Edd’s MANtra: Cell phone coroners

Who knew that the text message could be so powerful?

We’ve all heard about the tragic slayings of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew. And even though I work at a newspaper – the supposed gateway for relaying news to the public – I first heard about the killings via a text message from a friend.

When I got the message I was pretty skeptical, especially since I was sitting at work all day and heard nothing about it. But after a little research, I found that the news was true. In fact, it was nearly an hour after that initial message that the news wires started to report on the happenings. That message helped us get the jump on coverage.

But for every text-message success story, there are about 500 failures.

Did anyone get a text this weekend about comedian Katt Williams dying in a plane crash?

For those who don’t know Williams, just picture a pimp who was left in the dryer for too long.

Anyway, over the weekend, a friend sent me a message saying that Williams passed away. Although I hadn’t watched much TV that day and I hadn’t been online, I found that news mighty hard to believe. Trust me, if the man behind such disasters as “The Pimp Chronicles” and “Friday After Next” truly passed away, it would have been the talk of the town. Anyway, after digging around online, I found that Williams was indeed alive.

I also found out that he has a DVD coming out next week. Hmm…

Conspiracy theories aside, I’m imploring my colleagues in cyberspace to PLEASE, for the sake of my sanity, THINK before you hit send on a text message. Remember last year when a text message proclaimed Sinbad dead of a heart attack? True, we haven’t seen dude since 1991, but come on. Or when Jay-Z was supposedly killed in a fiery plane crash?

Don’t be so quick to tell everyone that your favorite celebrity is no longer with us without doing a little research. I’m sure they wouldn’t appreciate the attention. That is, unless they have a new CD or DVD coming out.

Did you get the Katt Williams death text? Did you believe it? What are some of your most memorable hoaxes?



  1. “For those who don’t know Williams, just picture a pimp who was left in the dryer for too long.”

    I am cryin’ laughing from that one alone. Yeah, pretty sad about all the people who are reported dead by fictitious sources. I can’t imagine the phone calls all the people who know them, related or not, receive. Sad, very sad.

  2. I never get spam texts. i have gotten the emails though about fake deaths. remember when everyone said Whitney Houston had died?

  3. My crazy sister text her friends about the “Free $50 giftcards” Footlocker was giving away. Needless to say, after her crazy friend called from his job, on speakerphone, he quickly realized that FW: Footlockers freebies sounded a lot like a phone sex line, lol. (And yes, he’s still employed.)

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