The Science of Rumor Alchemy

January17/ 2000

 Like Rumplestiltskin spinning straw into gold … mankind has always been fascinated by the prospect of creating something of “value” out of something totally worthless.   As we prepare for the new college sports season AND a big Fall election battle … let’s bring everyone up to speed on this fascinating “science”. As you read stories about Amato, Krzyzewski, Bunting, Ol’ Roy, Baddour, Bush, Kerry, or Edwards … apply these simple tests.  Amaze your friends.

NOTE: We appreciate that none of you regulars would EVER be guilty of the silliness we explore below.  Consider this like watching a Discovery Channel documentary on New Guinea headhunters. So, sit back and enjoy and be assured that “BobLee sure ain’t talkin’ about me”!

The Science of Rumor Alchemy

“… spinning total crap into absolute truth …”

(1)     Have a “receptive” audience yearning desperately to hear sordid negative stuff on a rival … so desperate that they will gladly suspend reality to accept it.

(2)     Include a few “details” to sprinkle credibility over the steaming cow pie.  A date/time, what he/she was wearing, etc.  This satisfies the “it couldn’t be made up because … ” element

(3)     Include a minimum of two unnamed sources that “were there” when the evil deed went down.  Make one of them either a nun or Bill Friday. 

(4)     Include a titillating sexual element in the story … ideally involving homosexuality and/or “a cheerleader/coed”.  Hookers and strippers are OK but the “innocence” of a cheerleader/coed has a higher perceived disgust factor.

(5)     Tie the new “really stoopid rumor” to prior “really stoopid rumors” so they draw credibility from each other … in essence you use a Diet-Rite Cola to wash down a rice cake … there is no nutritional value in either but the combination makes you think you are having a meal.

(6)     Include a sympathy figure/angle … “he snubbed a little kid and/or firebombed an orphanage” … if possible “the snubbed little kid” should be bald from chemo and have sunked eyes, but a cheery upbeat smile. Pictures are good here … even if unrelated to supposed incident, which, since it never took place, has no pictorial residue.

(7)     Always open with a version of “I’m not one to spread rumors but …” then lay it on’em.

Conveniently, we have a perfect example of Rumor Alchemy taking place right now.  Guess where?

The Official Tar Heel Silly Rumor Mill located in a subterranean grotto beneath The Rathskellar has been churning 24/7 since Coach K said no to Lakers.  This War Room has been designated The Rat’s Room @ The Rat through the month of July.

With this latest incident certain to join “He Faked The Back Surgery” and others in the ACC Really Silly Rumor Hall of Fame it is important that at least a dozen totally bizarre fabrications hit the streets for immediate circulation and festering.

   If you would like to be “an eye witness”, a “Fat Cat or Iron Duke who really knows”, a “top official at Duke”, or “Coach K’s dental hygienist’s cable guy” … send an updated resume to:

How Stoopid Can Eye Bee

% The Rathskellar

Amber Alley on Beautiful Franklin Street

Southern Part of Heaven, USA

   List your gullibility qualifications AND include a notarized promise to repeat “anything” as long as it slanders somebody you don’t know but dislike a whole lot anyway. If rival fans question your really stoopid rumors, get quite indignant and harumph “All “X” fans are Rednecks (or “Faggots”) and All “Y” Players are Gay” … that always puts a nice patina on your school’s fan image. 

     Top Ten Stoopid Rumors

  •  Not only was Ol’ Roy contacted 1st but Gary Williams was 2nd, Dave Huxtable was 3rd, and Les Robinson was 4th on the Lakers’ list … Coach K was 5th at best.
  • Jeff McInniss dated Mitch Kupchak’s wife to her senior prom.
  • The surgeon who performed the fake back surgery 10 years ago was … … … DR JERRY BUSS!
  • Wojo is pissed, Coach promised he and Chris could be Laker Girls.   
  •  Mickie Krzyzewski is Head Concierge at The Cordillera Consensual Sex Resort in Eagle CO.
  • Rudy Tomjanovich just bought a lot at Governors Club. 
  •  Coach K was holding out for “some fancy bling bling” like Kobe gave his wife”.
  • The Lakers will trade Shaq to the Albany Patroons for Alla Aabbddelnabby and a box of Cracker Jacks.

