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STEP ON A CRACK,
BREAK YOUR MOTHER'S BACK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT REMEMBERED THIS FROM HIS CHILDHOOD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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NUMBER RHYME TAUNT

IT WAS A TRADITION AT ALL CATHOLIC CENTRAL HIGH
SCHOOL'S ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES TO SAY:
AND THE SCORE GOES UP ANOTHER NOTCH C. C.,
ANOTHER NOTCH, C. C.
AFTER ALL POINTS SCORED FOR OUR TEAMS.
THIS INDICATED TO THE OPPOSITION THAT WE
WERE SCORING WHILE THEY WEREN'T AT THAT TIME.

James Callow comment: WHO SAID IT? COLLECTOR SAYS: AUDIENCE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HIGH SCHOOL ; DETROIT ; CATHOLIC CENTRAL

James Callow Keyword(s): CHEER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival Custom Festival
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

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PADIDDLE

I AM NOT SURE OF THE SPELLING, BUT THIS IS THE WAY THE WORD IS
PRONOUNCED AND IT INDICATES A CAR WITH ONLY ONE OPERATIVE
HEADLIGHT. WHEN YOU ARE WITH A GIRL YOU GET TO KISS HER IF YOU SEE
SUCH A CAR AND YELL OUT PADIDDLE BEFORE SHE DOES. IF SHE DOES, SHE
GETS TO HIT YOU IN THE ARM.
ALSO GIRLS KEEP COUNT OF HOW MANY SUCH CARS THEY SEE BY THEM-
SELVES. THE FIRST BOY THEY SEE WHEN THEY HIT FIVE HUNDRED IS
SUPPOSED TO BE THE BOY THEY WILL MARRY.
A "GERONIMO" IS A CAR WHICH HAS ONE LIGHT BRIGHTER THAN THE
OTHER DUE TO AN ACCIDENT OR ONE ON WHICH THE HEADLIGHT FAILS
AS YOU ARE WATCHING IT.

Submitter comment: THE FIRST TIME I EVER HEARD THIS WAS IN THE EIGHTH GRADE. I
BELIEVE IT WAS IN A MOVIE WITH JAMES DEAN. AFTER THAT SOMEONE
EXPLAINED IT TO ME AND I HAVE HEARD IT COUNTLESS TIMES SINCE
THAT IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; QUICKNESS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Number P686.3.500
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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DEVIL'S NIGHT

ON DEVIL'S NIGHT RING DOORBELLS AND SOAP WINDOWS
TO SHOW YOUR RESPECT FOR THE DEVIL'S POWER.

Where learned: HOME ; SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- September 23 equinox to December 20 Also used for Advent.
BELIEF -- Devil Demon

Date learned: CA1963-1975

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SECOND LINE

THIS IS AN INSTRUMENTAL. THE MUSIC GIVES THE IMPRESSION
OF A SNAPPY MARCH.

Submitter comment: THE 'SECOND LINE ' IS NOT ONLY A SONG, BUT A DANCE OR STRUT.
IT IS VERY POPULAR AMONG BLACKS IN NEW ORLEANS. THIS STRUT
IS NOT ONLY PERFORMED DURING THE MARDI GRAS SEASON, IT IS
PERFORMED AT THE END OF LAMOST EVERY DANCE, WHITE OR BALCK.
WHEN YOU HEAR THE BLAST OF THE TRUMPETS, IT IS LIKE CALLING
ALL THE PEOPLE TO THE DANCE FLOOR. YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE
CANNOT BEAR TO SIT WHILE THIS TUNE IS PLAYING.
IT IS ALWAYS THE LAST DANCE OF THE BALL. THE SECOND
LINE TUNE IS ALSO PLAYED AFTER A JAZZ FUNERAL, BUT THEY
USUALLY REMEMBER THE SONG 'WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN.'
ON MARDI GRAS DAY YOU WILL SEE THE INDIANS DOING THE
'SECOND LINE DANCE' TO THEIR CHANTS AND TO THE MUSIC THAT
THEY MAKE.
THE TUNE ITSELF CAN BE PLAYED AT A RELATIVELY SLOW TEMPO FOR
THE PRESENTATIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CLUB GIVING
THE BALL. THE TEMPO IS QUICKENED FOR THE FINALAE OF THE BALL.
THE SECOND LINE DANCE IS KNOWN BY MANY WHITES IN NEW ORLEANS,
BUT IT IS BASICALLY A TRADITION OF THE BLACKS THERE.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): INTERRACIALISM, NOT RACISM

Subject headings: 663 Mardi Gras
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Dance
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Festival C436.663
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Music
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-11-1975

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TELEPHONE PRANK

CALLER: DO YOU HAVE SIR WALTER RALEUGH IN A CAN?
ANSWERER: (WHO CAN WORK IN A STORE) YES.
CALLER: WELL THEN LET HIM OUT.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT HAS DONE THIS WITH FRIENDS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN ; SLANG: "CAN" FOR TOILET."

