The "Pass-It-On" Method of Rumor Making

You’re a bored third grader sitting in your elementary school’s cafeteria. You just finished trading away your peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your friend's left over cookies. So what do you do? That’s right, you spread a rumor.

You choose your victim, today it’s Johnny because he wouldn’t loan you his yellow crayon earlier. Didn’t you see Johnny walking to school with Jenny today? Yeah you did. Johnny has to like Jenny then.

You lean over to the person sitting next to you and cup your hand over their ear....

Psst! Johnny likes Jenny! Pass it on!

Being the easiest and most efficient way to spread a rumor in elementary school, the "pass-it-on" method - verbally passing a rumor from one person to another in rapid sucession - seems to have been around since the birth of the rumor. Not only does this rumor spreading method ensure complete exposure of the given information, assuming that each person does his or her part, but it also saves the originator from taking any sort of punishment, as it would be too hard to trace the rumor back to its origin.

When choosing the rumor you wish to spread using the "pass-it-on" method it is important to pick something that isn’t too long, as your peers are likely to forget something that is more than a few words in length while in elementary school. So keep it simple. Nice choices include...

  • Johnny likes Jenny
  • Johnny has cooties
  • Johnny eats glue
  • Johnny got an F
  • Johnny cheated on the test
  • Johnny shoves crayons up his nose
  • Johnny lost his mittens
  • Johnny still takes naps
  • Johnny wears diapers

Another thing to be conscious of while distributing your rumors is that you can start them at almost any time. Don’t be afraid to toss one to your partner while your class is sitting cross-legged on the carpet during story time; in fact, this is another brilliant time to execute the "pass-it-on".

Then again, open spaces can work just as well. During recess, while your fellow classmates are playing on the nice wooden swing set, don’t feel like you can't have the short kid run a "pass-it-on" to the group of girls already gossiping on the tire structure.

However, the most important thing to do while executing the "pass-it-on" method of rumor making is to have fun. Your rumors will more than likely never be taken as seriously as rumors published in your local newspaper, so don’t expect people to give you credence as a liable rumor news source. So please, enjoy the rumor creating, and don’t take things too seriously.


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