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  1. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 15, 2007 at 11:07 pm |

    I can’t believe Abby bought this crock. Or, if she didn’t buy it, why she ran it and didn’t make her skepticism a bit more obvious.

    Dear Abby (even the new incarnation) always falls for urban legends. Always.

    The only time she ever denounces one is if she’s been burned by it before, and even that isn’t 100% effective.

    But I do think there’s an additional subtext to the letter: “See, we’re putting too much pressure on girls to be smart and go to college when all they really want to do is be mommies! Parents, don’t send your daughters to college!”

  2. blucas!
    blucas! May 15, 2007 at 11:13 pm |

    Our homecoming queen my senior year was 7 months preggers during homecoming. It was kind of awesome, especially since it was a Catholic school and she technically should have been thrown out.

  3. Alex
    Alex May 15, 2007 at 11:27 pm |

    It’s funny, just the other day I was thinking: “Man, college is fucking hard. I should really get pregnant so I don’t have to go anymore. Oh wait, I’m a man. Darn it all to heck.”

    Then I broke into song:

    I wouldn’t get no education
    It’d be pure relaxation
    So much fun it would be ludicrous
    I’d just pop out a child
    Though my parents might riled
    If I only had a uterus

    Then all my like minded friends and I skipped of into the magical land of faeries where bearing and raising a child to be a valuable, contributing member of society is way easier than writing term papers.

    [/sarcasm]

  4. Galatea
    Galatea May 15, 2007 at 11:44 pm |

    Hey, look! It’s the “single teenage mothers get an apartment and cash to burn omg those h0rs!” myth all over again, with a helping of “girls sleep around in college because they Just Don’t Belong” to boot. Faaaabulous.

    Did you see the snake that tried to eat an alligator a couple of years back? Aaaah, nature is awesome.

  5. Anatolia
    Anatolia May 15, 2007 at 11:55 pm |

    “Carrie”? CARRIE.

    You were warned never to push Carrie to the limits. Now you must face the evil consequences.

  6. Mister Nice Guy
    Mister Nice Guy May 16, 2007 at 12:12 am |

    These salacious stories about the awful things that these depraved modern feminist girls are doing are, of course, the present-day equivalent of the Reformation-era tales of seducing priests and nuns who sneak out of the convent through underground tunnels.

    This is one genre of pornography that is just as degrading and unhealthy as they say.

  7. Veronica
    Veronica May 16, 2007 at 12:52 am |

    What a bunch of bullshit. Thank you for pointing out that most teenage girls who conceive sure as hell weren’t making it a high-heeled occasion. I’d also like to point out that, while there may be exceptions to this, most of our prom-night plans centered around NOT getting pregnant, whether or not we were going to college.

  8. skeptic
    skeptic May 16, 2007 at 12:58 am |

    Rainbow parties? Those fail to shock or offend me. However, this one time, my friend’s cousin was on a boat in Mexico, and he saw this little dog swimming alongside and he rescued it and took it to the vet, and it turns out IT WAS A RAT! A BIG FREAKIN RAT! Luckily, the beast later consumed both cola and pop rocks, and exploded. At a rainbow party.

  9. Linda
    Linda May 16, 2007 at 1:00 am |

    Oddly enough, I got pointed to this web site earlier this evening…I regret that this one depicts an African-American girl as that perpetuates stereotypes, but the whole idea of a prom dress designed to showcase the pregnancy is…well…just what Abby is warning us all about!

    http://www.uglydress.com/pregpromdres.html

  10. Anna S.
    Anna S. May 16, 2007 at 1:03 am |

    I wanted her to say “Abbey, I am heartsick” like the best Dear Abbey letters always do.

  11. snakeface
    snakeface May 16, 2007 at 1:58 am |

    You’d think that doing the tiniest bit of research and actually you know, asking some teenagers would do the trick. But then, we are mysterious and enigmatic beings put upon this earth to make sure pearls are clutched on a regular basis.

  12. iena
    iena May 16, 2007 at 3:20 am |

    I’m just in awe of skeptic’s comment. Nothing more, nothing less. I expect this sad claptrap from Dear ol’ Abby. Even then, I guess I’m really just glad about being tuned into this Mexican boat rat business.

