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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

THIS POLACK GOES TO A LUMBERYARD AND SAYS, "I WANT TO
BUY SOME WOOD."
"HOW LONG DO YOU WANT IT?" THEN ASKS THE OWNER.
"FOR A LONG TIME," REPLIES THE POLACK, "I'M BUILDING
A GARAGE."

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT HEARD IT FROM A FRIEND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 00001967 FALL

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WHEN PLAYING CARDS, NEVER ALLOW A PERSON TO STAND
OVER YOU AND LOOK AT YOUR CARDS, YOU WILL NEVER
WIN.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 10-21-1967

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TAKING SIDES

WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT IF SHE SLEEPS ON HER RIGHT SIDE, THE
CHILD WILL BE A BOY, IF ON HER LEFT IT WILL BE A GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

James Callow Keyword(s): SEX DETERMINATION

Subject headings: 840
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 11-05-1969

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SNORING

MARY'S GRANDMOTHER (FRENCH-CANADIAN) TOLD HER SHE MUST
BLOW HER NOSE EVERY NIGHT OR SHE WOULD SNORE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Keyword(s): PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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TAKING SIDES

WHEN A WOMAN IS PREGNANT, IF SHE SLEEPS ON HER RIGHT SIDE, THE
CHILD WILL BE A BOY. IF SHE LEANS TO THE LEFT, IT WILL BE A GIRL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

James Callow Keyword(s): SEX DETERMINATION

Subject headings: 840
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 11-05-1969

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SWIRLIE

THIS IS A GAME PLAYED BY DORM STUDENTS. WHEN ONE
DORMIE GETS TOO FAR OUT OF LINE, HIS FELLOW DORMIES
GRAB HIM BY THE ARMS AND LEGS AND TURN HIM UPSIDE-
DOWN. THEY THEN LOWER HIS HEAD INTO THE TOILET
UNTIL THE CHIN IS EVEN WITH THE SEAT AND FLUSH THE
TOILET.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM HIS FELLOW DORMIES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity Song: Game, Pastime, Sport

Date learned: 10-16-1967

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LEGEND

AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY THERE IS AN ANNUAL CELEBRATION IN
HONOR OF THE ORANGE HORSE. EVERY YEAR DURING FALL TERM, STUDENTS
HAVE A SLEEP-IN AT BESSY HALL IN HONOR OF THEIR COMPATRIOTS WHO
STAGED A SLEEP-IN IN PROTEST OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT FIRING
THREE OUTSPOKEN TEACHERS. THIS PROTEST WAS NICK-NAMED THE ORANGE
HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: 11-05-1967

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CANDLE LIGHT

IN THE WOMEN'S DORMS AT STATE, WHENEVER A GIRL BECOMES
ENGAGED OR PINNED SHE TELLS ONLY THE RESIDENT ADVISER
ON HER FLOOR WHO THEN POSTS AN ANNOUNCEMENT THAT
THERE WILL BE A "CANDLE-LIGHT." THE GIRLS MEET AND
EACH HOLD A LIGHTED CANDLE. THEY SIT IN A CIRCLE AND
RECITE A POEM, EACH SAYING ONE WORD (THIS IS USUALLY
A FAMILIAR LOVE POEM, SOMETIMES ONE WRITTEN ESPECIALLY
FOR THE OCCASION). WHEN IT IS THE TURN OF THE GIRL
WHO IS ENGAGED, SHE THEN BLOWS OUT HER CANDLE. THEN
ANNOUNCES SHE IS THE ONE.

