They sport leashes and tails. They travel in “packs.” Their natural habitat is the mall. And one of them killed a dog and kept its skull once. That’s right, excitable suburbans: Werewolf kids walk among us! At least, according to KENS5 news in San Antonio, they’re currently poised to take over Texas.
Now, to us old people in our 20s, they look almost exactly like emo kids and/or the goths that came before them, albeit with some lupine contact lenses and fake fangs. And besides the funny outfits, they don’t seem to be doing anything particularly scandalous. (In fact, even they will confess that much.) So we’re not sure what the fuss is. But the media loves a good “youth in revolt” trend piece, and that’s what they’re giving us. While we struggle with whether this is a hoax or a real phenomenon and, if the latter, whether there’s any reason to care about it, watch the unintentionally hilarious werewolf-kids news report after the jump and follow along as we review some of the media’s favorite fake youth trends of all time.
Rainbow parties Although rumors were rampant beforehand, we can blame Oprah for this one. Later, there was the Rainbow Party YA novel, cooked up by publisher Simon & Schuster to start a panic and, um, sell books. But the supposed trend, in which teen girls wear different shades of lipstick and orally service boys at parties, leaving behind a rainbow of proof, was nothing but an urban legend. As a 2005 New York Times article illustrates, everyone seems to know about the parties, but no one seems to have been to one.
New ways to consume alcohol Last summer, ABC 15 in Phoenix revealed that teens are getting sneaky about their alcohol consumption. Namely, they’re “snorting vodka shots,” “doing anal beer bongs and soaking tampons in vodka.” You know, “for quicker absorption.” Gawker loved it. But the Phoenix New Times finally injected a dose of reason into the discussion: ‘[T]here’s just no way more than a few dumbasses are doing those things. If a teen has vodka, it’s safe to say that the teen is going to drink it, not soak a tampon in it or snort it. Same with beer.”
Jenkem “We wouldn’t classify it as a drug so much because it’s feces and urine,” a DEA rep told Fox News back in 2007, addressing widespread media reports that teens were getting high on human waste. Said to be created by fermenting piss and poop and huffing the gas that resulted — ‘scuse us while vomit — the drug was supposed to have a hallucinogenic and euphoric effect. Too bad the whole thing was an internet hoax. As online drug guru Earth Erowid told Salon, “It is potentially believable to me that a handful of extremely experimental people have tried this, but it is also quite easy for me to believe that no one in the U.S. has actually produced and inhaled sewage gas of their own.”
Spunkball In early 2001, three teenagers were arrested in Germany for throwing rocks off a highway overpass, killing two drivers. That much is true. But around the same time, email rumors began to circulate that bad kids everywhere were playing a dangerous game called “spunkball,” which was said to consist of throwing fiery, gasoline-drenched rags at cars stopped at intersections. Although this urban legend persisted through the early 2000s, Snopes confirms that it was completely unfounded.
Strawberry quick Want to snort crystal meth but hate its chemical aftertaste? Never fear, strawberry quick is here! (Or is it?) The media flew into a tizzy when police in Nevada seized a supply of pink, strawberry-flavored methamphetamine. “(We are) concerned that this new type of meth will be more attractive to a younger crowd and may surface in schools,” Sgt. Darrin Sloan told the Nevada Appeal, causing a firestorm of media scaremongering and a DEA warning against speed doctored to taste like chocolate and cola. The only problem? As Join Together reported, “Flavored meth is somewhat akin to the Loch Ness Monster: everyone has heard of it, but firsthand sightings are hard to track down and verify. Various media reports around the U.S. have raised the alarm about the dangers of this new drug, but invariably concede that no cases have been reported locally.”