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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK RHYME

YOU MAY SIT ON MY LAP
BUT I PITY YOU IF YOU MARRY A JAP.

Submitter comment: FROM INFORMANT'S JUNIOR HIGH AUTOGRAPH BOOK 1929-1933

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; GLENSHAW

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; ETHNIC SLUR ; MARRIAGE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Cynical insight
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb C880.400
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 10-02-1971 ; 00001929-1933

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ITALIAN RIDDLE

HOW MANY PALLBEARERS ARE AT AN ITALIAN FUNERAL?
2- GARBAGE PAILS HAVE ONLY TWO HANDLES}

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC JOKE HUMOR

Subject headings:

Date learned: 10-14-1968

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BLACK RACE SAYING

IF YOU'RE WHITE, THEN YOU'RE RIGHT.
IF YOU'RE BLACK, THEN GET BACK.

Submitter comment:

EVIDENTLY THIS IS A POPULAR SAYING IN CHILLICOTHE, OHIO,
WHERE THE INFORMANT IS FROM, AMONG BLACK PEOPLE. THE
BLACK PEOPLE THERE ARE EXTREMELY LIGHT COMPLECTED AND
MOST OF THEM PASS AS WHITE. SO THE "GETTING BACK" REFERRED
TO IN THE ABOVE SAYING ROUGHLY MEANS ACT WHITE, OR MARRY
SOMEONE WHO IS WHITE, ETC. SO THAT YOU WILL BE CONSIDERED
WHITE INSTEAD OF BLACK. INFORMANT SAID MOST PEOPLE IN
CHILLICOTHE ARE BLACK, BUT PASS AS WHITE (I.E., MOST
PEOPLE HAVE BLACK BLOOD IN THEM, ALTHOUGH THEY ARE
EXTREMELY LIGHT--SO THEY ALSO MUST HAVE WHITE BLOOD
IN THEM).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC ; RACE ; RHYME

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

Date learned: 01-00-1971

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A Joke

Informant told me that it is a standing joke among the Jewish people he knows that no two Jews can agree on anything except on what the third Jew should give.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Jewish is written in the upper left hand corner of the submission.

The original BN's [A566, B660] have the lightest ink mark running through them. It may be that they were crossed out, or it may simply be a very light, very faint pen mark.

Submission card located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: TELEPHONE ; TOLD BY

Keyword(s): ETHNIC JOKE ; HUMOR ; Jewish ; JOKE ; Stereotype

James Callow Keyword(s): Jewish

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

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Ethnic Joke: French

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

There was this couple engaged to be married. He was a Frenchman, while she was American. Her father gives her advice about her fiance: "Daughter, don't marry a frenchman!" But father, I love this man very much, I'm sure he will be fine. Her father repeats his warning: "Don't marry a Frenchman, because in six months, he'll ask you to "Change ends!" Don't worry father, everything will be ok. So, they got married.

What do you know, but six months later, while they are in bed, the Frenchman says "Honey, would you mind changing ends, just for tonight?" The girl gets a little angry and says "I should have listened to my father, he was right about you Frenchmen!" The frenchman replied, "But honey, Don't you want to have any children?"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission card was located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: RENO HALL ; DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): ETHNIC JOKE ; FRENCH ; HOMOSEXUALITY ; Innuendo ; MARRIAGE ; REFERENCE TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE ; SEXUAL EUPHEMISM ; Stereotype

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566

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Ethnic Joke: Italian

Two old friends are at an airport, watching theplanes land and take off. Suddenly, one says to the other, "Hey! I bet you $25.00 that the Pope is aboard that plane!" The other guy, thinking that he has a safe bet says "you're on!" They watch the plane land, and sure enough, the red carpet rolls out to meet the plane and the Pope walks out! Later, as they guy pays off his debt, he asks, "How in the world did you know that the Pope would be on board?" "Simple," replied the other. "The plane was marked T.W.A., and as we all know, that means Top Wop Aboard!"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Submission Card located in pile marked To Be Classified.

