This one is probably more interesting than Myth #1 and for a number of reasons. Myth #1 was really based around the supernatural and fears of the undead and ghosts and so on. Myth #2 is a bit more up to date and is based on how people, collectively, fear change. I’ll explain this perspective a little later in the context of Killarney, rather than with reference to the World Wide Web, as I feel it’s better to keep things a little local.
I refer to this particular Urban Myth as ‘The Fella In The Back Seat’ but on other web sites people variously refer to it as ‘The Killer in the Back Seat’ (Emery, 2014) or even ‘The Killer in the Back Seat’ (Snopes, 2014) … I think you get the point … it’s all about a killer in the back seat of a car…
The thing with this Myth is that it always involves a woman, never a man, getting into her car while the predator – who is always a male – hides on the back seat, just out of view.
Mr Predator usually gets into the car during a moment when the victim is distracted, perhaps by a passer-by or the need to pay a garage attendant.
Sometimes the victim is followed by a car, or other vehicle, which driver flashes lights and beeps the horn in a seemingly aggressive manner. It usually turns out that the driver of car #2 is simply a good citizen trying to warn the victim that there is potential ‘crazy’ in the back of her car. And the driver of car #2 is always a man – which just makes the lady victim more eager to drive as fast as she can to escape the supposed mad man following her.
Some of these myths end with the victim being saved by some unusual turn of events – often a traffic accident – and the ‘supposed mad man’ in the following car turns out to be a hero. She, the victim, is usually saved – I’m not sure what the moral of this is meant to be; perhaps it is that not all men are mad fellas, perhaps it is a message to ladies to choose their fella wisely.
None of that is my immediate concern nor interest. I’m just here to relate a tale that I heard, maybe in the last 2 years – and more than once – which is Killarney Urban Myth #2.
In Killarney, the story I was told involved a local garage – it’s in Ardshanavooly – just on the edge of the town. There is a petrol station/garage in Ardshanavooly, I guess there has to be or this urban myth would not work!
The story goes that a woman of indeterminate age, but often referred to as a ‘young wan’, gets out of her car to fill the fuel tank. As she stands there, getting increasingly bored watching the fuel going into the tank, she looks around the garage just to stop herself being too bored. This provides an opportunity for the predator to enter the car.
We are never told if this is the time that the lady’s personal security is breached – but it is a good opportunity I guess, if you happen to be a local/national/international mad man and this is how you like to operate.
Anyway, the lady finishes putting fuel into the car and heads over to the kiosk to pay the – invariably male again – check out person. It is at this point, in the Killarney version of the Urban Myth #2 that the check-out guy calls the woman back and says, for no other reason than that he does “Hey, you know there’s someone in the back of your car, right?”
At this point, the predator in the back of the car absconds into the darkness – as these events always happen at night – my apologies if this salient fact escaped my fingers on the keyboard earlier, but it’s always night-time – but not before a telling glimpse of him has been caught, not by the CCTV Camera but by the check-out guy.
The check-out guy, who in Killarney is always described as a white foreigner, becomes the saviour of the day. He always indicates that the predator in the back seat of the car is ‘foreigner with dark skin’.
Now, if this is not an indication of fears regarding change – based on an influx of outsiders – I don’t know what is!
Funny though, isn’t it, that the hero is always a man who happens to be a ‘whiter shade of pale’ as opposed to someone with a darker skin pigmentation?
True or not, this is what I have been told. Before you worry too much I must admit that I heard this story from a friend of my brother – and his friend’s brother before.
Sleep tight and drive safe – this is just a myth – Killarney Myth #2 – isn’t it???
by Shay Ryan