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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BE PREPARED

ONE DAY A TOURIST WAS WALKING ALONG THE SHORES OF A LAKE IN
IRELAND. HE CAME UPON AN OLD CASTLE AND SAW AN OLD MAN IN A
GARDEN. THE FRIENDLY GARDENER LET THE TOURIST IN AND SHOWED
HIM AROUND THE GROUNDS WHICH THE OLD MAN KEPT IN PERFECT ORDER.
THE TOURIST WONDERED WHEN THE OWNER HAD LAST BEEN THERE.
"TWELVE YEARS AGO."
"DOES HE EVER WRITE TO YOU?"
"NO."
"FROM WHOM DO YOU GET YOUR INSTRUCTIONS?"
"FROM HIS AGENT."
"DOES HE COME?"
"NEVER."
"WHO, THEN, COMES HERE?"
"I AM ALWAYS ALONE. ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE A TOURIST COMES."
"BUT YOU KEEP THIS GARDEN IN SUCH FINE CONDITION, JUST AS THOUGH
YOU EXPECT YOUR MASTER TO COME HERE TOMORROW."
THE OLD MAN PROMPTLY REPLIED: "TODAY, SIR, TODAY!"

Submitter comment: TO ENFORCE HER ADVICE TO ALWAYS BE PREPARED, THE INFORMANT TELLS
THIS LITTLE STORY:
INFORMANT IS A NATIVE OF IRELAND AND SHE BELIEVES THAT SHE HEARD
IT AS A CHILD BUT SHE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SHE DIDN'T HEAR
IT UNTIL SHE CAME TO BOSTON AT THE AGE OF 14.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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WAKE UP

IF YOU TALK NONSENSE, YOU WILL BE TOLD, "PUT OUT YOUR HAND
AND SEE IF YOU ARE IN."
TRANSLATION: YOU ARE DREAMING.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS SOURCE IS BOSTON, BUT HAS NO DATE.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

ADVICE IS ONE THING THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD RATHER GIVE THAN GET.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT MENTIONED THIS FACT A NUMBER OF TIMES DURING A RELIGIOUS
RETREAT HELD THE FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL ALMOST EVERY YEAR. HE WAS THE
ADVISOR OF MY GROUP IN MY SENIOR YEAR. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
LISTEN TO THIS BIT OF WISDOM AT LEAST FIVES TIMES. PERHAPS HE WAS
TRYING TO PROVE THE POINT.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 09-00-1966

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THINKER

THE BEST THINKING IS DONE WITH THE MOUTH CLOSED.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT WAS THE PROCTOR OF A STUDY HALL IN MY HIGH SCHOOL AND
HE USED TO REPEAT THIS ON THE AVERAGE OF TWICE A DAY.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): HUMAN BODY

James Callow Keyword(s): CONVERSATION ; OBSERVATION ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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LIKE A TURTLE

EVEN A TURTLE GETS NOWHERE UNTIL IT STICKS OUT ITS NECK.

Submitter comment: SEMINARY PROVERB

Where learned: SAINT JOSAPHAT SEMINARY ; WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): AMPHIBIAN ; DARING ; OBSERVATION ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1962

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ONE'S SURROUNDINGS

A PERSON SOON STARTS TO TAKE-ON CHARACTERISTICS OF HIS SURROUNDINGS.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTAGION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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AVOID THE MAIN DISH

IF ONE'S FORK IS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE PLACE-SETTING AT A DINING
TABLE THAT PERSON IS GOING TO GET SICK FROM THE COOK'S FOOD; THEY
SHOULD AVOID EATING THE MAIN DISH.

Submitter comment: I RECENTLY ASKED MY MOTHER ABOUT THIS SAYING SEEING THAT SHE WORKS
WITH A CATERING SERVICE. I THOUGHT SHE MAY HAVE HAD SOME KNOWLEDGE OF
THIS MATTER;, HOWEVER SHE HAS "NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING."

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Implement to handle food
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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LIGHT TREE

WHAT TREE CAN YOU HOLD IN YOUR HAND?
A PALM TREE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DOES NOT REMEMBER WHERE HE LEARNED THIS

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): BODY PART PLANT STRENGTH ; CONUNDRUM

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 09-12-1967

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SUCCESS

WHO IS A SUCCESSFUL FARMER?
A MAN OUTSTANDING IN HIS FIELD.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT DOES NOT REMEMBER WHERE HE LEARNED THIS

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): CONUNDRUM ; DEAD METAPHOR

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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RIDDLE QUESTION

HOW DO YOU STOP A CHARGING ELEPHANT?
TAKE AWAY HIS CREDIT CARD.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD THE JOKE ABOUT A WEEK AGO WITH OTHER
ELEPHANT JOKES WHICH WERE POPULAR IN SEPTEMBER, 1963.
HE DIDN'T REMEMBER HIS EXACT SOURCE.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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RIDDLE QUESTION