Italian, Ethnic

Where learned: DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): AIRPLANES ; Airport ; Bet ; DEROGATORY ; DEROGATORY TERM=WOP (FOR ITALIAN) ; ETHNIC JOKE ; ETHNIC SLUR ; Gamble ; JOKE ; Pope ; Stereotype

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566
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Ethnic Joke: Italian

Three Italian men are talking about their individual sons' success in America. One says to the other two: "My son Luigi, he go to America, he go to college, he becomes a lawyer, he earns $30,000.00 dollars a year!"

On of the other two guys replies "Oh, that's nothing! My son Josephie, he go to America, he go to college, he becomes a doctor, he earns $50,000.00 a year!"
 But the third guy replies "That's Nothing!"

"My Vincenti, he go to America, he doesn't go to college, and he earns $200,000.00 a year!" The other two ask in amazement, "But what does your son do?" He replies, "He's a sports-mechanic. He fixes football games, basketball games, baseball games..."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Italian is written in the top left corner of the submission card.

Submission card was located in a pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC JOKE HUMOR ; GAMBLING ; HUMOR ; Professions ; Stereotype

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566

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Ethnic Joke: Black

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Ethnic (Black) Joke

5 Men are on the moon. Because of rocket engine trouble, only 4 can come back to Earth. The captain of the ship proposes a question to be asked to each of the men. If they answer correctly, they return to Earth. If not, they will be left there. He asks the first: "What was the worst sea-going accident of all time?" The crew man replies"The sinking of the Titanic." "Good!" the captain replies. "You have a place with me on the ship." He comes to the second crewman and asks, "how many people died on that ship?" The crew man answers "about 1100 people, sir." "Good!" The captain says. "You have a place on the ship with me." He comes to the third crewman and says "allright nigger, name 'em!"

(Obviously, he didn't make it...)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Negro is written in the top left hand corner of the submission card.

Submission card was located in a pile labeled To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; DORM ROOM

Keyword(s): DEROGATORY ; DEROGATORY SLANG ; Distasteful Jokes ; ETHNIC JOKE ; ETHNIC SLUR ; MOON ; NEGRO ; NIGGER ; RACISM ; Stereotype ; Titanic

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566
RIDDLE -- W566
Filter - Mature Content

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Ethnic Joke: Black

Ethnic (Black) Joke:

Did you hear about the accident on the Lodge Freeway Yesterday?

A colored guy stuck his head out of the window while travelling 60 mph, and his lips beat him to death!

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word negro is written in the top left hand corner of the submission card.

Submission card was located in a pile labeled To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT INFORMANTS HOME

Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; DEROGATORY ; DEROGATORY SLANG ; Distasteful Jokes ; ETHNIC JOKE ; Freeway ; NEGRO ; RACISM ; Stereotype

James Callow Keyword(s): NEGRO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C566
RIDDLE -- W566
Filter - Mature Content

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic Joke: Italian

Two Italians were watching ships in the harbor when a submarine came in. One turned to the other and said,

"Thatsa U Boat."

"No, I justa watch."

Submitter comment:

Informant said that he first heard this at wedding last summer. It took the informant at least ten minutes to tell this joke because he kept laughing.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

The word Italian is written in the upper left hand corner of the submission card.

Submission card located in pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): ETHNIC ; Italian ; Language ; Language Barrier ; Submarines

James Callow Keyword(s): Italian

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Translations, plays on words, symbol writing
RIDDLE -- W566

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Custom

Buddhists wear miniature images of buddha around their necks. When displaying the image of the Lord Buddha in the homes or elsewhere, the Thai are careful to place the image high enough so that no human can be at a higher level or walk above the image.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F538] crossed out. Not replaced with anything.

Submission card was located in pile labeled To Be Classified

Where learned: WHILE STATIONED IN THAILAND

Keyword(s): BUDDHA ; Buddhism ; CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; RELIGIOUS CUSTOM ; SYMBOL ; THAILAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Use of Object Religious objects

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Custom

Ukrainians have a custom of greeting honored guests with bread and salt. The host or hostess, carrying a plate with a loaf of bread and a mound of salt on top of it, meets the guest at the door with proper salutations, in expression of greetings & hospitality. Newlyweds are installed in their new home with a ritual of bread and salt.

