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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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RIDDLE

NO MAN WANTS ME, BUT ONCE HE'S GOT ME NO MAN WANTS
TO LOSE ME. WHAT AM I?
-- A BALD HEAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): HEAD

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE QUESTION

WHAT HAS TWO FEET ON EACH SIDE AND ONE IN THE MIDDLE?
-- A YARDSTICK!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; DEARBORN

Keyword(s): MEASURMENT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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FORMULA SPEECH

WHEN SOMEONE WOULD SAY THE SAME THING AS YOU, AT THE SAME TIME, YOU
WERE SUPPOSED TO SAY "JINX ON A COKE; ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE,
SIX, SEVEN, ETC." AND THE OTHER PERSON WOULD HAVE TO SAY "STOP!"

Data entry tech comment: SPELLING CORRECTED BY STUDENT EDITOR

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

James Callow Keyword(s): COUNTING

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-00-1970

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RIDDLE

IF A DIESEL WERE HEADING UP A HILL INTO A SEVENTY MILE AN
HOUR CROSS WIND WHICH WAY WOULD THE SMOKE GO?
-- NO DIRECTION BECAUSE DIESELS DON'T SMOKE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): LEFT RIGHT NORTH EAST WEST

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

IF A ROOSTER LAID AN EGG ON THE TOP OF A ROOF, WHICH WAY
WOULD THE EGG ROLL?
-- NEITHER, ROOSTERS DON'T LAY EGGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): ANIMAL LEFT RIGHT EAST WEST

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

WHY IS ETERNITY LIKE A CIRCLE?
-- IT HAS NEITHER A BEGINNING NOR AN END.

Submitter comment: I HEARD THIS IN FERNDALE, MICHIGAN

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): ETERNITY CIRCLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-24-1967

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MARY THE GOLDFISH

MAY LAY DEAD ON THE FLOOR COMPLETELY NUDE. JOHN WAS
ASLEEP ON THE COUCH. THERE WAS A POOL OF WATER BESIDE
MARY AND ON OVERTURNED BOWL. HOW DID MARY DIE?
TELLER OR INFORMANT ANSWERE QUESTIONS THAT CAN BE ANSWERED
"YES" AND "NO" UNTIL THE STORY UNFOLDS.
-- MARY IS A GOLDFISH AND JOHN IS A CAT.

Submitter comment: FIRST HEARD BY INFORMANT AROUND 1952. IT HAS BEEN PASSED
ON AND HEARD FREQUENTLY SINCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 00-00-1952

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RIDDLE

WHAT'S A VOLCANO?
A MONTAIN WITH HICCUPS.

Where learned: TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): GEOLOGY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

WHAT HAS A MOUTH AND A FORK, BUT NEVER EATS?
-- A RIVER.

Where learned: TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): GEOLOGY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-26-1967

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM FIXED DATE

ON CHRISTMAS EVE, EACH CHILD IN THE FAMILY WOULD KNEEL
AND RECITE THE ACTS OF FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY, AND CONTRITION
TO REMIND THE CHILDREN HOW UNWORTHY THEY WERE TO RECEIVE
THE GIFTS FROM SANTA. AT THE SAME TIME, THEY WERE
OFFERING THESE PRAYERS IN THANKSGIVING FOR THE THINGS THEY
WOULD BE RECEIVING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus

Date learned: 02-19-1970

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DEATH

IF YOU HEAR A KNOCK AT THE DOOR OR WINDOW
AND NO ONE IS THERE, OR YOU HEAR A LARGE
CRACKING SOUND WHEN ALL IS QUIET, THEN DEATH
WILL SOON COME TO A PERSON LIVING IN THAT HOUSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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DRESS BELIEF

IF YOU PUT YOUR DRESS ON INSIDE OUT YOU'LL GET
A SURPRISE SOON.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-10-1970

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RIDDLE

WHAT IS IT THAT IS ALWAYS COMING, BUT NEVER ARRIVES?
-- TOMORROW. WHEN IT ARRIVES, IT IS TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): FUTURE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

WHAT IS MORE USEFUL AFTER IT HAS BROKEN?
-- AN EGG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): FOOD

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

WHAT BUILDING HAS THE MOST STORIES?
-- THE LIBRARY

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): STOREY STORY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

WHAT TWO WORDS HAVE THE MOST LETTERS IN THEM?
-- POST OFFICE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): SIZE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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SHERLOCK HOLMES RIDDLE

JOHN AND MARY WERE IN A SEALED ROOM DEAD. WHEN YOU
WALK INTO THE ROOM YOU SEE A PUDDLE OF WATER, BROKEN
GLASS AND A CAT. WHO KILLED JOHN AND MARY?
-- THE CAT, JOHN AND MARY WERE GOLDFISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): FISH CAT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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Entry filtered.

ELEVATOR TALE

THERE WAS A MAN WHOSE APARTMENT WAS ON THE TENTH FLOOR.
EACH MORNING HE TOOK THE ELEVATOR DOWN TO THE MAIN FLOOR
BUT EACH NIGHT AFTER WORK HE WENT UP ONLY AS FAR AS THE
SIXTH FLOOR. HE GOT OFF THE ELEVATOR AND CLIMBED THE
REMAINING FLOORS.
WHY DIDN'T HE TAKE THE ELEVATOR ALL THE WAY TO THE TENTH
FLOOR AT NIGHT? THE TELLER IS ASKED QUESTIONS THAT CAN
BE ANSWERED "YES" OR "NO" UNTIL THE STORY UNFOLDS.
-- THE MAN IS A MIDGET AND CAN'T REACH THE TENTH BUTTON.

Submitter comment:

FIRST HEARD IN 1952 AND FREQUENTLY EVER SINCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): ELEVATOR LIFT MIDGET

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-1952

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RIDDLE

WHAT DO ALL SHIPS WEIGH, REGARDLESS OF SIZE?
-- ANCHORS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): TRANSATIVE AND INTRANSATIVE MEANING OF VERB "WEIGH."

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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RIDDLE

THERE IS A GIRL IN A BUTCHER SHOP IN CINCINNATI WHO IS
6 FEET 8 INCHES TALL, HAS A 42 INCH WAIST, AND WEARS
NUMBER 12 SHOES. WHAT DOES SHE WEIGH?
-- SHE WEIGHS MEAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): TRANSATIVE AND INTRANSATIVE VERB MEANING "TO WEIGH."

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 00-00-0000

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