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사실일지도 모를 흔한 도시 괴담 (영문) 본문

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사실일지도 모를 흔한 도시 괴담 (영문)

vision2real 2014.07.03 15:55

  A friend of a friend of ours is a frequent business traveler. Let's call him Dave. Dave was recently in Atlantic City for an important meeting with clients. Afterward, he had some time to kill before his flight, so he went to a local bar for a drink. 

  He'd just finished one drink when an attractive woman approached and asked if she could buy him another. He was surprised but flattered. Sure, he said. The woman walked to the bar and brought back two more drinks-one for her and one for him. He thanked her and took a sip. And that was the last thing he remembered.

  Rather, that was the last thing he remembered until he woke up, disoriented, lying in a hotel bathtub, his body submerged in ice.

  He looked around frantically, trying to figure out where he was and how he got there. Then he spotted the note:


  DON'T MOVE. CALL 911.


  A cell phone rested on a small table beside the bathtub. He picked it up and called 911, his fingers numb and clumsy from the ice. The operator seemed oddly familiar with his situation. She said, 

"Sir, I want you to reach behind you, slowly and carefully. Is there a tube protruding from your lower back?"

  Anxious, he felt around behind him. Sure enough, there was a tube.

  The operator said, "Sir, don't panic, but one of your kidneys has been harvested. There's a ring of organ thieves operating in this city, and they got to you. Paramedics are on their way. Don't move until they arrive."


You've just read one of the most successful urban legends of the past fifteen years. The first clue is the classic urban-legend opening: "A friend of a friend ... " Have you ever noticed that our friends' friends have much more interesting lives than our friends themselves?

  You've probably heard the Kidney Heist tale before. There are hundreds of versions in circulation, and all of them share a core of three elements: (1) the drugged drink, (2) the ice-filled bathtub, and (3) the kidney-theft punch line. One version features a married man who receives the drugged drink from a prostitute he has invited to his room in Las Vegas. It's a morality play with kidneys.

  Imagine that you closed the book right now, took an hourlong break, then called a friend and told the story, without rereading it. Chances are you could tell it almost perfectly. You might forget that the traveler was in Atlantic City for "an important meeting with clients"-who cares about that? But you'd remember all the important stuff.


   The Kidney Heist is a story that sticks. We understand it, we remember it, and we can retell it later. And if we believe it's true, it might change our behavior permanently-at least in terms of accepting drinks from attractive strangers.



Chip Heath & Dan Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Other Die, 3-4

(Random House, 2008)



4 Comments
  • 프로필사진 이방인 씨 2014.07.08 16:00 신고 무서운? 기괴한? 이야기들은 정말 '사실'보다 빨리, 널리 퍼지는 것 같아요. 호기심 앞에 장사 없달까요. ^^

    글의 마지막 줄에 진리가 들어 있네요. 아무리 매력적이더라도 낯선 사람이 주는 술은 함부로 마시는 게 아니예요! 특히 남자 분들!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
  • 프로필사진 vision2real 2014.07.08 19:06 신고 사실일지도 모르는 얘기라 더 무섭답니다.
    얼마전 한국에서 비슷한 방식으로 납치해서 금품을 요구했던 사건도 있었기에
    괴담이라고만 할 수도 없고...^^
  • 프로필사진 이방인 씨 2014.07.10 14:16 신고 저도 그 뉴스 봤어요!! 미국이든 한국이든 뉴스는 참... 볼 때마다 세상을 무서워하게 하는 힘이 있어요. ^^;;
  • 프로필사진 vision2real 2014.07.10 15:19 신고 더 무서운 것은 "방음시설"이 된 사무실에 갇혀 있었다는 겁니다.

    이전에도 유사한 범행이 있었음을 짐작케 하는 거죠.
    이번에 도망친 피해자는 남자였지만, 그전에는 여자였을 수도 있죠.
    이전엔 어떤 범죄가 있었는지 짐작조차 하기 힙듭니다.

    결론은 남자고 여자고 간에 밖에선 아무것도 마시지 말아야 한다는 ^^
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