I have a soft spot for urban myths.
They lighten my days. I love the preposterous lengths some go to perpetuate them and the fact that some of them are so bizarre and outlandish they could just be true.
I’m a fan because of the way in which people can get so absorbed by them and believe them.
It isn’t all positive, some urban myths can lead to problems.
Those 200-odd motorists in Cardiff who awoke this weekend to find their car stereo had been stolen probably won’t be seeing the funny side.
This is a prime example of an urban myth that has taken off and developed a life of its own.
The “myth” is that the the modern generation of stereos fitted to Ford cars can be used to hack into your digital TV box. There is absolutely no truth in this rumour, yet police in the Welsh capital saw thefts of stereos from cars increase by four times last weekend and 95% of the vehicles targeted were Ford models.
South Wales Police and Ford are now attempting to debunk the myth and save more motorists the misery of having their stereos stolen.
I wish them well in their myth-busting, they are going to need it because the myth has now been elevated to the status of “fact” in the eyes of so many. The more the authorities deny it, the more suspicious the myth believers will become that it is simply an attempt to cover up “the truth”. The myth will grow stronger.
There are plenty more examples of the myths and rumours that are now accepted by many as “fact”.
In the meantime I’ll keep listening out for this particular care stereo myth – and, for once, thank my lucky stars that I drive a Peugeot.
Which reminds me, I heard that when certain French cars have been in direct sunlight for longer than nine hours they…?