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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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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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GAME SUPERSTITION FOR LUCK

THAT WAS FOLLOWED AT ALL SAINTS HIGH SCHOOL IN DETROIT.
THE PLAYERS WOULD ALWAYS THROW A BASKETBALL OUT OF
THE LOCKER ROOM BEFORE THEY RAN OUT, TO ASSURE A WIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

THE GIRLS FLOOR GETS TOGETHER AND GOES OVER TO THE GUYS FLOOR AND
KIDNAPS ONE OF THE GUYS ON THE FLOOR. THEY LEAVE A RANSOM NOTE
THAT SAYS: RANSOM IS SET AT ONE KEG OF BEER. THEN A PARTY IS HELD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

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

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

MAKE A PAPER CUP AND PUT SHAVING CREAM IN IT. STICK THE TOP END
UNDER A DOOR AND STEP ON THE CUP. THE SHAVING CREAM WILL
GO SQUIRTING INTO THE ROOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

WHEN SOMEONE IS TAKING A SHOWER, TWO PEOPLE GET A TRASHCAN OF COLD
WATER AND THROW IT OVER THE TOP OF THE SHOWER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

TO PENNY A DOOR, YOU FIX IT SO THAT THE PERSON INSIDE CANNOT GET OUT.
TO DO THIS, YOU NEED ONE PERSON TO LEAN ON THE CLOSED DOOR AND AN-
OTHER PERSON TO STICK AS MANY PENNIES AS NEEDED, ONE ON TOP OF THE
OTHER, TO FILL THE GAP BETWEEN THE DOOR AND DOORWAY. WHAT IT DOES,
IS CREATES PRESSURE ON THE DOOR LATCH, SO THE DOORKNOB CANNOT BE
TURNED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTIONAL SHIFT: NOUN AS VERB: TO PENNY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

PUT CELLOPHANE WRAP UNDER THE TOILET SEAT AND OVER THE TOILET BOWL
IN A GIRL'S BATHROOM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

James Callow Keyword(s): SARAN WRAP (CLEAR, PLASTIC FOOD-WRAP)

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

SEW UP THE HOLE IN A GUYS UNDERWEAR, AND PANTS TOO. ALSO SEW UP THE
SLEEVES IN HIS UNDERSHIRTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

REMOVE THE MATTRESS ON A BED. REPLACE WITH STACKS OF NEWSPAPERS.
THEN MAKE THE BED AGAIN, AS IF NOTHING WAS WRONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

TURN EVERYTHING UPSIDEDOWN IN THE ROOM. EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE
STUFF ON THE SHELVES, DESKS, THINGS ON THE BULLETIN BOARDS, ETC.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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PRACTICAL JOKE (PIMP)

AT NIGHT, GO OUTSIDE A PERSONS ROOM AND PAINT THE WINDOWS BLACK. IF
THEY HAVE SCREENS, PAINT SOME NEWSPAPER BLACK AND TAPE IT UP TO THE
SCREENS. WHEN THE PERSON WAKES UP IT WILL STILL BE NIGHTTIME TO
THEM, BECAUSE THE SUN IS NOT SHINING THROUGH THEIR WINDOWS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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NAVAL CUSTOM; PRACTICAL JOKE

WHEN A SHIP GOES OUT TO SEA, THE CREWMEN GET TWO SMALL OR LARGE
GARBAGE CANS AND PUT SEVERAL LIT CIGARETTES INTO THE CANS. NEXT
THEY MOVE THE CANS AROUND TO MAKE NOISE. WHEN A NEW RECRUIT COMES
BY, THEY TELL HIM THAT THERE ARE SEA-BATS INSIDE. WHEN HE STOOPS
OVER TO SEE, THE CREWMEN EITHER ATTEMPT TO PUSH HIM INTO THE CAN
OR SLAP HIM ON THE BUTTOCKS.