  13. tinfoil hattie
    tinfoil hattie May 16, 2007 at 4:58 am |

    Dang. Prom babies aren’t on snopes.com yet, but give it time.

    I forgot about the “dog that was a rat” story! LOVE IT! Thank you!

    My 10-year-old told my 6-year-old a similar story, about “some people” who brought a cute little puppy home and then discovered it had GLOWING RED EYES! Because it was really a RAT! With RABIES!

    About a week later, when asked in school to draw “things that produce light,” next to “television” and “Game Boy,” my six-year-old drew a picture of some unrecognizable animal with “glow lines” coming from its eyes, and labeled it “Rabese.”

  14. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 16, 2007 at 5:27 am |

    tinfoil — hahahahahhaha!!! That’s awesome!

    We were going to have an urban-legends themed wedding, but apart from the limo driving up with a hook dangling from the door handle (a JATO unit strapped to the hood of it would be a little tough to do), and a bunch of bags of rice with labels on them saying “Don’t throw this! The birds will eat them and explode!” (and of course, a can of Coke and a bag of pop-rocks at every seat), we couldn’t find any wedding-themed urban legends that werern’t about the bride or groom finding out about someone cheating at the bachelor/ette party and making a big scene at the altar, which seemed inappropriate and possibly dangerous to our attendees with heart conditions.

    When I read the Rainbow Babies article a week ago I LOLed and hoped someone here or at Pandagon would pick it up. :D

  15. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 16, 2007 at 5:40 am |

    Oh see, now I want to come up with a teenage girls having sex hysteria:

    Dear Abby: Please warn your parents about a disturbing new trend. Teenage girls are using elevators and stairs to find boys to ‘hook up’ with. The practice, called ‘chiming’ or ‘casing’ involves the teenage girl getting on an elevator with a teenage boy, and signaling for a sexual rendezvous using the elevator’s floor buttons. Pressing the first floor generally just means closed-mouth kissing and hand-holding, but pressing the top floor means she wants him to penetrate her anally! I am told that there are other signals as well, like pressing the buttons for the sixth and ninth floors of the building — you can imagine where things go from there. If the boy accepts, he will push the same floor, and they will leave the elevator together… to go have sex!

    Alternately, ‘casing’ involves the teenage girl sitting down on a step on a set of stairs, and much like the buttons of the elevator, her proximity to the top of the stairs indicates how far she wants to go with a boy!

    Abby, please warn your readers about this practice. Do not let your daughter near elevators or stairs, because if a boy follows her off, she could be raped and he wouldn’t think there was anything wrong because she pressed one of the higher-floor buttons and gave him a ‘go’ sign.

    Sign me: NO LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR FOR LITTLE TIFFANY! IN PA

    What do you think? Would she fall for it?

  16. preying mantis
    preying mantis May 16, 2007 at 6:53 am |

    Has the new Abby ever been around a pack of teenage girls? My sister and her friends were fairly vulgar, but they had qualms about explaining the missing parts of an edited-for-radio rap song my mother had grown fond of. Because, you know, she’s a mom, and you don’t want to talk about sex stuff to parents, particularly when your friends are around, because you’re a teenager and it’s still a little weird.

    Generally when a group of teenagers are blithely explaining some new teen sex phenomenon to an adult with nary an uncomfortable pause or awkward silence, they’re yanking the adult’s chain so hard that it’s a wonder it doesn’t break. You’d think this would manage to trip some kind of alarm with adults, many of whom probably did the exact same thing as teens.

    Also, the Rabese thing is 100% Grade A awesome.

  17. joasakura
    joasakura May 16, 2007 at 7:20 am |

    hm. Somebody should warn Abby about those ether parties those damn kids are having, too.

    ..oh, wait. that was in the late 1800s.

  18. Angelia Sparrow
    Angelia Sparrow May 16, 2007 at 7:24 am |

    I confess, I would have bought the prom baby story. But only because of the suburbanite aspect. It’s of a piece with the Barbie that whines “math is hard,” and the eighth grade girls who hear the words “science fiction unit” in English and shut down completely. Growing up, I knew girls who would have done exactly that: used a baby as an excuse to delay college/get married and avoid a life of their own.

