Urban Legends

Pillsbury bullet

The Legend

A woman named Sally had just finished grocery shopping on a hot summer just after noon. She had closed the door of her stiflingly hot car and just put on her seatbelt when she heard a loud bang and felt something hit her in the back of the head. Reaching back, she felt a gooey, sticky mass and was convinced that she'd been shot and that her brains were leaking out.

Not wanting to move with such a grievous injury, she remained still, holding in her brains, until she caught the eye of a passerby who summoned paramedics and an ambulance. The paramedics discovered that the culprit was a tube of Pillsbury dough in the shopping bag the woman had put in the seat behind her. The heat had caused the dough to expand, bursting out of its container, and launching a bag of grapes through the air and into the back of Sally's head. The grapes impacted hard enough to crack Sally's skull and give her a mild concussion, but fortunately it was grape pulp and not brains that she felt on the back of her neck.

An interesting aside is that it took so long for help to arrive that the Pillsbury dough had time to cook in the car's oven-like interior. The ambulance driver said they were delicious.

Behind the Legend

Sally Martin, the real-life victim in this legend, suffered a scare and injury, almost exactly as described, in the summer of 1995 just outside an Arkansas Piggly Wiggly. She went on to sue both Pillsbury (because the biscuit package broke so easily) and the grape farmer (they were supposed to have been seedless grapes) and settled out of court for an undisclosed but enormous sum. Also, during the real incident, while Sally was waiting for help she ate the biscuits herself.

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