Tuesday, 02 October 2007

The little old lady hijacker

Little old ladies have a thing for urban legends. The best little old lady legend of the past decade also helped to restore the balance of prejudice in South African urban legends, as it presented a double turning of the tables - an age-old plot device of urban legends.

One version of this story was sent to me with the introduction: "Here's a refreshing change: True story". And it goes something like this:

Recently, a friend of my mom's grandmother was out shopping in Hermanus. She is a slighly-built white woman of about 70 years old. When she returned to her car, there were six black men sitting in it. Being the kind of fiesty woman who packs a gun for emergencies, she whipped it out and yelled, "I know how to use it, and I'm quite prepared to. Get out!"

The men were terrified, and spilled out of the car as fast as they could, scattering in all directions.

The woman then got into the car, and tried to start it. At first she thought the excitement of the moment had confused her, as the key wouldn't fit in the ignition. Then she realised: Wrong car. Not hers. Oops.

Realising her little faux pas, she thought she had better report her mistake at the Police Station. Which she did. When she told the officer on duty the story, he almost fell down laughing. And when he could speak again, he pointed at the six terrified black men sitting at the other end of the room.

Six men who'd just reported being hijacked by an elderly white lady.

If you want a pedigree for that legend, look no further than the tales of the men or women (little and large, old and young) sitting down at a table in a crowded restaurant and snatching "their" biscuits, cookies or pieces of Kit Kat from the "rude" persons who have just sat down across the table and started helping themselves to the contents of the packet lying on the table without so much as asking. It turns out that the aggrieved person still has the cookies in a bag, and is the real villain of the piece.


Jaxon Rice said...

I am so glad you are posting these urban legends and exploring their roots. I cannot believe it's been 17 years since The Rabbit in the Thorn Tree was published - that was one of my favourite books in matric.

You may be interested in an urban legend that appeared in the Zululand Observer in April and was later reprinted in the Citizen. I blogged about it here

Dead dog foils poison plot. Its a delicious South African take on an old classic.

Art said...

Thanks, Jaxon, that's a wonderful variation on the old urban legend about the cat who steals salmon off the table at an upper crust dinner party. And as you say, what a great South African "flavour"!

katty said...

The small cars are very comfortable for me specially when i need to park in a small place, but i have another reason, they can go fast when there are traffic jump. I like to read about small cars. Actually i think in costarica it could be a great alternative, so would take advantage in costa rica investment opportunities

SM Blogger said...
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