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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SHAGGY DOG JOKE

THERE ONCE WAS A BOY CALLED JOHN. ONE DAY HE AND HIS FRIEND WERE
WALKING DOWN THE STREET AND THEY HEARD SOMEONE SAY THE WORD
EVERGREEN.
AND JOHN DID NOT KNOW WHAT THE WORD MEANT. SO HE ASKED HIS FRIEND
WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANT. HIS FRIEND GASPED AND SAID,"YOU
MEAN THAT YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANS?" NO REPLIED
JOHN, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN?" "I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU
WHAT EVERGREEN MEANS. GO AND ASK YOUR MOTHER. SO JOHN WENT HOME AND
WALKED UP TO HIS MOTHER AND SAID "MOM WHAT DOES THE WORD EVERGREEN
MEAN?"
HIS MOTHER GASPED AND SAID "I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT
THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANS."
"GO AND ASK YOUR FATHER." SO WHEN HIS FATHER RETURNED FROM
WORK JOHN SAID
"DAD WHAT DOES THE WORD EVERGREEN MEAN?" HIS FATHER GASPED
AND SAID, "I
AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANS,
GO AND ASK YOUR
TEACHER" SO THE NEXT DAY JOHN WENT UP TO HIS TEACHER
AND SAID, "WHAT DOES
THE WORD EVERGREEN MEAN?" HIS TEACHER GASPED AND SAID
"I AM NOT GOING TO
TELL YOU WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANS, GO TO THE OFFICE."
SO JOHN WENT TO THE OFFICE AND THE PRINCIPAL SAID "WHAT ARE YOU
DOING IN MY
OFFICE?" JOHN SAID "ALL THAT I DID WAS ASK MY TEACHER WHAT THE WORD
EVERGREEN MEANT." THE PRINCIPAL GASPED AND SAID,
"GET OUT OF THIS SCHOOL AND
DO NOT EVER COME BACK." SO JOHN WAS WALKING HOME AND
HE SAW A POLICEMAN.
SO HE WENT UP THE POLICEMAN AND SAID
"MISTER POLICE OFFICER I WAS JUST
KICKED OUT OF SCHOOL AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I JUST ASKED
WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANT." THE OFFICER GASPED
AND SAID "I AM NOT
GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT EVERGREEN MEANS. IN FACT I AM
GOING TO HAVE TO ARREST YOU." SO THE OFFICER TOOK JOHN TO JAIL
AND HE WAS NOT SEEN UNTIL TWO WEEKS LATER WHEN HE WAS
BROUGHT BEFORE THE JUDGE. THE JUDGE SAID "WHAT ARE YOU HERE
FOR JOHN?" JOHN SAID "ALL THAT I DID WAS ASK WHAT THE WORD
EVERGREEN MEANT." THE JUDGE GASPED AND SAID "I AM NOT GOING
EITHER, IN FACT I AM GOING TO SENTENCE YOU TO LIFE IN JAIL."
JOHN APPEALED THE CASE AND IT WAS TAKEN ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME
COURT WHERE THE DECISION WAS UPHELD. WHEN JOHN GOT TO JAIL HIS
CELLMATE ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS IN FOR. JOHN SAID "ALL I DID
WAS ASK WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANT." HIS CELL MATE
GASPED AND DEMANDED TO BE MOVED AWAY FROM JOHN. SOON JOHN WAS IN
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT BECAUSE NOBODY WOULD GO NEAR HIM. FINALLY
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT BECAUSE NOBODY WOULD GO NEAR HIM . FINALLY
AFTER TWENTY YEARS IN PRISON JOHN WAS PAROLED.
AT THE FIRST MEETING WITH
HIS PAROLE OFFICER JOHN SAID, "I HAVE SPENT ALMOST TWENTY ONE YEARS
OF MY LIFE TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT THE WORD EVERGREEN MEANS, COULD
YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHAT IT MEANS?" THE PAROLE OFFICER
GASPED BUT FELT
SORRY FOR JOHN AND SAID, "I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU
WHAT IT MEANS, BUT I WILL SHOW YOU HOW THE MEANING CAN BECOME
KNOWN TO YOU." SO HE TOOK JOHN OUT INTO THE COUNTRY AND STOPPED
AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. THEY GOT OUT OF THE CAR AND THE OFFICER
SAID "STAND IN THIS BUSH UNTIL THE LIGHT IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE
STREET COMES ON AROUND MIDNIGHT, THEN CROSS THE STREET
AND GO UP TO THE DOOR AND ASK THE MAN WHO ANSWERS WHAT THE
WORD EVERGREEN MEANS." SO JOHN WAITED IN THE BUSHES GETTING
VERY EXCITED. FINALLY THE LIGHT IN THE HOUSE HAD COME ON.
THE TIME WAS NEAR, JOHN JUMPED OUT OF THE BUSHES AND RAN ONTO THE
STREET AND WAS RUN OVER BY A PASSING TRUCK." THE MORAL OF
THE STORY IS TO LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CROSS THE STREET.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY CAN BE TOLD USING ANYONE'S NAME WHO IS IN THE LISTENING
AUDIENCE. WHEN I FIRST HEARD THE STORY I WAS THE CHARACTER "JOHN"

