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The Pillsbury Biscuit Bullet

This one was forwarded to me in the guise of a funny story that might be true.... Well, let's see if it is

WANTED FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER (The actual AP headline)

Linda Burnett, 23, was visiting her inlaws, and while there went to a nearby supermarket to pick up some groceries. Several people noticed her sitting in her car with the windows rolled up and with her eyes closed, with both hands behind the back of her head. One customer who had been at the store for a while became concerned and walked over to the car. He noticed that Linda's eyes were now open, and she looked very strange. He asked her if she was okay, and Linda replied that she'd been shot in the back of the head, and had been holding her brains in for over an hour. The man called the paramedics, who broke into the car because the doors were locked and Linda refused to remove her hands from her head. When they finally got in, they found that Linda had a wad of bread dough on the backof her head. A Pillsbury biscuit canister had exploded from theheat, making a loud noise that sounded like a gunshot, and the wad of dough hit her in the back of her head. When she reached back to find out what it was, she felt the dough and thought it was her brains. She initially passed out, but quickly recovered and tried to hold her brains in for over an hour until someone noticed and came to her aid. And, yes, Linda is a blonde.

I started by looking at the the AFU website, but I didn't have any luck. Found out a little later I wasn't searching for quite the right thing. I looked at the Associated Press website, but couldn't find anything there, either (although their online archives only go back to 1997). So, I looked at the Log Cabin Democrat (Conway, Arkansas) -- nothing in their two-years of archives, either. How about the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette? Nothing there either.

Okay, at this point this is starting to get pretty fishy (like it wasn't to begin with?). I also visited Deja News, the searchable database of practically every Usenet newsgroup posting in living memory. That cinched it. This story has appeared in several different forms. Most of them involve Arkansas and several of them involve someone named Linda, but the stories can't agree whether Linda was the "victim" or the Good Samaritan. Not all of the stories claim to be straight from the AP. The dates on the stories were all over the map. The ending line about blonde-ness appears to be a recent mutation.

It's almost believable because many of us (myself included when I worked in the dairy case at Safeway in high school) have seen canisters of cheap biscuit dough explode quite abruptly and with a pretty good pop. So, sure, it COULDA happened.

Oh well. It fails the Sniff Test. The complete origins of this story are lost in the mists of time now, but this one definitely fails.

For an even more in-depth discussion, including sources, visit Barbara Mikkelson's page on this urban legend.


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Page created 3/3/99 by Michael Heggen.
Last updated 03/17/03 at 14:37.

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