I've been meaning to write this post for a long time. What I mean is, I had the idea to write it a long time ago, and I really meant to... but it's not something I like to think about.
Let's start with the smaller issue then, shall we? It's about chain letters. Chain letters and e-mail petitions (and bears! Oh, my!). I don't get a lot of the "Send this to EIGHTY people or you'll DIE! OMG!!!!!!" type of chain letter. Most of the time, these are forwarded by well-meaning people who are concerned about the contents of the letter- carjackers using flyers to get you in the parking lot, some movie about Jesus being gay, Bill Gates will pay you fifty gajillion dollars if you forward this... the problem is, the vast majority of them are either untrue or entirely outdated, and people don't tend to check on this minor detail before they hit "send".
Snopes.com has a handy search tool- enter a few words from the topic of the forwarded message, and odds are, there'll be an article about poor old Himalayan goat boy (or something telling you that the Amber Alert you just received is 7 years old and the missing child is back home and enjoying high school, thanks very much). I don't get mad at people for sending me things they think are important, but it's a bit of a pain in me arse to get them, you know?
OK, the bigger issue... do I still have room here? Do I need to put this off until tomorrow? Yeah, let's make this a three-parter. I have enough issue for that. Yippee!
In the meantime, bookmark Snopes.com and do a quick search next time you receive a "factual" forwarded message. Heck, just head on over and browse through their huge collection of urban legends, just for fun- very entertaining.
Tomorrow we'll move on to the forward that was totally wrong in its intent (if not in all the facts) that has haunted me since the day I received it.
I gotta go hug my kids now.