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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Story

The recruit would go around the base in a constant search looking for a piece of paper. He would go through elaborate to attract attention [sic]. He would turn over rocks, pick up other pieces of paper or what have you. After each act he would exclaim "no, that's not it!" Finally he got the attention of the camp doctors who then had him confined. Finally the doctors deemed him unfit for service and gave him a medical discharge. Then the guy said he finally found the right piece of paper.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original Bogg Number [B600] crossed out and replaced with B646

Where learned: NAVY ; Myself

Keyword(s): Discharge ; FEIGNED INSANITY TO GET OUT OF MILITARY SERVICE. ; Fool ; INSANITY ; INSANITY ; Mental Disorder ; MILITARY ; Parable ; Recruit ; Sanity ; Wise Fool

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

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A woman was in church praying to the Blessed Mother. Suddenly she heard a voice say, "My name is Jesus." The woman did not answer, but only prayed harder. Again the voice sounded. The woman turned around, looked, and continued praying. Again in happened. The woman was then very angry and said "Keep Quiet! Can't you see I am talking to your mother?"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs entered by TRD

Where learned: SCHOOL ; Myself

Keyword(s): Catholic ; CATHOLICISM ; Family Relationships ; HUMOR ; MOTHER ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; Religious Humor ; Respect for Elders ; VIRGIN MARY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious

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A woman was in church praying to the Blessed Mother. Suddenly she heard a voice say, "My name is Jesus." The woman did not answer, but only prayed harder. Again the voice sounded. The woman turned around, looked, and continued praying. Again in happened. The woman was then very angry and said "Keep Quiet! Can't you see I am talking to your mother?"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs entered by TRD

Where learned: SCHOOL ; Myself

Keyword(s): Catholic ; Catholocism ; Family Relationships ; HUMOR ; MOTHER ; RELIGION ; RELIGIOUS ; Religious Humor ; Respect for Elders ; VIRGIN MARY

Subject headings:

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Yellow Ribbon

This is a story about John and Jane. They lived next door to each other, went to school together, and loved each other very much. John was a normal happy boy and Jane was a happy girl who always wore a yellow ribbon . Jane kept answering "perhaps some day I'll tell you."

Time went by, and John and Jane were engaged. Jane told John she would tell him about the ribbon on their wedding day. On their wedding day, they forgot about the yellow ribbon. Next day, however, John asked why she wore it again. She replied that they were happily married so what difference does it make?

Time went by and it was their golden anniversary and John asked about the ribbon again. Jane asked him to wait a little longer since he has waited so long already. Finally, Jane became very ill and was dying. John asked again to please tell him why she wore the yellow ribbon.

"All right," said Jane. "You can untie it." So John untied the yellow ribbon and Jane's head fell off.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original Boggs Numbers [B600 B642] are crossed outand B667.1 is substituted.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): Anniversary ; BEHEADING ; BODY ; CURIOSITY ; Curious ; DEATH ; DECAPITATION ; DYING ; HEAD ; LOVE ; MARRIAGE ; Neighbors ; SECRET ; Yellow Ribbon

Subject headings: 6677 Formula Tale

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Jokes

A man walked into a rest-room and seen a ten dollar bill laying on a table. As he picked it up and started to put it ini his pocket he heard a weird voice say: "I'm the ghost of Betty Grable and I say the ten dollar bill stays on the table." The man grew frightened, threw the ten dollar bill back on the table and ran out.

Another man walked in , picked up the ten dollar bill and started to walk out. Again the voice came and repeated the same line. The man laughed and put the ten dollar bill back on the table and walked out. A third man came in and picked up the ten dollar bill and put it in his pocket. As he was leaving he heard the haunting voice say: "I'm the ghost of Betty Grable and I say the ten dollar bill stays on the table." The man smiled, and said: "*I am the ghost of Davy Crockett, and I say the ten dollar bill stays in my pocket!"

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B667] crossed out and replaced with B660

Editing marks for spelling errors. ( crossed out an errant tin the word laughed).

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Anecdote ; BATHROOM ; Betty Grable ; Davy Crockett ; GHOST ; GHOSTLY VOICES ; Jest ; MONEY ; Voice ; Wit

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

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Entry filtered.

Fun

Fun, Fun, Fun.

Fun, Fun, Fun.

Fun, Fun, Fun

Worry, Worry, Worry

(The absence of period after final "fun" is the crux of the joke.)

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs and BN [S682] submitted by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [W200] crossed out. V300? written at bottom of card.