    On the other hand, where I live now, it’s not uncommon for the valedictorian to have a child or two by graduation. And she STILL goes on to college because she knows she has to. She has to work and feed the kids and help out her mom, grandma and aunties who helped her out with the babies while she was in school.

    (I’m a bad bad mother, My first reaction to “rainbow parties” was “whoa, that sounds like something I would have come up with.” Worrying about my daughter getting into one was a distant fourth thought)

  19. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 16, 2007 at 8:22 am |

    Heh — and by Rainbow Babies I of course mean Prom Babies. I need to not comment before I have my first cup of tea! :D

  20. Moira
    Moira May 16, 2007 at 8:26 am |

    Yeah, I saw this one in the paper, then had to ask the wife to find my eyes ’cause they’d rolled clear out of my head. Prom baby my ass.

    I’d also like to see the ‘pharm party’ legend laid to rest, and by laid to rest I mean staked through the heart, decapitated, burned, and finally buried at a crossroads. Say, the US 75-I 635 interchange in Dallas. It’s fucking annoying to see urban legends show up on shows that are supposed to be all scientific and rational. I’m running out of disbelief for CSI.

  21. human
    human May 16, 2007 at 8:42 am |

    We should have a contest.

    $5 to enter or something like that, and the money goes into a pool. Every contestant writes one letter to Dear Abby describing some new bizarre teen sex “trend.” Whoever gets their letter printed by a cutoff date wins (or splits) the pool.

  22. Astraea
    Astraea May 16, 2007 at 9:07 am |

    My first thought back when i heard about rainbow parties was that it sounded a lot like some really bad fan fiction I’ve read. Just substitute teenage girls with pretty male anime characters and you’ll get tens of reviews on fanfiction.net! From teenage girls.

  23. Meghan
    Meghan May 16, 2007 at 10:29 am |

    I don’t know what rainbow parties are and am afraid to google at work. How did I get so behind times?

    I am now terrified to get on an elevator. Who knows if I’m sending out mixed signals to the men on the elevator? What if I’m just going to visit a friend and I get raped because my friend lives on the top floor? That would be my fault for going out in public, right?

  24. BabyPop
    BabyPop May 16, 2007 at 10:38 am |

    GREAT POST!

  25. preying mantis
    preying mantis May 16, 2007 at 11:24 am |

    “I’d also like to see the ‘pharm party’ legend laid to rest, and by laid to rest I mean staked through the heart, decapitated, burned, and finally buried at a crossroads. Say, the US 75-I 635 interchange in Dallas. It’s fucking annoying to see urban legends show up on shows that are supposed to be all scientific and rational. I’m running out of disbelief for CSI.”

    I can see kids clubbing together to swap prescriptions around if they’ve all got scrips for drugs that have the potential to get a person high. They’d be theoretically impossible to bust, if they did it right.

    Kids clubbing together to stuff random handfuls of pills down their throats? Pills that, in some versions of the story, aren’t even likely to get them high, just make them sick or kill them? I’d take that about as seriously as a story about “competitive traffic-dodging.” See also, “the choking game,” “bridge-jumping,” and “roof-jumping” as teen phenomenons.

  26. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe May 16, 2007 at 12:11 pm |

    I remember reading this (Dear Abby is one of my guilty pleasures) and thinking, OK, this makes no sense on any level. Glad to know I’m not alone. Looks like the daughter is as gullible as the mother.

  27. Roy
    Roy May 16, 2007 at 12:43 pm |

    See also, “the choking game,” “bridge-jumping,” and “roof-jumping” as teen phenomenons.

    I have to admit that I’ve been the witness of people attempting to do the choking game thing. I never saw anyone successful, but when I was in seventh grade, I knew some kids that gave it a hell of a go. Bridge-jumping and roof-jumping, though? I’m unfamiliar. I’ve jumped off of a bridge into a river before, but it wasn’t particularly high, nor was the river particularly fast moving, so it was sort of like leaping off of a diving board (only, not as springy).

    These are great, though. Thank gods for that you had Coke and Pop-Rocks nearby, skeptic.
    Hee.

  28. Oneiros Dreaming
    Oneiros Dreaming May 16, 2007 at 12:50 pm |

    So wait. It would be bad if a woman got pregnant at a prom, because it would make it so she couldn’t go to college and stuff.