Submitter comment: A POSSIBLE VARIATION OF THIS I HAVE HEARD IN PASSING,
ONE LIT CANDLE AROUND UNTIL THE ENGAGED GIRL BLOWS IT
OUT. WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE TURNED BACK ON, SHE SHOWS
EVERYONE HER RING OR PIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE STUDENT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; EAST LANSING

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Engagement

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE LEGEND OF BEAUMONT TOWER

AT MSU (MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY), WHENEVER A VIRGIN WALKS
UNDERNEATH THE TOWER, A SPIKE FALLS FROM ONE OF THE TOWERS.
ALL THE SPIKES REMAIN INTACT UPON THE TOWER EVEN TODAY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM A FELLOW DORMIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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LEGEND

AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY THERE IS AN ANNUAL CELEBRATION IN
HONOR OF THE ORANGE HORSE. EVERY YEAR DURING FALL TERM, STUDENTS
HAVE A SLEEP-IN AT BESSY HALL IN HONOR OF THEIR COMPATRIOTS WHO
STAGED A SLEEP-IN IN PROTEST OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT FIRING
THREE OUTSPOKEN TEACHERS. THIS PROTEST WAS NICK-NAMED THE ORANGE
HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: 11-05-1967

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THE LEGEND OF BEAUMONT TOWER

AT MSU (MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY), WHENEVER A VIRGIN WALKS
UNDERNEATH THE TOWER, A SPIKE FALLS FROM ONE OF THE TOWERS.
ALL THE SPIKES REMAIN INTACT UPON THE TOWER EVEN TODAY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM A FELLOW DORMIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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LEGEND

AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY THERE IS AN ANNUAL CELEBRATION IN
HONOR OF THE ORANGE HORSE. EVERY YEAR DURING FALL TERM, STUDENTS
HAVE A SLEEP-IN AT BESSY HALL IN HONOR OF THEIR COMPATRIOTS WHO
STAGED A SLEEP-IN IN PROTEST OF THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT FIRING
THREE OUTSPOKEN TEACHERS. THIS PROTEST WAS NICK-NAMED THE ORANGE
HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

Date learned: 11-05-1967

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THE LEGEND OF BEAUMONT TOWER

AT MSU (MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY), WHENEVER A VIRGIN WALKS
UNDERNEATH THE TOWER, A SPIKE FALLS FROM ONE OF THE TOWERS.
ALL THE SPIKES REMAIN INTACT UPON THE TOWER EVEN TODAY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM A FELLOW DORMIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; Lansing

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 09-00-1967

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WHEN TWO PEOPLE WALKING ARE SEPARATED, THEY SAY
"BREAD AND BUTTER." THAT MEANS NO DISAPPOINTMENT WILL
COME TO THEM.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIENDS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY ; LUNCHROOM

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-09-1967

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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)

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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LEGEND

AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY THERE IS A TOWER CALLED BEAUMONT
IN WHICH THERE ARE TWO STEEPLES, EVERY TIME A VIRGIN
IS GRADUATED FROM THIS SCHOOL, ONE OF THE TWO STEEPLES
ARE KNOCKED DOWN TO HONOR HER. THESE TWO STEEPLES HAVE BEEN
THERE SINCE 1865.

Submitter comment: FROM ROOM MATE.

Data entry tech comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Where learned: DORM ; MICHIGAN STATE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANTIFEMINISM ; PESSIMISM ; SATIRE ; VIRGINITY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 11-01-1967

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LEGEND

AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY THERE IS A RIVER NAMED
THE RED CEDAR, WHICH FLOWS THROUGH THE ENTIRE CAMPUS.
THIS IS THE ONLY RIVER IN EXISTENCE THAT HAS A RUBBER
COATED BOTTOM, IMPLYING A FAVORITE PLACE FOR LATE HOUR DATES.

Submitter comment: FROM DORM FRIENDS

Data entry tech comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Where learned: DORM ; MICHIGAN STATE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale
BELIEF -- Running water Large current.

Date learned: 11-07-1967

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THE INFORMANT'S FRENCH-CANADIAN GRANDMOTHER, CALLED
"MIMI" BY HER GRANDCHILDREN, TURNED FRESH BAKED
BREAD OVER AND CUT A CROSS IN IT BEFORE SLICING IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE STUDENT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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Custom/Belief

Holy Communion:

Sometime around her First Communion, Mary was told always to swallow the host because if you chewed it, Christ would cry out in pain and blood would fill your mouth.

Data entry tech comment:

motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CHILD ; Christ ; Communion ; Host ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Church

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