Submission card located in pile marked To Be Classified.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): ALLUSION TO SEXUAL INTERCOURSE ; JOKE ; PREGNANCY ; WORDPLAY

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Games Riddles Jokes
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim
Filter - Mature Content

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Custom

Relations Between Friends:

When presenting a knife or cutting implement to a friend for a gift, you should include a penny, to guarantee that your friendship won't be severed.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): COIN MONEY ; CUSTOMS ; FRIENDSHIP ; GIFT ; GIFT PENNY FRIENDSHIP ; MONEY ; Penny ; SOCIAL RELATIONS

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

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Entertainment: Catch Tale

Catch Tale Designed to Make Listener Ridiculous and/or Surprised:

Speaker: "I can make a match burn twice."

Listener: "How?"

Speaker: "Watch."

Speaker lights match and then blows it out, whereupon he quickly touches the skin of the listener with the still hot match, thus making it "burn" twice.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [B667] crossed out. F536 written next to it.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Catch Riddle ; CATCH TALE ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; MATCH ; MATCHES ; RIDDLE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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Prank

In LeRoy, N.Y. a common prank would be to call a person on the telephone and tell him you were from teh water department. You would ask him to fill up his bathtub, since the water was to be off for the next day. The pranksters had no connections with the water department, and people would be without use of bathtubs for the night.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Bathtub ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; PRANKS ; TELEPHONE PRANK ; Water Department

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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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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Prank

TeePee-ing Houses:

A group of people go to a house late at night and throw toilet paper up into the trees, decorate the shrubbery and generally create a real mess.

Submitter comment:

This was done to my house by a group of friends who had attended Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, MI. It was done in May of 1968. It seems that this was not an uncommon practice for them to do to their friends.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Amusement ; CUSTOM ; Diversion ; Entertainment ; JOKE ; PRACTICAL JOKE ; Prank ; Shrubbery ; Toilet Paper

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

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Belief: Children's Song

Step on a Crack-break mother's back

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] is crossed out. C860.740 replaces it.

The words Bad Luck are written across the top of the submission card, and subsequently crossed out.

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

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

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Belief: Children's Song

If you step on a crack you'll break your mother's back.

Submitter comment:

Stepping on Cracks Superstition

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out and replaced with C860.740

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): Back ; BELIEF ; CHILDHOOD ; CHILDREN ; Crack ; GAME ; Line ; MOTHER ; RHYME ; SONG ; Spine ; SUPERSTITION ; VERSE

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

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Superstition

Don't say it, it might happen:

It is a superstition not to mention a possibility of a bad event to occur for fear that to say so would thus cause the feared event to occur. [sic]

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out and replaced with P477

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Myself ; BATTLE CREEK

Keyword(s): BAD LUCK ; BELIEF ; jinx ; LUCK ; SPEAKING TABU ; SUPERSTITION ; TABU

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Superstition: Academics

Belief:

Don't shave from the time of studying for an exam until the student takes the exam.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [P880] crossed out and F537 is written next to it.

Where learned: SCHOOL ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): Academics ; BELIEF ; Books ; EDUCATION ; EDUCATION ADVICE ; GROOMING ; jinx ; Shaving ; Studying ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

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Superstition: Gambling

Good Luck:

Never win the first hand in a poker game. Otherwise you'll be a sure loser the rest of the night.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

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

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): CHANCE ; Entertainment ; FATE ; GAMBLING ; Gaming ; jinx ; LOSERS ; LUCK ; NUMBER ; NUMBERS ; Poker ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number

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Belief: Luck

Winning Streak:

Many coaches won't change a suit, socks or some particular piece of clothing if they have a winning streak going.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CLOTHING ; CUSTOM ; Entertainment ; GAMBLING ; jinx ; LUCK ; SPORTS ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Mnemonic Device

Musical Mnemonic Device:

To remember the line notes of the Treble Clef Scale (E-G-B-D-F) just remember the phrase "Every Good Boy Does Fine."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): MEMORY ; MNEMONIC ; MUSIC ; Notes ; Scale

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Memory
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- MNEM

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Mnemonic Device

Musical Mnemonic Device:

To remember the line notes on the Bass Clef Scale (G-B-D-F-A) just remember the phrase "Good Boys Do Fine Always."

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): MEMORY ; MNEMONIC ; Musical ; Notes ; Scale

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Memory
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- MNEM

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Mnemonic Device

Musical Mnemonic Device:

To remember the space between notes of the Treble Clef Scale (F-A-C-E), just remember the word FACE.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: Myself

Keyword(s): MEMORY ; MNEMONIC ; MUSIC ; Musical ; Notes ; Scale

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Memory
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- MNEM

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