    But I though it was bad if a woman put off getting pregnent to go to college and start a career, cuz that means less baaaabieeees!

    Wow, it’s almost like women just can’t win, no matter what they do!

  29. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 16, 2007 at 1:02 pm |

    It’s fucking annoying to see urban legends show up on shows that are supposed to be all scientific and rational. I’m running out of disbelief for CSI.

    CSI started off being all about debunking urban legends (see the “spontaneous human combustion” and “scuba diver in a tree” episodes) but now they’ve gotten fucking lazy and just go with what’s most familiar to their audience.

    Now I’m all about Mythbusters. I love me some Jamie and Adam.

  30. hp
    hp May 16, 2007 at 1:38 pm |

    I have to admit that I’ve been the witness of people attempting to do the choking game thing. I never saw anyone successful, but when I was in seventh grade, I knew some kids that gave it a hell of a go.

    I had no idea what was going on then, but I did see someone black out due to this back in the late 1980s (in a public bathroom at a theater). It was years later when I figured out what the hell the group of idiotic girls were trying to do. Rather than choking the person, the ones who were doing it used the sides of their hands to press down on the major arteries (veins?) in the neck.

    And they were considered the “smart ones” in school . . .

  31. Roy
    Roy May 16, 2007 at 1:48 pm |

    Yeah, hp, that’s how the guys I saw trying it were doing too- they were crossing their arms and clenching their hands tightly against the sides of their necks. In seventh grade, I don’t think that we had a real good idea of the how’s and why’s of this sort of thing. I remember thinking “Wait… you’re going to try to pass out on purpose? That sounds dangerous.” I’m a wimp about things like that, though.

  32. Sniper
    Sniper May 16, 2007 at 1:51 pm |

    OMG, what about the one about the guy who wanted a pet rat and when he brought it home from the store it was all chubby and cute and it turned out to be a PROM BABY!!!!!

    WITH RABESE!!!!!!

  33. melissa b.
    melissa b. May 16, 2007 at 2:02 pm |

    I was a prom queen candidate at 7 months pregnant so I can say that, at least in ’94, they did NOT make prom dressers for pregnant prom attendants.

    I can say nothing about dresses for pregnant-to-be prom attendants.

    I had jumped the gun, and got all knocked up ahead of time. AND THEN I went to college and grad school and got a job and everything, the assclowns.

    Oneiros Dreaming, you are cracking me up!

  34. Alex
    Alex May 16, 2007 at 2:12 pm |

    I’m unfamiliar with this ‘choking game’, but I have personally witnessed an adolescent attempt to get high by snorting a rail of, wait for it, Kool-ade.

    NOTE TO IMPRESSIONABLE YOUNGSTERS: It didn’t work.

  35. Sally
    Sally May 16, 2007 at 2:24 pm |

    the present-day equivalent of the Reformation-era tales of seducing priests and nuns who sneak out of the convent through underground tunnels.

    Have I ever mentioned my slight obsession with 19th century semi-pornagraphic “convent novels”? They’re a hoot, and they’re generally couched in pretty funny concern-troll language. It just pains the author to have to talk about these terrible, terrible things, but you really must know about what goes on in convents, so you can protect your sisters and daughters! So lets talk about them in salacious detail!

    I don’t know what the “choking game” is, but my brother had a friend who died from auto-erotic asphyxiation. That one, I’m afraid, is not an urban legend.

  36. Perkyshai
    Perkyshai May 16, 2007 at 2:36 pm |

    Bat boy was a prom baby.

    He was the first member of his family to go to college, after selling his pic to a notable tabloid for a gazillion dollars.

    Can’t beleive that Abby’s submitter missed that. Very sad.

    /obnoxious snickering

  37. Moira
    Moira May 16, 2007 at 2:41 pm |

    I hope they didn’t kill the snake. That’s a damned impressive gurgitory feat there.

    Alex, I watched a friend snort a line of Tang — which only made him sneeze orange for a while and caused much irritation in his sinuses. Another kid who really wanted to hang out with us did a whole bag of Orange Spice tea in a single line. These are not Friend Of A Friend incidents either; I’m the primary witness to both things.

    Kids do some really dumb shit. Just not nearly as dumb as this prom baby shit.