WHAT DO YOU CALL A 6FT. 7IN. NATIVE WHO IS MEAN
AND UGLY LOOKING AND WHO HAS A SPEAR IN BOTH HANDS?
SIR

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT RECALLED HEARING THE RIDDLE ONLY TWO WEEKS EARLIER
FROM A FRIEND AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. THE FRIEND COULD NOT RECALL
WHEN OR FROM WHOM HE HEARD IT.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): CATCH ; FORM OF ADDRESS

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 09-26-1963

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RIDDLE QUESTION

WHAT IS PURPLE AND COMES FROM MACEDONIA?
ALEXANDER THE GRAPE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD THE RIDDLE TWO WEEKS AGO AT GEORGETOWN U.
IT WAS ONLY ONE IN THE POPULAR GRAPE RIDDLES POPULAR IN SEPTEMBER.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): FRUIT ; HISTORICAL

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 09-26-1963

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MAKE HASTE

IF ONE IS SENT ON A "HURRY -UP ERRAND", SOME IMPORTANT MATTER , YOU
WILL BE WARNED, IF YOU FALL DOWN, DON'T WAIT TO GET UP.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD IT IN BOSTON BUT DOESN'T REMEMBER THE EXACT DATE.
MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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FIRST AID FOR DOG-BITES

"WHEN I WAS YOUNG, BACK IN IRELAND,
WE HAD A LOT OF STRANGE REMEDIES FOR AILMENTS.
IF YOU EVER GOT BITTEN BY A DOG
YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PULL A HAIR OFF ITS BACK
AND PLACE IT OVER THE WOUND IN YOUR SKIN.
THIS WOULD KEEP IT FROM BECOMING INFECTED."

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT SAYS THIS WAS COMMON KNOWLEDGE
TO ANYONE WHO WAS BROUGHT UP IN IRELAND,
AND THAT IS WHERE SHE LEARNED IT.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): ANIMALS ; CONTAGIOUS MAGIC

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Animal

Date learned: 00-00-1959

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VERSE

THE GUYS WERE PLAYING FOOTBALL,
OUT IN THE YARD,
JESUS PLAYING QUARTERBACK,
MOSES PLAYING GUARD.
THE ANGELS GAVE A GREAT BIG YELL,
WHEN JESUS SCORED A TOUCHDOWN
AGAINST THE GUYS FROM HELL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: WASHINGTON ; WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): ANTHROPOMORPHISM ; BIBLICAL ; Football ; God ; HELL ; JESUS ; METAPHOR ; Moses ; RELIGION ; RHYME: ABCDED

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Tale

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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GAME: RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT.

1 PERSON IS IT AND HE STANDS ON ONE SIDE OF THE SIDEWALK. THE OTHER
GREEN LIGHT. AT THIS POINT THE OTHER KIDS RUN AS FAST AS THEY CAN
TO TOUCH THE GUY. IF FOR SOME REASON THE KID TURNS AROUND AND SAYS
RED LIGHT, THOSE WHO MOVE AS HE SAYS THIS, HAVE TO GO BACK TO
THE STARTING POINT. THE GAME ENDS WHEN ONE PERSON TOUCHES THE
PERSON WHO IS IT.

Submitter comment: I USED TO PLAY THIS GAME WHEN I WAS GROWING UP IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting

Date learned: 00001960'S

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GAME: GHOST AND GOBLINS

THIS GAME IS PLAYED IN THE DARK. ONE PERSON IS THE GHOST AND HE CARRIES A FLASHLIGHT.
THE GHOST COUNTS UP TO 100 BY TWO'S. EVERYONE
RUNS AND HIDES. AFTER THE GHOST HAS COUNTED, HE STARTS TO SEARCH
FOR THE HIDDEN PEOPLE. IF HE FINDS ONE, HE TRIES TO GET HIM, BUT
IF THE HIDDEN PERSON CAN MAKE IT TO THE BASE, THEN HE IS SAFE.
THE GAME CONTINUES UNTIL SOMEONE ELSE IS CAUGHT.

Submitter comment: I USED TO PLAY THIS GAME WHEN I WAS GROWING UP IN WASHINGTON D.C.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Racing Chasing Fighting

Date learned: 00001960'S

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GOOD DEEDS

"GOOD DEEDS SPEAK OF THEMSELVES. THE TONGUE ONLY INTERRUPTS THEIR
ELOQUENCE."

Submitter comment: SEMINARY PROVERB.

Where learned: SAINT JOSAPHAT SEMINARY ; WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): BRAGGING

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1962

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A MEAN DOG

BRUSHING A DOG'S HAIR IN THE DIRECTION OF THE HEAD FROM THE TAIL
WILL MAKE IT A VERY MEAN DOG.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT CLAIMS THAT THIS IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE IN IRELAND, AND
SAY THAT IS WHERE SHE HEARD IT.

Data entry tech comment: APOSTROPHE ADDED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

James Callow Keyword(s): GROOMING OF DOG ; POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Animal Life

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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CALCULATOR GAMES

GREET YOUR CALCULATOR, THEN ENTER 0.7734 FOR ITS REPLY-HELLO.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

James Callow Keyword(s): MODERN FOLKLORE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 02-00-1980

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