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The Lovely Feejee Mermaid, 1842
The disumbrationist art hoax, 1924
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Man flies by own lung power, 1934
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
Use your left ear to detect lies
Script of Casablanca rejected, 1982
Happy Slappers
The Sun reports that British rowdies have embraced a new hobby: happy slapping. Here's what the Sun says:

A VIOLENT craze in which thugs slap strangers across the face and record it on video phone is sweeping Britain. The so-called "happy slappers" attack while an accomplice captures it to post on the internet or send to another mobile. But what started as a schoolkids' prank has escalated into more serious assaults - including fly-kicking strangers' spines - and robberies.

This sounds suspiciously like an urban legend. I can definitely believe the part about random street attacks, but the part about recording it all on video and posting it on the internet sounds dubious. If this is really the latest craze then where, as the Inquirer asks, are all these 'happy slapper' videos? They can't be found. Has anyone ever seen one? Of course, I imagine that some idiot will probably be inspired to go out and create one, now that everybody is talking about the phenomenon. If they do, then the video will serve as perfect evidence for prosecuting them.
Categories: Law/Police/Crime
Posted by The Curator on Wed Jan 26, 2005
Comments (29)
this certainly does exist, its been widely reported and the police are taking particular interest. a google search turned up various discussion groups, the one link offered to such films was dead- the host had deleted it because it violated their policy. will keep hunting!
Posted by Nick  in  Merrie Olde Englande  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  01:53 PM
Can you find a website where we can see these, Alex?
Posted by Darren  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  02:04 PM
I'm reminded of a story my friend tells me all about when he was in high school, his friends used to get people to pose for the "school newspaper" and , meanwhile, someone was standing behind them holding up a sign that read "I love the cock." They have hundreds of photographs of this. Of course, this was the days before camera phones.
Posted by Ga  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  03:27 PM
i love the line "fly-kicking strangers' spines"!
Posted by fernando  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  03:44 PM
I've seen footage a while back of kids (US, Japan, etc..)going around slapping each other. Most footage is of people who appear to know each other. Some bizzare pastime though.
Posted by sbnature  in  sb ca  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  03:45 PM
There's a Tango advert which has been cited as the origin of this- it certainly sparked a craze of 'tangoing' people. A clip can be found at

http://www.absolutelyandy.com/tvadverts/index.htm

scroll about two thirds of the way down, you're looking for 'Tango- Orange Fella'

enjoy is all i can say
Posted by Nick  in  Merrie Olde Englande  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  06:30 PM
It sounds like that game from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" where people...hit strangers and then run away.

I tried it once. It wasn't nearly as fun as I wanted it to be, but the look on my boyfriend's face (ok, not exactly a stranger) was probably worth it.

Too bad I don't have a camera phone. wink
Posted by James D  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  06:48 PM
According to Nick, the fact that there are Internet discussion groups about this proves that it's real. That's an interesting standard of proof.
If people really are posting pictures on the Net of themselves committing assault, all I can say is, where are the police?
Not to mention the personal injury lawyers.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  08:18 PM
>>>fly-kicking strangers' spines<<<

Well, is IS the responsibility of ninjas everywhere to occasionally flip out and kill people...


This kind of reminds me of the clip of the kid that flips off the police officer, goaded on by his friend in the car with a video camera. "Come on, do it, what's he gonna do?" As soon as the kid turns around, the cop takes out his nightstick and wails on him...
Posted by Barghest  on  Wed Jan 26, 2005  at  11:58 PM
This is apparently a real thing. I just watched a 2 minute video of it. Eventually, these jackasses are going to do this to the wrong person and get themselves hurt. It's pretty insane and disgusting.

If you want to see this you have to go through a few steps. The link will take you to a site called RapidShare. Scroll down and click Free download. Then you will get another window...scroll down and you will see a timer counting down. When it reaches zero you will be able to click on the filename to download the video. It's about 10MB.

There are 3 of these videos, but I have only seen the first. RapidShare limits free users to a certain amount of bandwidth per hour. I guess you will only be able to watch one per hour.


http://rapidshare.de/files-en/425199/Zoo1.avi.html

http://rapidshare.de/files-en/425241/Zoo2.avi.html

http://rapidshare.de/files-en/425271/Zoo3.avi.html
Posted by Tamandua  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  12:00 AM
Those videos are infuriating. I hope every single one of them gets their ass kicked hard. (Incidentally, that site prevents you from downloading more than one of the videos in an hour. You can get around it by deleting your cookie for rapidshare.de.)
Posted by Andy Baio  in  Santa Monica, CA  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  01:24 AM
Tamandua, do we know if those videos were uploaded before or AFTER the story about the alleged face-slapping "craze" ran?

If they were on the 'net before the story ran, it might lend credence to the story. If they were uploaded AFTER the story ran, then they are probably the product of people reading or hearing about the story and copying what was reported in it.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  05:24 AM
I certainly remember a lot of hoo-ha about the 'Tangoed' ear-clapping thing. Never saw an evidence that it was a real phenomenon but there wer certainly appeals to the ad watchdog to make Tango take the orange genie ad off the air. Not that that is evidence of anything except hysteria...

