It is rapidly becoming a myth that Santa works hard. You try finding images of this illusive man actually working in his workshop? Here he is making porridge to sustain him before a hard day in the workshop.

About Urban Legends

The telling of an Urban Legend seems to be a way for our society to satisfy it's need for rituals.When you tell one of these tales you're like a tribal elder explaining the workings of an unexplainable universe to your tribe. You're imparting wisdom, protecting them from harm and if you do it well enough they will pass your wisdom on by lunch time.

The telling of an Urban Legend is a ritual even if it's done while standing around a water cooler at work or during lunch time at school or in a car park with your friends.

For example during this ritual you could be telling them about this story you heard from a friend last night that involved a cactus they snuck back over the boarder from Mexico that exploded in their house and all of these black widow spiders came crawling out and...well, you add the rest if you want. That's how urban legends work after all.

Snopes is devoted to Urban Legends...they also debunk and explain them. They even explore the ones based in fact. It'd also be a great source of story starters.

The Inspiration

Anita Marie explains that she got the idea for this story from her cat. His name is Wolfgang.

Anyway, Wolfie does some strange things Once he got mad at me for DARING to shoo him off off when I was changing the sheets and he went outside to the walk in front of my window when it was just pouring rain and he sat there with his back to me, just twitching and slamming his tail on the ground.

Well, I know a tantrum when I see one, so I left him out there. He was literally sitting in a puddle by the time I checked on him the second time. I had to go outside and pick him up. It was like picking up a stone statue of a cat because he wouldn't move a muscle. Oh, and he managed to do that dead weight drop so he went from 14 to I swear 30 pounds in the space of 15 minutes.

The day that happened I started calling him Insanity Jones whenever he did weird things.

Plus, I talk to him and he knows all of my secrets. When I wrote this and called it Insanity Jones I thought about changing the title because it sounded like Indiana Jones, but I couldn't do it. It's Wolfie's story and that's that.

More Urban Legends

Marie Laveau - Voodoo Queen by Anita Marie Moscoso.

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Morbid Urban Legends

Anita Maria Moscoso wrote telling me that she loves urban legends... Bloody Mary, the hitchhiker (it's usually a teenage girl in a prom dress), that gets picked up in front of a cemetary and when the driver turns around after a few minutes the girl is gone. Who knows where these stories come from but they are passed on.

This urban legend by Anita Maria Moscoso reminds me of Boo Radley in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Insanity Jones

My husband and I were at a company picnic last summer, we were silly and ate too much and I won a prize for running the farthest with an egg on my spoon.

It was a rainbow colored plastic lei decorated with little plastic palm trees and hula dancers, and I was proudly showing it off to my friends when I heard some children singing and laughing from the grassy area just over the hill from where our barbecue was.

They were running around a big rock, chanting and laughing. A small group of kids, all together there was about a half dozen of them. None of them over the age of 10.

They were chanting a rhyme about Insanity Jones.

And with each wave of laughter, with each repeat of the chant I went back, gladly, in my heart to when I was eight years old.

When I was young, we lived in a very nice, crisp new suburban community called " Hideaway Hills"

All the houses looked alike, the cars in the driveways looked alike and the people who lived there tried very hard to look alike too. Conformity was the norm and ripples in the pond of life were prohibited. Transgressions were punishable by complete ostrization.

Next to our house was the only blemish on this community. It was a huge, dusty weed choked lot. Towards the back of the lot was a huge rock big enough to allow for at least 6 eight to ten year olds to climb all over the top of and big enough to hide a few teenagers who wanted to 'smoke'.

Boy, did we love that rock. We even named it, we named it Insanity Jones.

I think it was me that started calling it Insanity Jones, I'm not sure why except for the fact I liked the sound of the name. But really, there was a reason for it. At least one that I understood.

In those days, everyone was Jones to me. My family had moved from a more colorful community the Hideaway Hills and my father constantly referred to my Mother's frantic efforts to keep up with the Joneses. It was a family joke. I was to young to really get it. I just remember thinking how funny if everyone had the last name of Jones.

We played at Insanity everyday that Summer. We met there after breakfast, and again just after lunch.

