Urban Legends, don’t believe everything you hear

By Kaare Askildt

            Stories that have bounced around for a while might become urban legends, and some of them are rather humorous.

            Below are some stories that may have been made up. However, the last story is indeed true.

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            At Heathrow Airport in England, a 300-foot red carpet was stretched out to Air Force One, and President Bush disembarked from the plane to a warm and dignified handshake from Queen Elizabeth II.

            They rode in a silver 1934 Bentley to the edge of central London where they switched to an open 17th century coach hitched to six magnificent white horses.

            As they rode toward Buckingham Palace while waving to the thousands of cheering Britons lining the streets, all was going well. This was indeed a glorious display of pageantry and dignity.

            Suddenly the scene was shattered when the right rear horse let rip the most horrendous, earth-shattering, eye-smarting blast of putrid flatulence, saturating the coach with obnoxious, unbreathable fumes.

            Uncomfortable, but maintaining control, the two dignitaries did their best to ignore the whole incident, but then the Queen decided that was a ridiculous manner with which to handle a most embarrassing situation.

            She turned to President Bush and explained:

            "Mr. President, please accept my regrets. I'm sure you understand that there are some things even a queen cannot control."

            George W., ever the Texas gentleman, replied, "Your Majesty, please don't give the matter a second thought. You know, if you hadn't said something I would have assumed it was one of the horses."

            This almost seems like something President Donald Trump would say.

            My first wife and I lived in Vancouver the first few years after we arrived in Canada. There was a large Scandinavian presence there. Most of the Scandinavians had a wicked sense of humour. The following story was related to me by a close friend.

            “One year at Thanksgiving, my mom went to my sister's house for the traditional feast. Knowing how gullible my sister is, my mom decided to play a trick on her. She told my sister that she needed something from the store, wrote it down on a piece of paper and asked her to get it for her.

            As soon as my sister left the house, my mom took the turkey out of the oven. She removed the stuffing, stuffed a Cornish hen, inserted it into the turkey, and re-stuffed the turkey covering the hen. She then placed the turkey back in the oven.

            Just prior to dinner, my sister pulled the turkey out of the oven and proceeded to remove the stuffing. When her serving spoon hit something, she reached in and pulled out the little bird. With a look of total shock on her face, my mother exclaimed,

            ‘Lena, you've cooked a pregnant turkey!’

            Upon seeing the cooked little bird, my sister started to cry. It took all of the members of our family to calm her down and convince her that turkeys in fact lay eggs.”

            The following incident has been retold many times, with references to other airlines. However, the actual incident occurred on Scandinavian Airlines Flight 653, flying from Oslo to London.

            The pilot made the following announcement over the intercom after they had reached cruising altitude,

            “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Sven Hansen. I’m your captain for SAS flight 653 bound for London. Welcome aboard. The weather is co-operating and we should have a smooth, enjoyable flight. Please lean back in your seats and relax… (then shouting) What the heck! Oh my God! Aaarghh!” 

            The captain cut the intercom, and it became deathly silent in the cabin. The silence lasted about five minutes, then the captain came back on the intercom,

             “Ladies and gentlemen, I sincerely apologize if the end of my previous announcement scared you, but as I was addressing you, the stewardess came into the cockpit to serve me a cup of hot coffee. However, the cup slid off the tray and the hot coffee splashed all over my lap. You should see the front of my pants!”

            Truls who was seated in the economy section shouted:

            “Oh yea! You should see the back of mine!”

            A few years ago, my good friend Thomas Juell and his wife were the proprietors of Aal Hotel in Hallingdal, Norway. One year a new year’s party had been arranged in the main hall of the hotel, complete with a local band providing live music.

            The festivities lasted way past midnight. A lot of libations including beer and Akevitt were consumed. At midnight, everybody was toasting everybody and nobody was feeling any particular pain.

            Two husky and well built young men got into a bout of fisticuffs either over lutefisk or perhaps a woman. However, lutefisk is not worth fighting over, so it must have been a woman.        The brawl ended up outside in the yard right by the kitchen windows. Thomas was in the kitchen and observed the combatants wrestling and exchanging blows, but they didn’t do too much damage to each other.

            Suddenly one of them let fly a real roundhouse. He missed, but the momentum caused the brawler’s fist to smash through the window, resulting in him getting a bloody fist and broken glass scattered all over the kitchen. That ended the fight.

            A couple of days later the unfortunate roundhouse brawler came by the hotel to pay for the broken window and any clean-up cost. Thomas will never forget what the man said.

            “I sincerely apologize for smashing the window, but the other guy ducked, therefore it wasn’t really my fault!”