Submitter comment:

Today this custom is used only by organizations when greeting individuals of great distinction.

Data entry tech comment:

Motif added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WARREN ; MOTHER

Keyword(s): BREAD, Salt ; CUSTOM ; DOMESTIC RELATIONS ; ETHNIC ; MARRIAGE ; Salt, Bread ; Social Rank ; SOCIAL RELATIONS ; UKRAINIAN

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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Entry filtered.

Ethnic: Chinese

Chinese Fire Drill:

When a light turns red, somebody yells "Chinese Fire Drill" and everybody piles out of the car and runs around it and gets back in.

Submitter comment:

I was told this by a group of friends who had attended Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. (1966-68). In 1969 I participated in such a drill.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

BN [F536] written again above the original BN of the same classification. Nothing is crossed out, although it looks like there may have been something erased underneath the original BN. (The second instance may be for clarification purposes.)

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; CHASING GAME ; Chinese ; DEROGATORY ; ETHNIC ; GAME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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Custom

Bicycling:

In Belgium, where bicycles and bicycle racing is still very popular, it is very common to see people walking beside very nicely decorated bikes during a parade. Decorations could consist of colored paper, ribbons, or roses which might be interwoven in the spokes of the wheels, etc. This custom is continued for the spectacle and unique designs which appear.

Submitter comment:

Recorded on Tape.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [M247.6] crossed out and replaced with F536.

The word Bicycling is written across the top of the entry.

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; RESIDENCE ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): ADORNMENT BEAUTIFICATION ; Belgium ; Bicycle ; Bicycling ; CUSTOM ; Decorate ; ETHNIC ; Parade ; Ribbons ; Roses

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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Ethnic:Polish Superstition

If you sing at the table you'll marry a crazy husband.

Submitter comment:

I distinctly recall hearing this in a Polish Verse form but I can't find anyone else who recalls it.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P800] crossed out and replaced with P88o. The numbers 880 are crossed out and replaced with 477.

Various grammatical correction symbols.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; HUSBAND ; MANNERS ; Omen, Singing ; POLISH ; SUPERSTITION ; TABLE MANNERS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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Ethnic:Polish Superstition

IF A YOUNG GIRL SINGS AT THE TABLE, SHE WILL MARRY A CRAZY HUSBAND.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANT IS A FRIEND OF MINE WHO REMEMBERS THIS FROM HER CHILDHOOD.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; HUSBAND ; MANNERS ; Omen, Singing ; POLISH ; SUPERSTITION ; TABLE MANNERS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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Ethnic:Polish Superstition

IF YOU SING AT THE TABLE, YOU WILL MARRY A CRAZY HUSBAND.

Submitter comment:

SHE HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; ETHNIC ; HUSBAND ; MANNERS ; Omen, Singing ; POLISH ; SUPERSTITION ; TABLE MANNERS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 11-00-1967

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Ethnic: Irish/Scottish Superstition

Good Luck:

No man would ever leave Irelannd or Scotland without a bit of heather and a small bag of soil. Without these life in the new wold would be bitter.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN's [P880, F533, p880] crossed out and replaced with F533.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; WYANDOTTE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CUSTOM ; DIVINATION ; Earth ; ETHNIC ; Heather ; Herbal ; Irish ; LUCK ; NATURE ; New World ; SCOTTISH ; Soil ; SUPERSTITION ; TRAVEL

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

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Ethnic: Native American

Destiny:

If an indians is [sic] killed in battle without his weapon, his soul will be damned in limbo.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out. Replaced with current classification

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): AFTERLIFE ; DEATH ; Destiny, Warrior, Weapon, Ethnic, Indian, Native American ; Limbo ; Soul

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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Destiny

Apache Indians will never attack at night, because if they are killed at night their souls will be damned to limbo.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out and replaced with current classification.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Attack ; DEATH ; ETHNIC ; Limbo ; Native American ; Nighttime ; Soul ; WAR ; Warrior

Subject headings: BELIEF -- War

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