Urban Legends - Tuesday November 6

urban legends(4/15)

Continuing on Five this week is the series that explores popular urban myths. Each episode uses interviews and reconstructions to present three tall tales, only one of which is actually true. Viewers have the chance to guess which of the stories really happened before the answer is revealed at the end of the show. Tonight’s stories involve an LSD trip gone wrong, two unfortunate streakers and a shooting party tragedy.

Tonight’s first apocryphal tale begins in the 1960s and concerns two hippies, Len Pillar and Harold Weiss, whose lives were changed forever when they met an enigmatic ‘guru’ who was an underground legend in the hippie movement. He altered their perceptions of reality with his bohemian lifestyle, homespun philosophies and super-potent acid. “He was our saviour,” says Pillar today. However, for all his wise words, all he seemed to do was smoke all their pot and hit on their girlfriends…

Disaster struck when the guru led Len, Harold and their friends to a nearby park where they all tried some acid, which the guru soaked into sugarcubes with a pipette. As the hallucinogens took effect and the world shimmered and warped before Len and Harold’s eyes, the guru told everyone to look at the sun. He believed that the sun’s rays would “cleanse the mind”. However, the rays were so powerful the duo ended up in hospital and awoke virtually blind. To this day their eyesight is almost non-existent…

Tonight’s second story centres around two men from Spokane, Washington, who decided to spice up their evening in a bar by streaking through a restaurant. Kevin Blood and Dustin Rhodes drove to a nearby eatery full of families, left their car outside and did a naked lap of the restaurant, cackling with laughter as they ran. The patrons were suitably stunned, but not nearly as shocked as Kevin and Dustin when they witnessed their car being stolen by a couple of hoodlums. “I started chasing it down,” says Dustin. “The dude inside turns to me, smiles and locks the door.”

Needless to say, the pair were in a spot of bother: their car, containing all their discarded clothes, was gone. They hid around the back of the restaurant until they were found by a sympathetic policeman. After driving them home, the policeman decided not to charge them with indecent exposure. “I think they had been punished enough,” says Officer David Beckley.

The third and final tale tonight is all about three men who took part in a shooting party in Hampshire. While builders Pete and Gary were working on a country estate with a huge amount of land, they were invited to partake in a spot of pheasant-shooting. They were loaned the guns by their friend Ken Allen, who also joined them in the activity. Just as they were heading out, Ken realised they needed a dog which would fetch the dead birds, so they picked up Pete’s sister’s beloved dog Dexter on the way to the estate.

The first couple of hours were fruitless as they could not see any birds flying over them, so Ken came up with the bright idea of flinging a stick of dynamite into the woods. The resulting noise, he hoped, would scare the birds and make them take to the skies en masse. However, the faithful Dexter ran into the thicket to fetch the smoking stick of dynamite! The three men were horrified to see Dexter bounding towards them with the explosive gripped between its teeth. “Ken gets his shotgun and starts shooting at the dog,” recalls Gary. The petrified hound took refuge underneath the trio’s car –and seconds later the dog and the car were history. Pete and Gary were handed a hefty fine and Ken was jailed.

All three of these stories are equally well-known and compelling, but only one is true… all will be revealed at the end of the show.

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