I found Tom Collins!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Remember the other day I spoke about a Tom Collins? If you don't remember, or haven't read it, take a look here.

Being a journalist, I am naturally curious, to the frustration of a lot of people. But sometimes it can be quite beneficial. Some times includes: breaking a scandalous story that nearly gets you fired, and finding out who or what Tom Collins is.

I used an old friend, called Wikipedia. I'm sure you all know it by now. But this is what it said:

In 1874, people in New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the United States would start a conversation with "Have you seen Tom Collins?"

After the listener predictably reacts by explaining that they did not know a Tom Collins, the speaker would assert that Tom Collins was talking about the listener to others and that Tom Collins was "just around the corner", "in a [local] bar," or somewhere else near.

The conversation about the nonexistent Tom Collins was a proven hoax of exposure. In The 'Great Tom Collins hoax of 1874' as it became known, the speaker would encourage the listener to act foolishly by reacting to patent nonsense that the hoaxer deliberately presents as reality.

In particular, the speaker desired the listener to become agitated at the idea of someone talking about them to others such that the listener would rush off to find the purportedly nearby Tom Collins.

Similar to The New York Zoo hoax of 1874, several newspapers propagated the very successful practical joke by printing stories containing false sightings of Tom Collins. The 1874 hoax quickly gained such notoriety that several 1874 music hall songs memorialized the event (copies of which now are in the U.S. Library of Congress).

Did that make much sense to you? No? Me neither.

But if you would like to try the tasty drink that is Tom Collins, take a look at this recipe:

2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp castor sugar
3 oz club soda
1 maraschino cherry &
1 slice orange

In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.

Enjoy Phuza Thursday! I know I will!


Jenna said...

YUM - looks sooo good!

ps Please tell me your a bulls supporter! Were going to the game this weekend... can't wait!

Cat said...

Love learning this history behind sayings and phrases :) In fact, hubs has a book called "Heavens to Betsy! and other Curious Sayings"...the book is all about the origin of common sayings and it is so interesting and fun to read :)

xx Cat brideblu

Lisa said...

Tom Collins is a classic, I think my mum used to drink it :) Have never tried it though, but it looks very refreshing so maybe I'll give it a try!

Ramsey said...

This is so hilarious/interesting! Who would have known? And I am a gooooogle finatic. I honestly don't know if I would make it without my google.

Megan and Justin said...

just found your blog and it's adorable! following for sure :)

LCR said...

A little bit of learning, and a yummy drink... i'm into it.
Love the photography goin on on your sidebar too, girl. Beautiful blog.

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