Cover image for The cat in the dryer and 222 other urban legends
The cat in the dryer and 222 other urban legends
Craughwell, Thomas J., 1956-
Publication Information:
New York : Black Dog & Leventhal, [2002]

Physical Description:
ix, 246 pages ; 19 cm
General Note:
"Absolutely true stories that happened to a friend...of a friend...of a friend"--Jacket.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR105.5 .C734 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GR105.5 .C734 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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What's an urban legend? It's a story that gets passed around so frequently that no one really knows how it began. All we know is that the tale is so amusing, dark, coincidental or ironic that, whether it's true or not, we are dying to believe it--and pass it on.

In the successful tradition of Alligators in the Sewer and The Baby on the Car Roof, this all-new collection of over 200 urban legends offers the latest and greatest tales so weird and funny that they just have to be true. Includin the firemen who rescued a stranded cat and then ran over it; the baby born in flight who was given free air travel for life; the drug-test cheater who was caught when his urine sample revealed him to be pregnant.

Organized by genre, each story in The Cat in the Dryer runs one or two pages, and features possible variations and embellishments. Subjects range from famous people to disturbing pranks, from holiday nightmares to creepy stories, and from military misadventures to pet disasters.

Author Notes

Thomas J. Craughwell is the author of nine books He lives in Bethel, Connecticut

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-An entertaining and occasionally informative collection of urban legends, celebrity rumors, scams, pranks, and hoaxes. Craughwell begins his introduction with a good working definition of the term "urban legend"-a demonstrably untrue story that uses humor or horror to teach a lesson about the consequences of disregarding societal taboos. He then notes that for most people the only real criterion is that the story is plausible, although patently false. The first chapter is devoted entirely to stories and legends that circulated following September 11. The author briefly discusses the psychology behind the origin of these tales and mentions that many of them were covered in a New York Times article, although no citation is provided. In fact, the lack of documentation throughout is the book's weakness. Since the volume contains items that sometimes show up as reference questions, such as the statue of a military hero on a horse indicating the manner of the hero's death by the number of hooves off the ground, some sort of explanation or source material is mandatory. However, as entertainment, the book succeeds. Teens will enjoy the variety of selections and may be surprised to find that they have been taken in by some of these absolutely true stories that happened to a friend of a friend of a friend.-Jody Sharp, Harford County Public Library, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. v
Introductionp. vii
The Bud Avenger and Other Urban Legends Inspired by the Events of September 11p. 1
The Jinx of the Sports Illustrated Cover and Other Celebrity Rumorsp. 19
The Spaghetti Orchards of Switzerland and Other Scams, Pranks and Hoaxesp. 41
The Day the Supermarkets Run Out of Avocados and Other Lore for Special Occasionsp. 57
The Kid Who Fell Asleep in the Casket and Other Creepy Talesp. 73
"Bart Simpson Is Sleeping with Your Wives!" and Other Military Misadventuresp. 97
Bronco Stadium's Smurf Turf and Other Tales of the Great Outdoorsp. 115
The Cat in the Dryer and Other Pet-Related Legendsp. 135
The Deadly Laundry Chute and Other College Traditionsp. 155
"Every Morning at Breakfast I Spread Contraceptive Jelly on My Toast" and Other Sexual Escapadesp. 181
The Surprise Urine Test and Other On-the-Job Foiblesp. 195
Bananas Can Eat Your Flesh! and Other Gruesome Happeningsp. 211
In New Orleans It Is Illegal to Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant and Leave It Unattended, and Other Criminal Mischiefp. 229