(and my two personal favorites)

  • Mike is demanding Duke annex the town of Creedmoor renaming it Krzyzewskimoor 
  • Dean actually coached the Celtics during their many NBA titles in the 60s … he let Red Auerbach take the credit because The Legend is just such a classy guy.


   Rathskellar Rumor Mill Manager “Fruitcake Freddie” has boldly predicted that they will get more mileage out of this new tripe than there are versions of the “Charles Shackleford is Amphibious” story.  Freddie will silkscreen your favorite K-Rumor on a T-shirt if you agree to TP the Duke Chapel.

When you are not hindered by that pesky “truth” thingie you can really spread some serious sh*t.” Freddie boasted.  “We have a “two-fer” this weekend … for every two Coach K rumors you buy into you get a fuzzy polaroid of Condilezza Rice dancing the Macarena with Adolph Eichmann.”    

   Fruitcake Freddie threw in a bonus rumor just for SwaggerSays readers.

  • Osama Ben Laden is hiding in Wallace Wade Stadium (Section 27, Row J, Seat 14). Ken Starr brings him jalapeno poppers from the Hope Valley Burger King.  

   The first True Blue Gullible Yahoo (TBGY) to admit he believes EVERY SINGLE ONE of these ridiculous rumors will receive a replica of Dickie V’s glass eye and a Beefmaster All The Way signed by Woody & Mick.


Swagger’s Stumper

Who were the original three waitresses in Mel’s Diner

(just the characters’ first names, not the actors)


    Due to the magnitude of the K-Laker incident, the Tar Heel Rumor Mill’s annual Fall unveiling of new and nasty Chuck Amato Rumors will be delayed until mid-August.  Those in need of an emergency fix can consult the Amato Rumor Archives under Mafia, AJ’s Mamma, Derek’s Daddy, Tremaine’s principal, Buddy Green’s girlfriend, Why MaryAnn left, or a fairly new one … “C.J. Hunter’s House”. Regardless, the little rumor elves will not rest until they have a new steaming pile of slanderous manure to spread. 


   I get accused of (fill in blank) alot but lately of “being too soft on Coach K”.   Actually I can be quite critical of the fellow on his most notable sin … his public profanity.  It is inexcusable and correctable IF his Duke bosses agreed with me.  Obviously they don’t.  They are wrong … I am right on this.

   Snot nose little boys consider profanity to be a sign of maturity … most adults consider it a sign of IMmaturity and lack of self-control.  I cuss too much … not vociferously in a public place like K does … I’m not as bad about it as I used to be but I have to work at correcting it.  Unless Coach K has Torrettes Syndrome he can clean up his act too.  He should. He probably won’t.  

   Spreading all the other stoopid junk about K minimizes this most glaringly negative aspect to the guy.  I imagine ol’ goofy Doris Duke could outcuss her Filipino house boy … but it’s a sign of bad breeding and certainly nothing to be proud of regardless. 

   We were looking for Gordon Scott (Tarzan) and Steve Reeves (Hercules) … too tough for most of you.  We’ll go back to 75 mph batting practice til you get your confidence back. Our Trivia All Pros “Maha” and Little Ricky Packard “went yard” as is their custom.

   Interesting recent experience in WuffWorld.  A State message board was debating my column on The New ACC.  I joined in and had a quite enjoyable adult dialogue going with some fine Wuffie fans … then, of course, their bottom feeding insult lizards slithered from behind their rock … end of discussion. Where did these keyboard kowards live before anonymous fan forums were created? 

 In case you missed it … Todd Turner was recently named Ath Director at Univ of Washington.  Poor guy … run out of NCSU by angry villagers with pitchforks and torches … then simply “erased” at Vanderbilt … he walks into a bigger mess in Seattle than he inherited in post-V Raleigh.

BobLee In Greensboro – Wednes – July 14

Downtown Rotary – noon – YMCA

BobLee in High Point – Thurs – July 15

High Point Rotary – noon – High Point Country Club

Guests Welcome … even keyboard kowards

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