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Fear of Shopping

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Once it’s on the ‘net it lives forever so, even if the election is passed, don’t be surprised if you’re still getting emails about John Edwards being responsible for the shortage of flu vaccine, John Kerry being honored by the Viet Cong for his ‘support’ in Vietnam, or George Bush being shown to be the stupidest President ever to serve.

Still, old news, however incorrect, is boring so you can be sure to receive a number of emails from well-meaning friends, equally incorrect, warning you about… well, just about anything.

For example, if you were planning to start your Christmas shopping this year at a mall in Long Island, don’t. Your email should soon feature a warning that terrorists will be launching a terrorist attack with chemical weapons on four stores in Long Island. Well, maybe not. Barbara “reality bites” Mikkelson, of Snopes, doesn’t dismiss the warning out of hand—these days, who would? But as she points out, shopping malls are heavily populated most days of the year, and therefore a target on any given day.

It’s a scary world we live in, but not really much scarier than it’s always been. In fact, if you want to be afraid, then perhaps it’s not the mall you should avoid—but the car drive to get there. According to the National Safety Council, we all have a 1 in 78 chance of dying from a “transportation accident.” So go ahead and shop—but buckle up.


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Landon Otis

Tagged as:

urban legends, shopping, seat belts

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