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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THE FOLLOWING IS A FLIM-FLAM TECHNIQUE ONE STUDENT USES TO GET INTO
SOLD OUT EVENTS SUCH AS CONCERTS OR ATHLETIC CONTESTS: THE CORNER OF
A TWENTY DOLLAR BILL IS CUT OFF AND CAREFULLY ATTACHED BY SOME SORT
OF GLUE TO THE CORNER OF A ONE DOLLAR BILL. THE CURENCY IS THEN
FOLDED FOUR OR FIVE TIMES SO THAT JUST THE CORNER SHOWING THE $20
IS EXPOSED. THIS "TWENTY" IS OFFERED TO THE TICKET TAKER WHO-BECAUSE
HE DOES NOT WANT TO CALL ATTENTION TO HIMSELF-USUALLY POCKETS THE
BILL QUICKLY WITHOUT CAREFUL EXAMINATION. THE STUDENT THEN SCAMPERS
INTO THE STADIUM OR ARENA TO SEE THE SCHEDULED EVENT AT BARGAIN
PRICES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): DISHONESTY ; EUPHEMISM

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 10-00-1975

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DURING STRENUOUS PRACTICE SESSIONS OR DURING GAMES, PARTICIPATING
BASKETBALL PLAYERS NEVER DRINK WATER. THEY FEAR THIS WOULD CAUSE
THEIR STOMACHS TO BE BOGGED DOWN AND WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT THEIR
PLAY. INSTEAD THEY COOL OFF BY POURING A STEADY STREAM OF COLD WATER
ON THEIR WRISTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; SPORTS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hands, palms, fingernails
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-00-1975

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IN A BAR, IF A CUSTOMER PUTS HIS EMPTY GLASS ALONGSIDE THE WOODEN
EDGE OF THE COUNTER IT SIGNALS TO THE BARTENDER THAT HE WILL HAVE
ANOTHER OF WHAT HE HAS BEEN DRINKING. THE BARTENDER WILL
AUTOMATICALLY BRING THE DRINK, VERBAL TRANSACTIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; PAT SULLIVANS TAVERN

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
Food Drink -- MenuService
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 10-00-1975

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"BAR TIME" IS THE TIME ON CLOCKS IN BARS AND LOUNGES. IT IS ALWAYS
FAST, USUALLY TEN OR FIFTEEN MINUTES SO. THIS IS TO PROVIDE
INSURANCE THAT THE BARTENDER DOES NOT SERVE ANY DRINKS AFTER THE
TIME SPECIFIED BY THE LIQUOR LAWS OF THE LOCALE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; PAT SULLIVANS TAVERN

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Common law
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 10-00-1975

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN' OCTOBER 30, IS COMMONLY KNOWN AS DEVIL,S
NIGHT. ON THAT NIGHT CHILDREN ARE SUPPOSED TO GO ABOUT THEIR
NEIGHBORHOODS RINGING DOORBELLS, SOAPING
WINDOWS OR STREAMING TOILET TISSUE ON TREES. IT IS A HARMLESS
DIVERSION.

Submitter comment: IN RECENT YEARS DEVIL'S NIGHT HAS NOT BEEN HARMLESS. IT HAS TURNED
FROM A NIGHT OF PRANKS TO A NIGHT OF DESTRUCTION. BREAKING WINDOWS,
THROWING STONES AT CARS OR PAINT AT HOUSES IS NOT UNCOMMON. WAX
HAS BEEN SUBSTITUTED FOR SOAP. THE CHANGE IN CHILDREN'S PRANKS
COULD VERY WELL BE RELATED TO THE SICKNESS IN RECENT HALLOWEENS.
IN RECENT YEARS RAZOR BLADES, POISON AND NEEDLES HAVE BEEN PLACED IN
TRICK OR TREATER'S CANDY AND APPLES. THIS COULD VERY WELL HAVE A
DIRECT CORRELATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CRUEL PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: CA00001962

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GOOD FRIDAY

IN ITALY, ON GOOD FRIDAY, IT WAS A CUSTOM FOR THE PEOPLE TO TAKE
NOISEMAKERS TO CHURCH. AT A PRESCRIBED TIME DURING THE SERVICES,
EVERYONE WOULD BEGIN MAKING NOISES. SOMETIMES THIS WOULD BE A PIECE
OF WOOD AND A HAMMER AND NAILS--ANYTHING THAT WOULD MAKE NOISE.
ALSO IF SOMEONE IN FRONT OF YOU HAD A COAT ON AND LAID IT ON
THE PEW, YOU MIGHT NAIL THE COAT TO THE PEW AS A TYPE OF PRANK.

Submitter comment: AS RECOUNTED FROM MRS. BENESTELLI, A NEIGHBOR, ON TAPE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC ; PRANKS

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

Date learned: 11-01-1970

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PRACTICAL JOKE

TELL SOMEBODY THAT THEY CAN READ SIAMESE. THEN WRITE THIS OUT;
"O WA TAGU SIAM". THEN HAVE THEM READ IT OUT LOUD UNTIL THEY
REALIZE THAT THEY ARE SAYING, "OH WHAT A GOOSE I AM".