  38. Alex
    Alex May 16, 2007 at 2:57 pm |

    Tang and Orange Spice tea, eh? Not bad. I’ve also seen powdered Rockets candy inhaled through a straw, not to mention tea rolled into a joint and smoked, apparently by somebody who was unaware that when people talk about smoking tea, they usually mean marijuana. I also saw one guy smoke an entire bag of grass clippings, although, in his defense, he was incredibly drunk and thought it was pot.

    Agreed, though. All of these things are considerably less stupid than pregnancy as college avoidance.

    A thought occurs: isn’t it kind of hard to plan to get pregnant on a specific day? You can certainly have unprotected sex on a particular day, but, despite what the abstinence-only nuts may tell you, whether unprotected sex results in pregnancy is more or less a matter of chance, no?

  39. Jessica
    Jessica May 16, 2007 at 3:00 pm |

    Yeah, I’ve seen people snort the Kool Aid as well. It was all the rage when I was in middle school to carry around small tupperware containers of “pixie dust” (akra Kool Aid and sugar). Most people just ate it, but apparently some people really like colored snot.

  40. prairielily
    prairielily May 16, 2007 at 3:01 pm |

    I remember reading this (Dear Abby is one of my guilty pleasures) and thinking, OK, this makes no sense on any level. Glad to know I’m not alone. Looks like the daughter is as gullible as the mother.

    Actually, it was a father. Specifically, worried dad in Alpharetta, Georgia. Now, I met some pretty weird kids when I was in Atlanta, but this sounds implausible to me, too. What kind of group of girls openly discusses sex in front of someone’s dad?

  41. Mooser
    Mooser May 16, 2007 at 3:07 pm |

    Any young ladies who really want to make a big night out of their prom, call me!
    I’m 54, but I can still dance up a storm, and neck a little in the ol’ flivver, and we’ll name the baby “Chevrolet”

  42. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom May 16, 2007 at 3:10 pm |

    We were going to have an urban-legends themed wedding, but apart from the limo driving up with a hook dangling from the door handle (a JATO unit strapped to the hood of it would be a little tough to do), and a bunch of bags of rice with labels on them saying “Don’t throw this! The birds will eat them and explode!” (and of course, a can of Coke and a bag of pop-rocks at every seat), we couldn’t find any wedding-themed urban legends that werern’t about the bride or groom finding out about someone cheating at the bachelor/ette party and making a big scene at the altar, which seemed inappropriate and possibly dangerous to our attendees with heart conditions

    There’s the one about the bride playing hide-and-seek and hiding in a trunk and not being found for twenty years.

  43. Moira
    Moira May 16, 2007 at 3:14 pm |

    Mooser? Um, ew?

  44. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 16, 2007 at 3:26 pm |

    locking myself in a trunk… hm… I think I’ll take a pass on that. :)

    What’s the difference between kids who snort kool-aide and pixie sticks and Tang and orange pekoe tea and kids who decide to get pregnant on prom night?

    usually at least 5 or 6 years

    Sometime early in middle school, trying to fuck yourself up with something that “looks like” drugs is realized to be a stupid, wasted effort, that the real shit can be obtained easier (or at any rate, you can get a spraycan and actually get high). I knew people in highschool who smoked oregano thinking it was pot, but not because they decided that oregano would have the same affect — because someone gave them a bag of oregano and told them it was pot. I did not know people who pretended to smoke candy cigarettes, or do a line of powdered sugar.

    When you’re 17-18, smart enough to go to college, and have at least a passing understanding that Stupid Shit Makes You Stupid, you’re smart enough to know that you can’t get high on tang, and that a baby won’t solve your college anxieties (because fessing up to your parents that you’ve gotten knocked up is a walk in the park.)

    Something tells me, if this isn’t just a hoax pulled right out of the ass (a la my elevator hoax), and this guy genuinely heard his daughter talking about “prom babies,” 1) she might have been having anxiety because she’d started having sex, knew she wasn’t being careful about it (because she wasn’t taught how to be careful) and was testing the waters with him in case the prayer method didn’t work, or 2) her friends really fucked up and got pregnant by accident, couldn’t go to college because their ass-backwards parents decided to punish their sinfulness, and the daughter looked up to them and so rationalized it by saying that “the girls wanted to be pregnant and planned it because they didn’t want to go to college.”

