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The subject of urban myths and legends is one I have been interested in for a couple of years now. It occurred to me, one day at lunch with friends on the Isle of Dogs, that many long rambling conversations (and ours are certainly long and always rambling) will include a tall tale or two.

One person will then be reminded of a story he or she once heard which is then presented as near or actual fact. The story will be introduced like this: ‘That reminds me of a story I once heard . . .’ or ‘I remember my uncle/aunt/sister/hairdresser telling me what happened to a friend of theirs . . .’

So urban legends are easy to spot and always have a ring of truth about them. The events they describe could happen or might have happened to any of us. Each of us could have been as unfortunate or stupid as the character(s) in the story, and that is one of the reasons we all enjoy urban legends so much: that the misfortune involved didn’t happen to us but to somebody else. And that makes us laugh. The stories come in many different forms. Some involve ghostly goings on, some are about love found or lost.

Some centre on plain stupidity and some on unfortunate coincidences, although some do have happy endings. The connecting feature is that all are told and then retold and come back around in altered forms, and all of them are passed around by word of mouth or, especially these days, via the internet, where they spread like wildfire.

These ‘legends’ (so-called ‘urban,' although they don’t need to have an urban setting) are the modern-day version of medieval folklore and all of the anecdotes in this collection can be recited the next time you are at lunch, dinner or in the pub with friends. They can make even the most unimaginative person seem interesting, I promise. They seem to be working for me, at any rate.

Finally, I hope you enjoy these stories and look out for some of the other titles.

Including tales of;

1: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall
2: Charlie Chaplin
3: Eric Clapton, Bill Cosby & Steve Cram
4: Bill Gates & Frank Sinatra
5: Keith Moon
6: Winston Churchill
7: Alexander Fleming & Winston Churchill
8: Nat King Cole
9: Paul Newman
10: Adolph Hitler
11: Jack Nicholson
12: Albert Einstein
13: David Bowie & Mick Jagger
14: Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithful and that Mars Bar
15: Van Halen and The Brown M&Ms
16: James Dean & Elvis Presley
17: Princess Diana
18: Walt Disney’s Head Was Frozen
19: Rodney Marsh & Sir Alf Ramsey
20: Three Men and a Baby (Movie)
21: Stanford University (The Gingham Dress Legend)
22: Neil Armstrong & the Apollo Moon Landings

December 8
Albert Jack
Smashwords, Inc.

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