I'm *way* skeptical of this... Though random assaults are certainly one of the more colourful features of Life in Britain.
Posted by paul in prague  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  05:34 AM
Erm, it's in The Sun, which isn't exactly the most reputable of news sources. However after the Sun's brain-dead readership read about it they'll probably think it's cool and start doing it themselves. Eejits!
Posted by alex  in  London, England  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  07:03 AM
There was indeed a (successful) lobby to have the Tango ad taken off after some poor kid had both his eardrums burst
Posted by Nick  in  Merrie Olde Englande  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  12:35 PM
this happens so often around here that my school has banned 'happy slapping' and are now enforcing the 'no mobile phone' rule. Strange, I thought there was already a rule saying that you 'should not physically another member of the school community'.
A particular favourite of mine is when the teachers themselves run around 'happy slapping' each other - not when the headteachers about of course!
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Thu Jan 27, 2005  at  04:44 PM
This does exist and it has to STOP! Violence against women and defenceless old people on buses is inexcusable. While it may seem funny now, what will that generation be doing in 15 years time? Beating their wives, slapping their grannies? What will the next lot do? Video clips of drive-by shootings and rape? Come on people, it's just not funny! It's horrific. Report any that you get!
Posted by MarkyH  in  London  on  Fri Jan 28, 2005  at  06:39 AM
mama said knock you out, marky.

you're next.

- happy slapper from huntingdonshire
Posted by jeffrey lebowski  in  la  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  09:43 AM
I THINK THAT HAPPY SLAPPING IS VERY FUNNY. I HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE CLIPS AND FIND THEM WICKED. AT TIMES I THINK THAT ITS A FUN THING TO DO BUT ALSO I THINK ITS A VIOLENT OFFENCE. IF PEOPLE IN MY SCHOOL ARE CAUGHT WITH IT ON THEIR PHONE OR DOING IT THEN IT IS AN ASSUALT AND YOUR PHONE IS CONFESCATED. I THINK THAT IF THIS GOES ON THEN IN ABOUT 20 YEARS TIME PEOPLE WILL BE RECORDING ASSUALTS/MURDERS AND RAPES. THIS WILL BE A BAD INSITE ON OUR GENERATION.
THNAK YOU FOR READING MY MESSAGE. LOVE
LOVER AND HATER OF HAPPY SLAPPERS
Posted by Lover and Hater of Happy Slappers  in  bristol  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  04:21 PM
Lover and Hater of Happy Slappers,

Please make a note, using all caps is the equivalent to yelling. Please do not yell.
Posted by Myst  on  Sat Jan 29, 2005  at  04:50 PM
Actually, there were some guys in san diego around last year who were going around assulting the homeless downtown and then posting the videos to the internet. Later, the same guys started thinking they would assult ederly people or people in wheelchairs and post those video's to the internet. My mother works at a hospital in San Diego. One of her employees was outside about to go to her car when she saw a man beating on an ederly man in a wheelchair. The man then ran away and she followed him. He ran into a car that was around the corner to pick him up and she wrote down his license plate number. The police were eventually able to catch them and persecuted them based on all the video evidence.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  02:49 PM
It's interesting to me how Marky implies that people don't currently beat their wives/grannies, or that hitting a woman is somehow worse than hitting a man.

Also that Marky felt the need to repost, in caps, under a different name, as if that adds validity to his/her ridiculous comments.
Posted by James D  on  Sun Jan 30, 2005  at  05:22 PM
Helo i would like to present you http://www.youshareit.com
its used for file sharing same as rapid share but they are much better at least there is better speed and there is 100 downloads i hope they will put more.. i hope it helps
Posted by nemanja  in  serbia  on  Mon Jan 31, 2005  at  07:11 PM
yoooooooooo. happy slappers 4 eva dan. innocent ppl gttin slapped up. watch yo backs u honkeyssssssssssss.
Posted by haha slappers  on  Thu Feb 10, 2005  at  04:45 PM
wat u lot on about happy slaps are the funniest shit...my m8s got bout 20 ov dem on his fone..it hilerious...but it hurts ur hand tho...i got this kid the other day and it was like a full on punch ..it sent him to the ground ..lol..proper fucked him up
Posted by happy slapper  in  england  on  Sat Feb 12, 2005  at  06:23 AM
Alex, thanks for deleting that last comment (yah, I got it emailed). It takes alot to really offend me, but that was way out of line.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  12:26 AM
I deleted the comment and ip-banned the guy. Hopefully he won't return.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Tue Feb 15, 2005  at  12:37 AM
Joe and Razela, I deleted that guy's comment. Then I deleted your comments since they no longer made sense once the thing they were referring to was gone. And I'm closing comments on this topic since it's obviously attracting undesireable elements.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Wed Feb 16, 2005  at  01:42 AM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
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