Where learned: MISSOURI ; AGENCY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Wit
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: CA00001967

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PRACTICAL JOKE

WRITE THIS OUT: "POLISH IT IN THE CORNER". HAVE SOMEONE SAY IT
OUT LOUD THREE TIMES, THEN SAY: "SHAME ON POLLY"

Where learned: MISSOURI ; AGENCY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Wit
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: CA00001967

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TAPE OF MISCELLANOUS INFORMATION

GHOATS, MONETARY SYSTEM,(NIARA & KOBO) DISEASES, WALKING BAREFOOTED,
CARRYING THINGS ON YOUR HEAD, GHOSTS OF CHILDREN, SUPERSTITIONS:
NIGERIAN SUPERSTITION, THEIR ORIGIN, JUJU, MAKING MONEY
USING HEAD OF CHILD, BANSHEE IN IRELAND, NIGERIAN LIGHTENING,
OMENS, CHARMS, GAMES, (MOTHER MAY I?)
WATER DANGEROUS FOR SWIMMING, AMDG FOR LUCK, FESTIVALS

Where learned: NIGERIA ; SOME FROM IRELAND

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration
Observation
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F040!
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quality Monetary system Money Wealth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Festival
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Human
BELIEF -- P000
BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Witch Shaman
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Lightning Thunder
BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color
BELIEF -- Word Letter
BELIEF -- Medicine
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: OOOOI96OS

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POLISH CUSTOM

1ST MAY: IF THERE IS SOME UNMARRIED WOMAN IN THE VILLAGE THE
PEOPLE WHO PLAY TRICKS HANG AN EFFIGY OF A MAN ON THE DOOR.
FOR A BACHELOR THEY DO THE OPPOSITE.

Submitter comment: LEARNED IN POLAND

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 09-27-1967

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DEVIL'S NIGHT

OCTOBER 30, THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN, IS DEVIL'S NIGHT.
THE KIDS WHO ARE TOO OLD TO GO BEGGING SOAP OR WAX WINDOWS, THROW
EGGS, OR RING DOORBELLS.
ANOTHER TRICK IS TO WRAP FRESH DOG CRAP IN NEWSPAPER, PUT IT ON
SOMEONE'S PORCH, IGNITE THE NEWSPAPER, AND RING THE DOORBELL. THE
OCCUPANT USUALLY TRIES TO EXTINGUISH IT BY STAMPING ON THE NEWS-
PAPER.
SOMETIMES FIRECRACKERS ARE PUT IN MAILBOXES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 10-30-1968

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A FOLKTALE ABOUT A HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

WHEN I WAS JUST A LITTLE FELLOW, JUST ABOUT SO TALL, ME AND THESE
FRIENDS OF MINE WENT OUT ON DEVILS NIGHT AND DECIDED WE WAS GONNA
HAVE US SOME FUN. WELL WE TOOK US AN OLD TIRE, TIRES WAS HARD TO
GET IN THOSE DAYS, AND WE FILLED THAT OLD TIRE WITH COW MANURE.
THEN WE TIED A LONG ROPE TO IT AND PUT IT OUT IN THE ROAD. NOW
TIRES WAS HARD TO GET IN THOSE DAYS AND THERE WAS SURE TO BE
SOMEONE WHO WOULD STOP TO PICK IT UP. WELL WE HID IN THE BUSHES
AND WAITED AND SURE AS YOU MAKE HEAD CHEESE FROM PIGS A CAR STOPPED
TO PICK IT UP. AND WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT TWO FELLAS, ALL DRESSED
UP 'CAUSE THEY WERE GOING TO TOWN, STOPPED THEIR CAR AND WAS
GANNA PICK UP THAT OLD TIRE WHEN WE GIVE IT A GOOD PULL. WELL
THEY WEREN'T GONNA LET US KIDS OUT SMART THEM SO THEY PICKED UP THAT
OLD TIRE AND GAVE IT A GOOD PULL AND WE LET IT GO AND THEY FELL
WITH THAT TIRE ON TOP OF THEM AND GOT ALL MESSED UP AND THAT OLD
TIRE WASN'T NO GOOD ANYWAY. (SIC)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTLAND

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOMS

ON HALLOWEEN THE INFORMANTS MOTHER AND HER FRIENDS USED TO GO
"WINDOW-RATTLING." A WINDOW RATTLER IS MADE BY CUTTING NOTCHES
AROUND BOTH ENDS OF A SPOOL, AND WRAPPING STRING AROUND IT.
THEN YOU PUT A PENCIL THROUGH THE HOLE IN THE SPOOL. WHEN YOU HOLD
THE RATTLER AGAINST A WINDOW AND PULL THE STRING A LOUD NOISE IS
PRODUCED, SCARING THE OCCUPANTS OF THE HOUSE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S MOTHER IS 45, IRISH-AMERICAN, LIFE-LONG RESIDENT OF
LITTLE FALLS, NEW YORK

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 09-18-1969

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HALLOWEEN CUSTOM

IT IS THE CUSTOM IN CZECHOSLOVOKIA ON HALLOWEEN FOR THE BOYS TO
DUMP A BUCKET OF ( WATER ON ? ) UNSUSPECTING GIRLS AS A TRICKSTER
PRANK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): PRANKS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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