January 7, 2008

I knew that looked familiar

I loved last night's episode of the Wire, but the photocopier lie detector is a 35-year-old urban legend that's already been used by Homicide and NYPD Blue.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Hey there Daniel,

I didn't see that Snopes link, but Simon certainly writes about it as if it's true in Homicide, his nonfiction book on which the TV show was based: http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/04/the-wire-ripped-from-real-life.aspx


Here's that link in case you couldn't get it all. Brunvand has written that some urban legends may also be true, or may come true after other people hear about them and try them, so maybe this is one of them.

However I wouldn't be surprised if you pressed Simon to find that he'd only heard about it happening, and never actually saw it himself.

Law & Order has more than once used ULs, no doubt believing that they were "ripped from the headlines" (which they may have been, since newspapers frequently print ULs as real).

Made me recall this from my youth:

Years ago I worked as security guard on a huge construction site. I did rounds in a beat-up old pick-up. One night when I came across a couple of kids wandering around, drinking beer, I asked them to leave. They refused and became belligerent ("Fuck you, man!" I recall one of them saying). I got back into the truck, pulled out the cigarette lighter and started speaking into it like it was a CD radio. They ran like scared rabbits. (This, by the way is what my supervisor had instructed me to do in this situation.)

Just thought I'd share.

I used to work in Radnor Township (according to Snopes the source of the story). One of my former co-workers is now doing life for rape/double-murder. Also David Brooks went to Radnor High School. Makes Baltimore look like Bryn f'ing Mawr.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2