    In the meantime, I’ll just keep laughing at all the comments this thread is producing. I’ll have you know that you did not succeed in getting me to snort rum cake out my nose, but you put in a mighty effort.

  45. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe May 16, 2007 at 3:48 pm |

    prairielily, the gullible mother and daughter I was referring to are the original Dear Abby and the current one, not the individuals in the letter.

  46. Pocket
    Pocket May 16, 2007 at 3:53 pm |

    The elevator hoax is amazing. It’s just the right level of weird. I’m half-tempted to start spreading it a

  47. Pocket
    Pocket May 16, 2007 at 3:54 pm |

    Sorry, computer went odd there.

    But yes. Spread it around with warnings to keep your daughters out of tall buildings. Muahaha!

  48. DAS
    DAS May 16, 2007 at 4:09 pm |

    I know! Prom babies! Ohmigod! It’s perfect! The girls are stupid, whorish, and are victimizing teenage boys who will be trapped into marriage/fatherhood/child support!

    I can’t believe I’m so slow … it takes, um, two to conceive a baby. If they boys supposedly involved in this don’t want babies, how come they aren’t taking precautions? Are these teenage girls that fiendishly clever (in which case why are they supposedly afraid of college? it’ll be easy for them to cheat …)? Or maybe do boys want prom-babies too?

    If I were to assume this myth were true it would certainly make an ass out of me once the obvious questions were asked. You’d think to listen to some of these bizarre stories, teenage girls were just dying to have tons of sex and get knocked up. Isn’t there some sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy going on when people repeat this tripe as if it were true?

  49. Angelia Sparrow
    Angelia Sparrow May 16, 2007 at 6:08 pm |

    Sally, while I doubt the choking game, I do know several practitioners of breath-control play in BDSM situations.

    My best friend’s dad died of autoerotic asphyxiation in her senior year of high school. Her brother found him. There were not enough hours in the day for all the therapy those kids needed.

  50. flea
    flea May 16, 2007 at 6:24 pm |

    The Mighty Ponygirl Teenage Elevator Sex Scandal must be circulated immediately. Everyone, send out ten emails to random people right now. See how fast it can make it on Nightline.

  51. Anatolia
    Anatolia May 16, 2007 at 6:25 pm |

    Wow, DAS, you just reminded me to this thing I heard.

    See, we were in this raid on Karazhan Friday night, and the feral druid and the healadin had to take a bio, so this conversation struck up while we were waiting for them to get back so we could advance to the Opera House.

    Well, that’s when I heard three young men say over Vent chat that they purposely don’t use protection because they want to impregnate their girlfriend and have an excuse to live at home with mom and dad well into their 30s. It’s the perfect ruse, costs them nothing, and they can always blame it on that girlfriend in high school who wanted Teh Prom Babies if anyone starts to suggest they should move out on their own and get a job or anything crazy like that. I mean, how would they be able to babysit and have a job, right?!

    But the most important part is that two of them mentioned this is also a *great* way to get sympathy and look teh secks when they take a newborn to the mall to wait in line for the next xpac. It completely dispels the myth that gamers don’t get laid. Plus, newborn = chick magnet, and they might even get *really* lucky and hook up with a dwarf holy priest for the fear ward, which the guild is having a hell of a time recruiting anyway so they’d probably get promoted to Class Leader out of the deal. AND, they can name the baby Legolas if its a boy!

    Clearly, I think we can safely blame World of Warcraft and the female night elf dance for all this tomfoolery.

  52. megabob
    megabob May 16, 2007 at 6:30 pm |

    Here’s a new one (inspired by DAS’s post):
    ANOTHER new phenomenon!
    Girls are getting together, at prom night, going to a sperm bank, getting loads of anonymous sperm and injecting it into each others vaginas using their mouths!
    That way they can get to be teenage single mothers without having to worry about the possibility that any father will somehow support them and they will still have to go to college! No more pressure!

    I tried to think up a name for this phenomenon, but came up blank…

  53. preying mantis
    preying mantis May 16, 2007 at 6:55 pm |

    “I have to admit that I’ve been the witness of people attempting to do the choking game thing. I never saw anyone successful, but when I was in seventh grade, I knew some kids that gave it a hell of a go. Bridge-jumping and roof-jumping, though? I’m unfamiliar. I’ve jumped off of a bridge into a river before, but it wasn’t particularly high, nor was the river particularly fast moving, so it was sort of like leaping off of a diving board (only, not as springy).”

