Superstition and Chinese Whispers

We arrived at our café one day, and Sharonne breathlessly told us that there was a vampire baby living in a village called Pointe aux Piments.

“There’s no such thing, Sharonne.” we said.

“But Alf, Vero, it’s in the newspaper! Everyone in Mauritius is talking about it” she said, all wide-eyed, “It’s a newborn baby, but it eats raw meat, can walk and talk, and told the doctor that it was going to kill him. It’s true!”

We started laughing, and although she laughed along with us, it was a very nervous laugh, which made us laugh more.

“What’s wrong Sharonne, do you think it can hear you?”

“Vero, don’t joke – it’s evil!!”

Which sent us into hysterics.

All day, as our customers came in, she told them the story.

Which made them laugh too.

And each time she tried to convince them by saying “But it’s true!”.

Which made them laugh more.

I can still picture her earnest expression as she said it.

Which is making me laugh now.

Anyway, a few weeks later we heard that:

Two guys were sitting in a bar, and one was complaining that his girlfriend had a toddler he’d known nothing about.

“So, suddenly, I have this new baby in my house, that talks, walks and loves eating meat.”

So, take:

  • A gossip eavesdropping on part of a conversation
  • A journalist who doesn’t check their facts

Add:

  • A superstitious population
  • The inevitable outcome of Chinese whispers

And you have:

The birth of an urban legend.

Might sound as though I made it up.

But it’s true!!!

Ask Sharonne.

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