USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘cocaine’
Legends
Narrative

The Headmistress

This story is from a small private, all-girl’s school in Ohio. The informant is now in college.

“Ok so, at my high school it’s very small, so like sixty girls a grade, and in the lower school it’s less than that like 20 girls. so like everyone really knows everybody especially in the upper school even the teachers. And the headmistresses, she started when I was like when i was really young and before I got there, but by the time I got there she had been the headmistress for like ten years and everybody loved her and she was widely known for like, turning the school around like before that it had all these weird scandals, like prep-schooly scandals which she like made it more artists and empowering, and she’s the reason why the school is what it is and stuff, and there’s this like story about her about, her name is Ann, and there’s this story that Ann found a girl in the bathroom doing coke. which is like, it’s not like crazy, but like I didn’t know anybody who did coke at my school and it was like a weird thing so like, apparently she found her doing coke and then brought her to her office and was like I will pay for your read therapy rehab, and i won’t tell your parents but you can’t do coke again, you can’t do it on schoolgrounds and you have to go to all your therapies and if you like don’t do all those things i’ll tell your parents but like I’ll take care of everything else. and like, i don’t know if that’s true, but like i feel like it was girl that was two years older than me and i like had friends in that grade and stuff and yeah, so that was the crazy part. And it was plausible that she was able to do it because she was super rich.”

Analysis:

The idolisation of the Headmistress is clear in this story because of all the good work that she has done. She is seen as a caring and benevolent ruler. Although perhaps not true, the story shows that the girls are able to trust and be cared for by the headmistress, if not more, than their parents. This places the faith and dedication and loyalty to the school and headmistress than perhaps before the girls heard this story.

general
Legends
Narrative

Contemporary Legend – Monterray Park, California

“Coca-cola used to be made with cocaine”

Origins

Kenneth heard this urban legend from friends during middle school (in Monterrey

Park).

Collector’s comments

When Kenneth told me this urban legend, I was not at all surprised since I had also heard this legend from peers while I was growing up in Chicago and Dallas. (apparently this legend has spread nationwide)

        After going through multiple websites that also discuss with legend, it seems clear that Coca-Cola did indeed use “small” amounts of cocaine a long time ago. According to Dr. Robert Q. Topper, “a government analysis of Coca-Cola in 1906 did not find any [cocaine].” Dr. Topper stated that in the late 19th century, Coca-Cola did indeed contain trace amounts of cocaine but eventually removed the ingredient after the public became concerned about the effects of cocaine. Currently, Coca-Cola “is still flavored with extracts from coca leaves” (Topper).
               Being a huge skeptic, I was quite shocked to find out that this old urban legend is true. Dr. Topper (whose article is published on a government website) states many facts about Coca-Cola that are in agreement with many other online sources (some of which are listed below).

Annotation: This urban legend can be found at: http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cokelore.asp

Date of access: April 20, 2007

Other sources used for verification:

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cocaine.asp

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen99/gen99644.htm

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