Rumor Has It
With yesterday’s scare, one thing I took note of was the way rumors spread rampantly before anyone knew what was actually going on. At around 6:15, I walked from work to Grand Central, without knowing about the pipe explosion. Within minutes, we were being evacuated. Still in the proverbial dark, I asked a guy nearby what had happened. The conversation went something like this:
Noah: Hey man, do you know what is going on?
Dude: Yea, 11 buildings just exploded right outside!
Noah: Really? Do they know what happened?
Dude: They think it was terrorists. The President has shut all transit down. This is a mess! Get out while you can!
Stupidly, I believed every word the guy said. Once I got out and was about 150 yards from the steam billowing out from Manhattan’s cavernous underground, I asked a guy wearing one of those surgery masks what was going on (believing that the mask somehow made him official), and he told me that there was a train crash on the 6-line. That was when I realized the guy didn’t know anything, since I already knew the explosion was a good block from the subway tunnels.
It is truly amazing how rumors start, and how they spread. Did you hear any ridiculous stories before you knew the truth?
[photo courtesy UNC.edu]