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; FREEPORT

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

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NASSAU BAHAMA IT IS SAID THAT IN NASSAU A LUCKY COLOR
IS GREEN AND RED. IT MUST BE IN COMBINATIONS OF GREEN AND WHITE
AND RED AND WHITE. IF YOU ARE IN A CASSINO WITH THOSE COLORS ON
YOU ARE CONSIDERED TO BE ABLE TO BRING GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 01-15-1984

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PROVERB

IF YOU SPIT IN THE WIND IT WILL COME BACK IN YOUR FACE.
THE ABOVE PROVERB COULD BE INTERPRETED AS MEANING: IF YOU DO
HARM TO SOMEONE OR INTENTIONALLY HURT THEM, SOMETHING BAD WILL
HAPPEN TO YOU AS WELL. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT TO
DO WRONG TO OTHER PEOPLE AND GET AWAY WITH IT, YOU SHOULD
BE PREPARED TO RECEIVE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR YOUR ACTIONS.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; EXUMA

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00001930S

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PROVERB

YOU NEVER MISS THE WATER UNTIL THE WELL RUN DRY.
THIS PROVERB CAN BE INTERPRETED AS FOLLOWS: AN INDIVIDUAL
NOT BEING ABLE TO APPRECIATE SOMEONE OR SOMETHING UNTIL IT IS
TOO LATE.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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PROVERB

IF YOU MAKE YOUR OWN BED YOU MUST LIE IN IT.
THIS CAN BE INTERPRETED AS FOLLOWS: IF YOU ARE INDEPENDENT
ENOUGH TO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS, YOU MUST ALSO BE WILLING TO
ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES ON YOUR OWN.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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PROVERB

BEND THE TREE WHILE IT IS YOUNG.
THIS PROVERB IMPLIES THAT A CHILD WHO IS DISCIPLINED AT AN EARLY
AGE CAN BE EASILY DISCIPLINED LATER OR WHENEVER THE NEED ARISES.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00001940S

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PROVERB

TWO ROSES WHICH BLOOM TOO SOON ARE PRIME TARGETS FOR FROST.
THIS PROVERB CAN BE INTERPRETED AS MEANING IF TWO PEOPLE FALL
IN LOVE TOO FAST OR RUSH THEIR RELATIONSHIP, ANY LITTLE
DISPUTE OR OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE CAN CAUSE THE RELATIONSHIP
TO END.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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PROVERB

DO NOT PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET.
THIS PROVERB CAN BE INTERPRETED AS MEANING TO AVOID INVESTING
TOO MUCH IN ONE PERSON OR THING BECAUSE YOU STAND A CHANCE
OF LOSING EVERYTHING IF THE SITUATION DOES NOT WORK OUT AS
PLANNED.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00001960S

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PROVERB

EMPTY BARRELS MAKE THE MOST NOISE.
THIS PROVERB REFERS TO PEOPLE WHO CAN ONLY TALK ABOUT WHAT TO
DO, BUT THEY NEVER MAKE AN ATTEMPT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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PROVERB

IF YOU PLAY WITH DOGS YOU WILL CATCH FLEAS.
THE PROVERB IMPLIES THAT IF YOU ASSOCIATE WITH BAD COMPANY,
YOU WILL ADOPT THEIR WAYS.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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SUPERSTITIONS

