Thursday, August 16, 2007

Trustworthy? Nevermore.

You've likely heard that a 92-year-old fan and Edgar Allan Poe preservationist has claimed responsibility for the legendary "Poe Toaster," a cloaked figure said to visit the dead writer's grave each Jan. 19 bearing gifts.

"We did it, myself and my tour guides," Sam Porpora told the AP. "It was a promotional idea. We made it up, never dreaming it would go worldwide."

According to the Baltimore Sun, Porpora “casually mentioned” his role in the Poe hoopla to a public relations official at the Catonsville retirement community where he lives.

Whether or not his story is true (several reports suggest that Porpora's testimony is questionable due to the timing of sightings), this anticlimactic revelation is reminiscent of another more notable letdown: the true identity of Deep Throat as FBI man W. Mark Felt.

Felt and his family -- who chose an article in Vanity Fair, of all places, as the conveyance of the sensational nugget -- released their secret a little more than two years ago. Longtime admirers of Deep Throat had to sync their romanticized profile of the informant with that of a 91-year-old stroke survivor.

It seems that the expression "taking a secret to the grave" isn't taken literally.

-JACKIE SAUTER, Daily Record Multimedia Editor

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