    “The choking game” articles read like a teen trying to articulate “auto-erotic asphyxiation” without knowing the term or wanting to fully communicate the sexual aspect of it. There’s one interview with a kid who almost killed himself doing it that sounds like he got the idea from a de-sexed account of the activity kicking around the media. The spin? You have to worry about your child choking themselves stupid every time they go to a slumber party. The actuality? Some teens experiment with things they aren’t informed about in unsafe ways. Shock.

    “Bridge-jumping” is about what you describe, only it’s legions of teens forming little aquatic Russian-roulette gangs and BASE-jumping without chutes and is your child playing chicken with the grim reaper? once it hits print. Teens doing the same thing that people have been doing since there were tall things next to bodies of water, only now it’s scary and awful and they’re organized and they have a deathwish.

    “Roof-jumping” is about the same as bridge-jumping, only it’s random kids jumping from the roof of one tall building to another in order to show off, or see if they can, or because they think it’s way awesome, or because it’s really not that far and they think they’re invincible. That one gets spun into about the same thing that bridge-jumping gets spun into, only sometimes it’s an initiation rite into a skateboarding gang or something equally silly, in addition to feeding the “teens are lemmings” meme.

    This, of course, doesn’t really address the instances where teens do things in response to seeing inane articles on the subject and coming to the conclusion that the activity sounds like loads of fun.

  54. Allie
    Allie May 16, 2007 at 7:04 pm |

    Anatolia, you have just slain me. I am dead all over my floor. I blame you.

    (Gee, I wonder if drinking in-game when I got to 60 on my pally might have had a bad influence on kids? Ohshits! I am corrupting them! Next thing you know my character will be pregnant with a half-horde child to avoid the pressures of endgame raids!)

  55. Anatolia
    Anatolia May 16, 2007 at 8:10 pm |

    Tsk, tsk, Allie.

    Should have put up your Divine Shield before taking your stash of Halaani whiskey to Tempest Keep for a midnight stroll around Botanica. Those Blood Elf Warlocks are possessed; I won’t ask if the blueberry was involved, I suspect we’ll know soon enough.

    Ok, Imma stop this now.

  56. Anatolia
    Anatolia May 16, 2007 at 8:10 pm |

    Tsk, tsk, Allie.

    Should have put up your Divine Shield before taking your stash of Halaani whiskey to Tempest Keep for a midnight stroll around Botanica. Those Blood Elf Warlocks are possessed; I won’t ask if the blueberry was involved, I suspect we’ll know soon enough.

    Ok, Imma stop this now.

  57. prairielily
    prairielily May 16, 2007 at 8:25 pm |

    prairielily, the gullible mother and daughter I was referring to are the original Dear Abby and the current one, not the individuals in the letter.

    My mistake. I feel silly now. And also less creative than the other posters.

  58. Danyell
    Danyell May 16, 2007 at 8:57 pm |

    Ok…. I can’t even say anything because all other comments here have been AMAZING.

    But I think Mighty Ponytail takes the cake…

    and slathers it all over her body for boys to lick off at one of those God-awful “Tasty Pastry” parties that all the kids go to these days!

  59. Sniper
    Sniper May 16, 2007 at 9:58 pm |

    and slathers it all over her body for boys to lick off at one of those God-awful “Tasty Pastry” parties that all the kids go to these days!

    Kids today, they don’t care. They’ll walk into a 7-11, a SuperValue or an expensive patisserie. They don’t give a shit if it’s a hand-crafted eclaire or a twinkie, as long as they can rub it on their bodies.