Submitter comment: THIS PRACTICAL JOKE WAS PLAYED ON THE INFORMANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 11-22-1974

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PRACTICAL JOKE

WHEN A NEW WORKER BEGINS TO CLEAN TOILETS FOR THE FIRST TIME AT
COBO HALL, HE IS ASKED REPEATEDLY BY THE OLDER WORKERS IF HE HAS
A STATE BOARD OF HEALTH CARD. IF HE SAYS NO, WHICH HE ALMOST
CERTAINLY WILL, HE IS REPRIMANDED FOR NOT TELLING THE SUPERVISOR
AND RISKING A POSSIBLE FINE AGAINST THE COMPANY.

Submitter comment: THIS QUESTION HAS BEEN ASKED OF ALL WORKERS, INCLUDING MYSELF, AT
LEAST SINCE I STARTED WORK THERE 3 1/2 YEARS AGO.I FOUND OUT FROM
OTHER WORKERS THAT THEY ALSO WERE ASKED THIS QUESTION. THE LONGEST
WORKING EMPLOYEE ASKED WAS A WORKER WITH 10 YEARS SENIORITY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOAX PRACTICAL JOKE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1971

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PRACTICAL JOKE

OFTEN AFTER A SUCCESSFUL FOOTBALL SEASON, AFTER THE LAST GAME,
SOMEONE WOULD FILL THE SHOWER ROOM WITH SOME BUBBLE BATH, MAKING
BUBBLES ALL THE WAY TO THE CEILING. THEN THE PLAYERS WOULD GRAB THE
COACH AND MANAGERS AND THROW THEM IN THE SHOWER, FULLY CLOTHED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 01-10-1973

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THE TISSUE PRANK

ASK A PERSON TO SAY TERRIFIED. THEN ASK THEM TO SAY TISSUE. THEN ASK
THEM TO SAY IT TOGETHER. WHEN THEY SAY TERRIFIED TISSUE, ANSWER WITH
NO GO RIGHT AHEAD

Submitter comment: AS SHE FINISHED THIS JOKE WITH MYSELF AS THE PERSON IT WAS PULLED ON
SHE STOOD THERE WITH HER EYES CLOSED AND HER LIPS PUCKERED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; RIVERVIEW

James Callow Keyword(s): KISS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 01-00-1974

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TELEPHONE PRANK

CALL A NUMBER FOUR OR FIVE TIMES, AND EACH TIME ASK FOR HARRY.
THEN CALL AND SAY, THIS IS HARRY, ARE THERE ANY MESSAGES?

Submitter comment: AS THE INFORMANT OFFERED THIS ONE, I COULD SEE THAT SHE TOLD IT
RELUCTANTLY, AS IF SHE HAD FEAR OF IT HAPPENING TO HER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; RIVERVIEW

James Callow Keyword(s): TELEPHONE PRANK

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 01-00-1974

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KNOCK-KNOCK JOKE

FIRST PERSON: I HAVE A NEW KNOCK-KNOCK JOKE, DO YOU WANT TO HEAR IT?
SECOND PERSON: YES.
FIRST PERSON: YOU START.
THE SECOND PERSON WILL ALMOST ALWAYS START AND WHEN YOU SAY WHO'S
THERE THEY WILL BECOME CONFUSED AND THEN REALIZE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; SAINT CLAIR

James Callow Keyword(s): CATCH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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EASTER CUSTOM

BOYS WOULD MAKE TINY HOLES WITH A NEEDLE AT OPPOSITE ENDS OF AN
EGG AND BLOW THE INSIDES OUT. WHEN THE GIRLS WERE STANDING UP
IN CHURCH THE BOYS WOULD SNEAK UP AND PIN THE EMPTY SHELL
ON THEIR BACKS.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS DONE TO UNMARRIED GIRLS IN POLAND.
THE INFORMANT IS NOT SURE WHETHER IT WAS DONE AT CHRISTMAS OR
OR EASTER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; POLAND ; Sterling Heights ; GOWARCZOW

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Palm Sunday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Season

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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