I don't remember when I first got the feeling someone was watching us. Listening to us, but the feeling was there and I can't say it was an unpleasant feeling.

At first the idea was very faint, this feeling like someone was watching us but of course no one was there when I turned around. Then the feeling started like someone was calling to me. It was so faint I thought I was imagining it. But you know, I was so sure I heard it.

A gravely sing-song sort of voice.

Insanity Jones became our clubhouse. We went there to tell whopper sized tales, this was the place where the first drug OD occurred, the first place in our neighborhood stolen property changed hands for money. This was the first place Curtis Carson, that guy who killed his family by putting rat poison in their milk, came to play when he first moved into our neighborhood.

He use to play with Insanity Jones too.

Did I say with? I mean at, he played at Insanity Jones too.

That's how I began to think of Insanity Jones. People who went there to play with him ended up doing some crazy things.

We would sit against the rock named Insanity Jones and plan. We planned shop lifting expeditions, who would be singled out for ' the treatment' at recess the next day. We told secrets about our parents and the neighbors. We even planned a death there.

We wanted the mailman dead because he kicked Molly's dog so hard it died. The mailman did it because he got tired of Freddie barking at him when he delivered the mail to their house.

His death was a simple unimaginative plan. We wanted his head popped off his shoulders. And we wanted his mean wife who lived two blocks away to drop dead too because she use to call Cameron Longmuir horrible names just because he was black.

She was so prim and proper and went to church every Sunday and volunteered at the library. She looked like a kindly old grandma, But when she could get close to you, close enough to touch you, it was awful. She'd open her mouth and she'd sneer and her eyes would get all beady and mean and she liked hurting you with her words. You could tell. Her breath would get quick and she'd hook her white gloved hand into your shoulder and pinch and right there in the library or at the store and whisper horrible things to you low enough so you could hear but no one else could.

She looked liked a sweet old lady, her hand on your shoulder, whispering into your ear and smiling the whole time.

Most of it was horrible dirty talk, and you'd want to just die, right there on the spot. It was worse though when you were somewhere with your parents and that horrible, wicked woman would touch your face or hair or something and smile.

And you had to let her, you had to let her touch you.

Of course one of us told on her, it was Cameron and nobody believed him. He was this crazy little boy with mental problems, obviously. That's even what the teachers at schools said. Murders, lust, revenge stories, everything normally planned in the darkest places of the human heart were now planned in broad daylight. By Children, at a rock named Insanity Jones.

When we'd all get to the rock, we'd do this greeting. It started out as a joke I think. And then without thinking of it anymore someone would reach up knock three times and say

: Are you at home Insanity Jones?
It's a fine day, to come out and play.

And Sure enough, one day Insanity Jones came out to play.

The Mailman was found way past dinner time, his mail truck parked on the side of the road where he left it when he started the walking part of his route.

Someone had knocked a mailbox off it's post and stuck his head there in it's place.

They never found the rest of him.

And Mrs Mailman, they found her tongue wrapped in one of her white gloves and nailed to her pantry door.

They never found the rest of her either.

We all gathered at Insanity Jones the day of the Funerals. We were somber as little funeral directors ourselves until Beth Patterson showed up.The tension we felt waiting for word about the funeral was the same tension we felt on Christmas Eve, the excitement was killing us All of the sudden we were talking all at once, there were millions of questions being asked. And Beth took her sweet time in getting ready to tell us what we wanted to know.

Beth's family lived next door to the Mailman and his wife and Beth's family had taken her to the funeral. We wanted to know if they buried the Mailman's wife's tongue in a full sized coffin, or did they use a baby sized one?

Full sized, she told us, there were two full sized coffins..

Can you imagine, her tongue and just her tongue in there?

We couldn't help it, we laughed until we were sick. And then two teenagers, the McGraw boy and his best friend Jamie came walking from around the other side of the rock with smokes dangling from the corner of their mouths.

"Hey, how do you space cadets know about the tongue? You're making that up, right?"

We insisted it was true.

How did WE know they asked? How did we know they only had her tongue to bury?

And from next to us, from Insanity Jones, a voice that sounded deep, gravely and almost childlike said

" Because I told them so. "

Activity

Try writing an urban myth of your own.