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Recurring Themes

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One of the standard "panic" rumors that throw some African villages into turmoil is the report that a couple (usually unmarried and therefore deserving of bad fortune) has become stuck together during sex and cannot be unstuck without medical attention. A reporter for Kenya's East African Standard happened to be in the middle of a frenzied mob in front of the Naselica Hotel in downtown Kisumu on May 26, brought together by rumors that an ambulance had been called for a stuck couple. The reporter was convinced that most in the crowd were true believers, but the hotel manager said one of his competitors probably had planted the rumor, hoping to tie up traffic for the day and to create the impression that the Naselica is unlucky.

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