Don't Use the Bathroom on October 28!
Netlore Archive: This email parody of friend-of-a-friend terrorism rumors warns of dangerous alligators lurking in toilets on October 28.
Description: Email joke / Parody
Circulating since: Oct. 2001
Email text contributed by D. Ferguson, Oct. 17, 2001:
Subject: FW: Danger FYI "Warning. Terrorist plot on 28th."
Don't go to the bathroom on October 28th.
CIA intelligence reports that a major plot is planned for that day. Anyone who takes a poop on the 28th will be bitten on the ass by an alligator. Reports indicate that organized groups of alligators are planning to rise up into unsuspecting American's toliet bowls and bite them when they are doing their dirty business.
I usually don't send emails like this, but I got this information from a reliable source. It came from a friend of a friend whose cousin is dating this girl whose brother knows this guy whose wife knows this lady whose husband buys hotdogs from this guy who knows a shoeshine guy who shines the shoes of a mailroom worker who has a friend who's drug dealer sells drugs to another mailroom worker who works in the CIA building.
He apparently overheard two guys talking in the bathroom about alligators and came to the conclusion that we are going to be attacked. So it must be true.
Analysis: Here we have a timely morsel of urban-legendary humor, not to mention an example of what folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand has called "metafolklore" folklore about folklore.
The target of this spoof should be obvious: the infamous Halloween Shopping Mall Terrorism Alert alleging that the Muslim ex-boyfriend of a friend of a friend mysteriously vanished just before September 11, 2001 (the date of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon), then mailed a letter warning the former girlfriend not to take any airline flights or visit shopping malls on October 31. The FBI investigated the alert and found it to be false.
The parody also makes reference to a classic urban legend, "Alligators in the Sewers," while aiming a satirical barb at the traditional "authoritative source" behind most urban legends and rumors, the "friend of a friend."
Alert: Halloween Terror Attacks on Malls
From 2001, the false email rumor that inspired this parody.
Index: Terror Attack Rumors & Hoaxes
Coverage of rumors associated with the 9/1101 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Last updated 09/22/11