From: email@example.com (David M. Davis - Public Safety)
Subject: Re: Aluminum can tabs worth 80 bucks?
Summary: It aliens...I'm sure...
Date: 2 Jun 93 16:53:22 GMT
Expires: June 20,1993
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <1993Jun1.email@example.com>
Organization: University Computing Services - OSU
Xref: dog.ee.lbl.gov misc.consumers:64399 alt.folklore.urban:78372
ALUMINUM CAN TABS ARE BEING TAKEN BY ALIENS FOR USE AS AN UNLIMITED POWER
SOURCE. MILLIONS OF TABS COLLECTED...NONE EVER FOUND ON EARTH AGAIN...
Recently I saw once again the thread of aluminum can tabs being traded for
dialysis. Yet another repeat of this tired chestnut. Imagine my surprise to
find a paper bag on the wall at the State Police outpost I work at, pleading
for aluminum can tabs. Further it is 1/3 full of tabs. I was shocked, I was
confused, I was a-twitter with the possibilities of proving the existence of
an urban legend and getting in the FAQ. Alas it is not to be so...
The bag does exist. It was put up by one of our security guards. It pleads for
can tabs. I contacted the hanger of the bag. She states, she had heard it was
a way for the people to obtain dialysis and spearheaded the drive at our
facility. I asked what do you do with them? She doesn't know because the
sergeant hauls them off.
I cornered the sergeant at home, off duty, and asked where the can tabs go. He
states, I give them to my daughter who takes them to school. (Philomath High
School, Philomath Oregon). Ah, a civic project to teach the youth of tomorrow
leadership roles in can tab optimization. He further stated his daughter had
an article, written by her and published in the school newspaper (The Arrow),
that supplied the missing link of where the tabs are redeemed.
The article states the tabs are taken to the Shrine Hospital in Portland. This
begins to sound good. I called the hospital and spoke to the switchboard
operator. She was aware of the program but said it was not administered there.
She stated the program was administered by the local Shriners clubs.
I called the Shriners club president in Eugene Oregon, ( we don't have one in
Corvallis, or maybe the hospital received a shipment of tabs from Eugene but
that's the number she gave me.) He stated, I've heard of other clubs doing
this but we never have. He thought the wife of one of his members belonged to
a Grange that did this. No one answered the phone at the Grange Hall.
The collective thoughts of the various people I called was, collecting can
tabs is a way to teach high-school kids civic duty. The tabs are probably sold
as scrap and the money donated to something. A whole range of charities was
offered here. All and all it sounds like a low effort long range car wash.
I traced my tabs to the Philomath High School Library. The librarian quoted me
an article from the Linn Benton Community College Commuter, (which is where
Philomath HS got their idea), about a man working in the computer lab at the
college. Philomath sends the tabs to the Educational Service District, via
currier, where they are transferred, via currier, to Schulz Dietrich, the
above listed employee of the community college. His wife is on dialysis and
they supplement the costs above insurance with the tabs they receive. He
collects tabs from three local counties and sends them in boxes to the
Shriners Hospital in Portland. (Does this sound familiar?) The hospital counts
the tabs and gives three minutes of time per 1000 tabs on a kidney dialysis
machine. The tabs can be dedicated to an individual, an individual and a
dialysis center or just a dialysis center. It doesn't have to be the Shriners
Hospital. Dietrich says he has been doing it for a couple of years and has
collected over 125000 tabs. The program is unique to Oregon and apparently to
the Shriners Hospital. He told me the Kidney Association of Oregon was unaware
of the program.
I called the Shriners Hospital yet again, and spoke to Phyllis Ingram. She is
the liaison to the public for the hospital. She stated, they do not have such
a program, nor had they ever as far as she knew. She also said, "we get calls
like this on occasion, we have never been able to track down the source." I
asked if she would know if they had received 125000 can tabs in the last year.
She said she thought she would. She further told me the Shriners Hospital did
not have a dialysis program. Just to cover all the bases I called the Shriners
Temple in Portland and spoke to the secretary. She said it wasn't done through
them, she had never heard of the program.
SO... I stick by my original statement. It is space aliens. Some how they
intercept the tabs between Albany and Portland, take them for their own
nefarious purposes, and credit the account of Schulz Dietrich to perpetuate
the scheme. I can find no other solution to cover the facts.