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James Callow Folklore Archive

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PRACTICAL JOKE

THE TRICKSTER POINTS WITH HIS INDEX FINGER TO A SPOT ABOUT
HALF-WAY DOWN THE DUPE'S SHIRT, AND ASKS HIM, "WHAT IS THAT?" WHEN
THE DUPE BOWS HIS HEAD TO LOOK DOWN, THE TRICKSTER SCOOTS HIS FINGER
UP AND SLAPS THE FORMER ON THE LOWER CHIN.

Submitter comment: SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN USING THIS AS LONG AS I CAN RE-
MEMBER, AND YOUNG ADULTS STILL DO IT OCCASIONALLY FOR A LAUGH.
THE REALLY AMUSING THING ABOUT IT IS THAT SOMEONE WILL NEARLY ALWAYS
FALL FOR IT, NO MATTER HOW OFTEN THEY HAVE BEEN TRICKED--THE QUESTION
IS SUCH THAT THE REFLEXES ARE IMMEDIATELY STIMULATED INTO FORCING THE
EYES TO LOOK DOWN. SOMETIMES THE TRICKSTER MAY LOOK HORRIFIED, AND
EXCLAIM, "EWWWW, WHAT'S THAT:?" AND MAY AT OTHER TIMES SAY IT MATTER-
OF-FACTLY.
IN THE RARE CASE WHEN THE DUPE IS NOT FOOLED, HE USUALLY GETS A
WIDE GRIN ON HIS FACE, AND WILL NOT LOOK DOWN. THE DEFEATED
TRICKSTER DROPS HIS HAND IN DISGUST.

Where learned: OHIO ; MASSILLON

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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