The Eighth Page

Features Mythbusters

Features Mythbusters is a team of young, intrepid and strikingly handsome myth lovers who love to get their blood pumping. How do they get their daily adrenaline rush? By trying out “myths” and “urban legends” to see if any of them are actually true. These guys ain’t ‘fraid of no myths! So when your superstitions start to freak you out or your friend dares you to step on a sidewalk crack, who you gonna call? Features Mythbusters! The following are excerpts and summaries of the team’s latest discoveries. #Myth: In a lifetime, the average man will swallow eight spiders while he’s asleep. Nobody knows what goes on while you’re asleep. It has been rumored that most people swallow an average of eight spiders in a lifetime. But you shouldn’t fret, for this is only a myth. You do, however, swallow many other things including, but not limited to: ##Wrenches Composed of various metals and ranging from six inches to a foot in length, don’t be surprised to wake up and find yourself choking on one of these handy tools. Every year, over five wrench-related accidents are reported in this state alone. That’s more than three wrench-related accidents each year! ##Blueberry Pies Soft, warm and delicious—who doesn’t love a nice blueberry pie? But what you don’t know may kill you. In just this past week, there has already been one reported incident of a person finding a blueberry pie covering his face upon waking up in the morning. “At first,” says Joe King of Aynes, NM, “I found it very inconvenient, but by the time the police arrived, I was enjoying the pie.” After a thorough review of their data, numerous detectives, psychologists and one scientologist were able to conclude that a disturbing pattern may soon emerge if nothing is done. ##Bicycles There have been no reports filed pertaining to the consumption of bicycles, or any other mode of transportation for that matter. In fact, recent studies have shown that all individuals claiming to have consumed transportation vehicles during nocturnal hours were shown to be lying after undergoing multiple polygraph tests. These results surprised very few people. #Myth: The word “Catboner” is an ancient Egyptian term meaning king or superior. The word “catboner” is derived from an Ancient Egyptian dialect. The kings of Ancient Egypt were called pharaohs, but if you rearrange the letters of the word “pharaoh,” you will obtain another lesser-known name for Egyptian kings: “rahpoah.” Over time, Egyptians found that the letter “b” flowed much more smoothly than “p,” and added in an “n” for ceremonious reasons and the word became “rahbonah.” The Ancient Egyptians also noticed that the beginning of the word “rah-” sounded very much like the word “rat.” This horrified them, as the rat was the enemy of their sacred animal, the cat. Not wanting to show disgrace to their king, they changed the beginning of the word to “cat,” which they felt was a much more dignified title. The word became “catbonah.” This name lasted through the centuries, all the way to the founding of America. After the end of the Revolutionary War, George Washington was made President of the United States. One day, while Washington was visiting Boston, a Bostonian cried out “All the hail the catbonah” in respect of the president. The president thought this word sounded very honorable and highly esteemed, the perfect term for a leader. But because he was in Boston, Washington believed the man said “catbonar” with a Boston accent. As time went on, the last “a” in the word was switched to an “e” for no particular reason, giving us the kingly word we know today as “catboner.” **Verdict: True** #Myth: A penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building can kill a pedestrian. This question has been frequently asked over the years, and no one has come up with a seemingly legitimate answer. First of all, why would someone wonder this to begin with? I guess maybe some guy could have been walking near the building, look up as he was feeling around in his pocket, felt a soft, supposedly harmless penny, and wondered if that same penny could fall from the sky and plunge through a human skull. If you say it out loud, it doesn’t sound that abstract. Secondly, must it be specifically the Empire State Building? What if I wanted to kill someone with a penny in Houston or Sydney, or maybe even Cairo? I don’t think murderers who prefer to kill their victims with pennies should be confined to one building out of the whole world. Anyway, I figured you can’t know until you’ve tried, so I got one of my duller friends to stand on the street while I ran up the 102 flights of stairs of the Empire State Building with a pocketful of pennies. I tried again and again, but I couldn’t quite hit my target. I realized I could never be accurate enough, so I got a better idea. Several months passed, as I collected penny after penny in a large potato sack. When it was full, I repeated my experiment, but with the new added twist. As I emptied the sack over the safety railing, I realized that I had more pennies than needed. To my disgust, I looked down to 72 lifeless bodies, riddled with small, circular puncture wounds, including my pal, Ferd. **Verdict: Definitely, and fatally, true** #Myth: Missing your period probably means that you’re pregnant. With the Features Team largely composed of writers and editors of the male gender, this myth was a little difficult to bust. Our first idea was to start writing all of our English papers without punctuation and see if our teacher, melancholy from a lack of periods (and commas, hyphens and apostrophes) would become impregnated. Unfortunately, employing really bad puns is not the best way to go about verifying myths. We were then inclined to buy a couple of pregnancy tests and find some girls to “test.” Surprisingly enough, not many girls like strangers asking them about their menstrual cycles. However, we did manage to get a few pregnancy test results out of this whole experiment. Just don’t ask how. We’re not proud of our actions. Unfortunately, the results were inconclusive. It really pained us to see all of our hard work go down the toilet (literally), but we knew that we had to keep on truckin’. So after our seventh lawsuit, we decided to take matters into our own hands (Not literally. We had already done enough of that). It wasn’t until halfway through Lawrence Dai’s sex reassignment surgery that we realized the truth, nay, the exception behind the myth: guys don’t get periods, and most of them aren’t pregnant. So there you go. It took some halfway-attached genitalia, some last minute thinking and a couple badly performed pregnancy tests to bust this myth, but in the end, it was all worth it. **Verdict: False, you’re not pregnant. You’re just getting fatter.