  60. kidlacan
    kidlacan May 16, 2007 at 10:07 pm |

    okay. i admit it. i played the choking game in middle school. except it is not CALLED ‘the choking game’ — we called it the ‘passing out game’, which isn’t exactly snappier, but is closer to the purpose of said game. and you don’t play it by fucking choking yourself. (rather, you hyperventillate, then lean against a wall and hold your breath while your partner presses hard against your sternum. which you didn’t hear from me.)

    and you play it, basically, because you’re eleven years old and totally unsupervised and you don’t know how to huff butane yet and though you’ve heard that kids in the eighth grade, like, SMOKE POT, you aren’t cool enough to know any eighth graders, and snorting Pixy Stix didn’t give you, like, the awesomest sugar rush EVAR, like you hoped it would, and you’re too dumb and/or paranoid to think of raiding your parents’ liquor and/or medicine cabinets.

    so, no, it isn’t an urban legend. it is a proud schoolyard and slumber party tradition, which suddenly got some media play. and yes, i know it’s stupid now, but when you’re twelve, it is kinda thrilling. and, curiously, not entirely unlike taking nitrous hits. (which again you didn’t hear from me.)

  61. zuzu
    zuzu May 16, 2007 at 10:33 pm |

    “Roof-jumping” is about the same as bridge-jumping, only it’s random kids jumping from the roof of one tall building to another in order to show off, or see if they can, or because they think it’s way awesome, or because it’s really not that far and they think they’re invincible. That one gets spun into about the same thing that bridge-jumping gets spun into, only sometimes it’s an initiation rite into a skateboarding gang or something equally silly, in addition to feeding the “teens are lemmings” meme.

    In France, they call that parkour.

  62. Roy
    Roy May 17, 2007 at 8:46 am |

    Thanks mantis.

    I’ve gotta say, I’ve got this crazy urge to go jump off the roof now, though.

    When you describe it like that… it.. it sounds like so much fun!
    =P

  63. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe May 17, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    My mistake. I feel silly now. And also less creative than the other posters.

    No, prairielily, it’s my mistake for not having expressed myself clearly in the first place.

  64. Tyro
    Tyro May 18, 2007 at 2:26 am |

    I witnessed a kid snort crushed Altoids once. Just for the hell of it. If I remember correctly, he could hardly breathe for the rest of the day and most of our class thought it was absolutely hilarious.

    When I was in high school I heard a lot about the whole jellyband thing, but as far as I could tell it was just a weird fashion statement.

    It’s funny what soccer moms will freak out over when they barely ever see their kids anyway. Heh.

  65. The Junky's Wife
    The Junky's Wife May 18, 2007 at 10:27 am |

    Wow. That’s really, spectacularly stupid. I remember when I was in high school and experimenting with sex and drugs and all the other things that young girls like to experiment with, I learned so much from the hysterical news reports. For instance, I learned that smoking salvia, which could be found in your GRANDMOTHER”S BACKYARD!, would give you an incredible high. I learned this from a hysterical 6:00 news report. I went straight to my grandmother’s back yard and got me some salvia to smoke. Crazy stuff…

  66. tzs
    tzs May 18, 2007 at 12:58 pm |

    What about the “smoking dried banana peels gets you high”?

    Actually, kids are dumb enough that I can see them trying to smoke anything, up to and including dried red chili peppers.

    Adolescence is the period of one’s life discovering the difference between “what they say will kill you” and what will really kill you.

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  68. Kristen
    Kristen May 18, 2007 at 4:25 pm |

    Adolescence is the period of one’s life discovering the difference between “what they say will kill you” and what will really kill you.

    Brilliant.

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  70. preying mantis
    preying mantis May 19, 2007 at 9:12 am |

    “Actually, kids are dumb enough that I can see them trying to smoke anything, up to and including dried red chili peppers.”

    I just wish the annual “OMG TEENS R GETTIN HI ON ANGEL’S/DEVIL’S TRUMPET TEA!11!!” reports are here included the “make the tea too strong and you’ll need a liver transplant” in the teaser rather than further along in the article or segment.

    The only times I’ve seen it mentioned prominently in the great media pearl-clutch that is kids getting high on something that’s everywhere and legal is when somebody actually did make the tea too strong and is in the hospital awaiting a liver transplant.

  71. Mickle
    Mickle May 19, 2007 at 4:28 pm |

    My little brother totally did the choking game thing at Space Camp – I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!!!!!!!!

    Seriously though, I can see preteens doing it, and I think it’s just as likely that my brother was confiding in me as it is that he was lying his eleven-year-old ass off to me, but I do generally think teens have found much better ways to play with death and/or getting high than playing the choking game.

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