WHEN YOU HAVE A DECK OF PLAYING CARDS AND YOU DEAL IT AND HAVE
SOMEONE CUT THE CARD, ACCORDING TO WHAT CARD THEY TURN OVER
WHETHER FACE OR NOT WOULD DETERMINE WHAT KIND OF LUCK THEY WILL
HAVE. FACE CARDS ARE AN INDICATION OF BAD LUCK.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Use of Object

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SUPERSTITION

IN READING THE PALMS IT IS BELIEVED THAT A LONG LINE IN THE PALM
OF YOUR HAND MEANS LONG LIFE, AND A SHORT LINE MEANS YOU WILL DIE
AT A YOUNG AGE.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Keyword(s): LONGEVITY

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001970S

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SUPERSTITION--CALLING ON SPIRITS

IT IS SAID THAT SOME PEOPLE CALL THEIR LOVED ONES FROM THE DEAD
AND ASK THEM FOR FAVOURS. FOR EXAMPLE, MY GRANDMOTHER WILL CALL
MY GRANDFATHER OR WRITE HIM A LETTER AND ASK HIM TO BRING HER A
NUMBER TO PLAY AT THE RACES. YOU CAN ALSO ASK THEM TO DO BAD
THINGS LIKE VISIT SOMEONE AND FRIGHTEN THEM.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001920S

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SUPERSTITION--DREAMS

IT IS BELIEVED THAT DREAMS CAN MEAN THE OPPOSITE OF WHATEVER
YOU DREAM. FOR EXAMPLE:
(1) IF YOU DREAM YOU GOT MARRIED IT WILL OR CAN MEAN THAT
SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY WILL DIE.
(2) DREAMING OF LOSING YOUR FRONT TOOTH ALSO MEANS SOMEONE
IN THE FAMILY WILL DIE OR BECOME ILL.
(3) IF YOU DREAM YOUR MOM OR DAD DIED OR IF YOU DREAM YOU
ATTENDED A FUNERAL, IT CAN MEAN THE PERSON WHO HAD DIED IN THE
DREAM WILL LIVE LONG.
(4) DREAMING OF WEDDINGS ALSO SIGNIFY DEATH.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; EXUMA

Keyword(s): CONTRAST

Subject headings: Spirit / Mind / Body
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001920S

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SUPERSTITION--FUNERAL PROCESSION

IN THE OLD DAYS, THEY SAY WHENEVER A FUNERAL PROCESSION PASSED
YOUR HOUSE, YOU SHOULD RUN AND CLOSE ALL THE WINDOWS AND DOORS
SO THE PERSON'S SPIRIT WON'T STAY IN YOUR HOUSE AND SCARE YOU.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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SUPERSTITION

IN ORDER FOR SPIRITS NOT TO HARM YOU, THEY SAY YOU MUST GO TO
THE GRAVEYARD OR CEMETERY AND PICK UP A HANDFUL OF DIRT. AFTER
YOU HAVE THE DIRT IN YOUR POSSESSION YOU MUST THEN SPRINKLE
IT IN THE FOUR CORNERS OF YOUR HOUSE OR YARD.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 00001950S

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SUPERSTITION--FOOD

THEY SAY THAT YOUNG SINGLE MEN SHOULD NOT EAT AT EVERYONE'S HOUSE OR
HIS GIRLFRIEND'S HOUSE BECAUSE THE YOUNG GIRL OR HER MOTHER
COULD PUT SOMETHING IN THE FOOD AND AFTER HE EATS IT, RIGHT
AWAY HE WOULD WANT TO MARRY THAT GIRL WHETHER HE REALLY LOVES
HER OR NOT.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Keyword(s): APHRODISIAC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: 00001970S

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SUPERSTITION

IT IS BELIEVED THAT IF YOU FIND THE END OF THE RAINBOW, YOU
WILL FIND A POT OF GOLD.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

James Callow Keyword(s): TREASURE WEALTH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 00001970S

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SUPERSTITION

DOGS HOWLING AT NIGHTS OR VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING MEANS THAT
EVIL SPIRITS ARE PASSING YOUR HOUSE.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Mammal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 00001970S

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SUPERSTITION

IT IS SAID THAT IF A CREEPING BABY LOOKS BETWEEN HIS OR HER
MOTHER'S LEGS WHILE CREEPING MEANS THAT THE MOTHER IS PREGNANT
OR SOON WILL BE.

Where learned: BAHAMAS ; NASSAU

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 00001960S

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