** #Myth: Excessive amounts of caffeine stunts your growth. Thanks to the growth-stunting effects of caffeine, people no longer believe me when I tell them my mother is half giant. It’s not her fault that Dressbarn doesn’t carry any wedding gowns in plus size 43. She’s just big-boned. Verdict: True. Though I can still dunk on those Playskool hoops. #Myth: Mixing Pop Rocks and soda will result in a massive explosion. The Pop Rocks-soda explosion argument has been going on for decades, ever since the legendary 1939 incident in Akron, OH. For those of you who may not be familiar with this piece of folklore, allow me to fill you in. The two products were shelved next to each other in a local Ohio supermarket when Marty, the lovable janitor, accidentally tripped on his mop and knocked over an entire rack of Coke, spilling soda all over the floor. Marty then went crazy and decided to open a bunch of Pop Rock bags and throw all the Pop Rocks on the floor with the Coke. Thus began World War II. **Verdict: Gross. You got it all over my new pair of jeans too.** #Myth: Drinking Mountain Dew lowers your sperm count. I’m here to dispel any rumors having to do with Mountain Dew lowering sperm count, If it does anything at all, I believe it increases one’s fertility. Like steroids for your sperm or something. I can’t seem to touch a girl without getting her pregnant. It’s actually made my life pretty hard. Paying for tuition along with child support for my 16 illegitimate children, seven abortions, and two of my children’s own Phillips Academy tuitions really puts financial strain on my family. Recently, girls also seem to stay away from me for fear of becoming pregnant. I can no longer get any ladies, and I’d have to pay the bank to be broke. Basically, my worst nightmares have come true. Now, I just need to get beat up by a drunk Chuck Norris impersonator, and my life’s three greatest fears will have been realized. I just hope my friends stop calling me “fertile Myrtle” before graduation. **Verdict: Untrue. Just ask my four children.** #Myth: The number of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop is indeterminable. Allow me to bust this myth via analogy. And bear with me here, while it may not make sense at first, the aptness will become all the more apparent later on. The truth is, your tongue is like The Phillipian. The front is sort of boring, and thus people don’t normally use it alone; the middle, particularly near the Features region is quite simply amazing, and using it is normally responsible for any feelings of pleasure. Lastly, the back, or the Arts section is hardly ever seen and when it is, it normally emits bad feelings. Or not. What I’m trying to say is that getting to the center of the lollipop depends on how hard you lick—if you’re a professional stamp licker, you can get it in under five licks, whereas if you lost your tongue in a horrific skiing accident, you will not be able to get to the center without biting. The average amount of licks, a statistic compiled from over one year of studying and surveying upwards of two people, is 392.43. And don’t ask me what a .43 of a lick looks like, cause I have no idea. I guess you just sort of put your tongue on the lollipop and move it around a little bit, or something. **Verdict: False, it takes exactly 392.43 licks.** Let’s just call this one possible. The only thing I can do is talk to Mr. Owl himself, but every time I get close enough to ask him he either flies away, flat out ignores me, or screeches loudly and pecks the living Tootsie Roll out of my face. I’m really beginning to doubt his credibility. Anyway, I have yet to find another who claims to know exactly how many licks it takes to get to the center. Every time I go out on the streets and find someone willing to take part in my experiment, I am told that the shoelaces of my Adidas sandals are untied. I bend down to tie them, and when I stand back up, the other person and all of my Tootsie pops are gone. I never understand what happens to them, but it must have been pretty bad in order to tear them away from my experiment. And seriously people, when are you going to learn that sandals don’t have shoelaces? So anyway, we don’t have any evidence that anyone but Mr. Owl can prove or disprove this ancient myth, but frankly, we just can’t get him to talk. Despite this fact, I think this myth teaches us a valuable lesson. Nobody knows how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop because it takes way too long and nobody really cares. **Verdict: Possible, I just don’t care.** #Myth: Global Warming is a major environmental issue to look out for. The ice caps are melting, polar bears are dying, and it’s become the latest fad to turn off the lights when you’re not using them. Something must be going on. The Features Mythbusters team decided to investigate. Global warming is when the ice caps of the earth are melting and people are using too much oil and something’s wrong with the ozone layer. Now, being a group of teenagers, we here at Features Mythbusters know what’s up when it comes to oil production. We do it regularly and with great finesse. Our pores work double shifts some nights. I don’t think an oil shortage is going to be a problem. And this ozone layer? Well, if it’s a layer and it has a name, there must be other layers. In fact, there’s probably a bunch of layers, so what’s the big deal if just one or two of them get holes or start to disappear? And as for the melting ice cap issue, you may ask? According to a man named Al Gore, this melting process is true and inconvenient. What Mr. Gore fails to realize is that while he’s winning Nobel Prizes for his feature films and signing autographs and “helping the environment,” we’re still waiting for it to feel like Spring and for the temperature to stop hopping around from hot to cold and back again. Global warming? More like global schizophrenic weather. My God. We should get the world a psychiatrist, not cut back on our use of electricity! **Verdict: Though true, there are things that are more inconvenient, such as Friday night 10 p.m. sign-in. 10 p.m.? That’s just ridiculous.**