argue with someone you've never met, and never directly communicated with?

It started yesterday afternoon; I went into the kitchen to clean up some dishes and saw someone had posted a scare notice next to the sink about why you shouldn't microwave plastic or freeze water in plastic bottles. Because that would release … toxins! There was some tie-in to Walter Reed Medical Center recently releasing a report (or getting a report) which, I think, was my first tip-off (because really, WRMC has had a few more issues to deal with lately than microwaved plastics) and the capitalizing of "Cancer" was another. It read as though Emily Dickinson had been frightened by something she was sent on the Interwebs.

In other words, it screamed urban legend.

And so it was. Down to the Walter Reed bit.

So I did what I do when I get emailed garbage that someone clearly has done no vetting on: I went to, confirmed the UL of the "facts" and clicked on their link to Johns Hopkins' page, which states that it is an urban legend, for the most part. I then printed out that page and decided to tape it up next to the UL. (Removing it wasn't the right way to go, and besides, someone had probably read it already.) I also made a Post-It which said: "Urban Legend Alert! Read before randomly tacking up 'warnings.'" And then I taped the package up next to the UL. In the kitchen.

Yeah, I'm anal that way. But I hate morons who don't double check and then decide they have "news" to impart.

Today, I went to our other kitchen and found a printout of the page I linked to above on top of the microwave. I kind of felt vindicated: The truth was out there, and being shared. I had nothing to do with that one.

Then I went to the kitchen this afternoon. Some silly person — probably the same one who tacked up the original "alert" — had taped up an article from a magazine about toxins in children's toys.

Not. The. Same. Thing.

If this was a message board on the Internet, I'd have suggested someone change the Subject Line.

And, and and, they taped it over my Johns Hopkins' page.

This got me mad. How rude!

And then I laughed.

I'm now arguing with someone I've never met. Who clearly has no sense whatsoever.

Silly people. Me included.


  1. ekwnyc on 3/22/07 at 6:02 pm

    [this is good] You’re fighting a losing battle ~ and on the wrong side.  Urban Legends shouldn’t be debunked, they should be encouraged

    First of all, it would curtail the use of microwaves, which is good for global whatever and whatnot.  Secondly, it would curtail the use of the office microwave by *stupid* people, which is always good because they’re the ones that think you can dry out your gloves by popping them in for a minute.  Also, with less people using your microwave, it means less time you have to wait for them to finish — and more importantly, it reduces the chances of them putting something in the microwave that smells like a dead frog. 

    And I don’t care what anyone says but the smell from the previous microwave user ruins your own food.

    So, although your intentions were good — you’d be happier if you posted an even more alarmist E-Mail message, scaring even more people away.

    You’re a writer — come up with the most horrible urban legend you can — and enjoy your own personal microwave 🙂

  2. Armchair News on 3/22/07 at 6:57 pm

    A wicked interesting idea.

    I like the way you think, mister.

  3. ekwnyc on 3/22/07 at 7:31 pm

    (AP) WASHINGTON – The FDA released a preliminary report today linking increased use of microwave ovens to decreased libidos.  Reports show that females that use microwaves experience an 85.2% decrease in the number of orgasms, while males experience a 57% increased chance of being unable to achieve an erection.


    Tape that to your microwave and you’ll never stand in line — and you’ll be able to spot the stupid people because they’ll be warming their lunch by sitting it under the sun.

    :  This will probably end up helping the stupid people lose weight because they will fear eating.  Meanwhile, now that the microwaves are available — and “smell-free” — us brilliantines will pig out on zapped buffalo wings and egg rolls stuffed with pizza sauce and cheese  . . . .

    I had more thoughts but they got lost in the last paragraph . . . have you ever had hot wings . . . and then, like, microwaved them 3 or 4 days later . . . oh, they are so good . . .

    :-)  I gotta go . . .

  4. Cameron G Rose on 3/26/07 at 9:20 am

    [c’est top] When I was working at The Roosevelt hotel, there’s was a scare about rat piss on soda cans, since i don’t drink coffee I drink soda, everyone kept printing the email out and giving it to me. I printed out copies of the snopes article refuting it and people seemed almost angry when I showed it to them. Some people can’t handle being told they are wrong about something.