Author Archives: Elluz Martinez

Presidential Joke-International Relations

This joke was collected from a fanfiction story called “Every Day A Holiday I :Summer” in The Sentinel fandom. The premise of the fic is that one of the protagonist is dared by his partner to find a unique holiday for every day for a period of three months. This particular joke was for the August 11th holiday: Presidential Joke Day.



The wives of three presidents and a prime minister are talking together about what a penis is called in their native languages. The wife of Tony Blair says in England people call it a gentleman because it stands up when women are entering. The wife of Boris Yeltsin says in Russia you call it a patriot because you never know if it will hit you on the front or on the backside. The wife of Chirac says in France you call it a curtain because it goes down after the act. Well, the wife of Clinton says in the USA you call it a rumor because it goes from mouth to mouth.



This joke was posted as a part of a story dealing with two characters who are work partners and roommates who through the course of celebrating holidays find a new depth to their relationship, which transitions from platonic to romantic. This was more of a crude joke that in the context of the story helped to foreshadow the change in relationship already held by the protagonists and the gradual transition into a deeper relationship. While the couple in question are already comfortable with each other they are unsure of pursuing a deeper relationship.Through the course of celebrating holidays, the couple is able to work through any lingering problems that they may have and settle into a more stable situation.

I thought the joke was hilarious. While I had shared a different joke from this source with both my parents, I only shared this one with my mother as I felt that my father might not approve of the content of the joke.


Bloody Mary

EA is a student at USC majoring in Creative Writing. She is also a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] working at the front desk. The story that she told me comes from her childhood.



Transcribed from Audio Recording:



..I’ve definitely heard the whole bloody mary when i was fourth grade maybe um they would always say you have to turn on the water and go in the bathroom turn on the eater and then like in front of the mirror repeat bloody mary bloody mary like three times and then she is supposed to appear…


So this was in 4th grade and the other kids told you…


Yeah, so I went to a daycare thing after school. That;s where i learned it.


Oh not at…


Not at actual school, at the daycare thing. but yeah. And I tried it. I was yeah right and I tried it. I was like…and then, then i heard that you need like watermelon seeds or something like that and that the reason you didn’t see her is because…I don’t know if it was watermelon seeds and you had to lit a candle or something and then turn on the water and then repeat it three times, I was like I ain’t got time for all this.


You didn’t try it again?


No, not after that. She didn’t come out. She didn’t want to see me/


You weren’t scared?


Um..I don’t know. ‘Cause I’m not really.. I guess I am superstitious if I believe that whole mouth thing I’m superstitious. Um I don’t know I don’t really believe in like..I don’t think we’re the only human beings or beings in the entire universe. I don’t know i give the benefit of a doubt. There’s probably aliens not the green headed things but there is something else alive but I don’t really believe in like, “Oh there’s a UFO” or like why would they let themselves be seen or like things like I don’t know you go under a ladder or open an umbrella inside the house. Like I don’t really believe in those kinds of things. But I guess what my grandma tells me…changes it. But i guess…


You grew up in the culture, so you believe it more.




Bloody Mary is a prominent figure in urban legends and the variety of tales told about her are numerous. However, the inclusion of seeds is something I had not heard before. i found it interesting and remembering a recent discussion in class, took it to mean that the watermelon seeds represent semen and the beginning of a new biological cycle for a girl into womanhood. Or perhaps they represent the ovule that are released on the onset of puberty, as Bloody Mary appears to represent.

El Chintete

SM was born in San Miguel Amatlan a pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico. He was lived here for half his life time working as a cook at various restaurants throughout L.A. County. The following tale was told to him from several co-workers.



Transcribed from and Audio Recording:



Estábamos trabajando en la cocina y quien era…era un laba plato tambien um oh pues también ese señor era. Se me hace que ese mismo, el cuñado del A-. Tabamos tambien ahi y vino y le pidió una hamburguesa al M-…ese. Le pidió una hamburguesa y ese guey le empezó a hablar en dialecto, “hay que la chingada. Que esta chingando, que no se que.” Y él le dijo que queria el numero veinte. Veinte lleva espinaca y le dijo que queria el numero veinte. Y ese guey le dijo, “no. que no se que. que no se lo iba…lo quería hacer.” Pero ultimo si lo saco. Si ya hizo la hamburguesa y cuando abrio el cajon para sacar esta la espinaca como hay teníamos la espinaca…cuando lo saco, ahí donde metió su mano para agarrar un puno de espinaca, brinco un chintete y aquí se le pego en su mano. Ese guey que grita. Se asusto pues. “Ay! Guey un chintete!” Un chintete dijo el guey. Pinche chintete así como sonso asi corrio Y lo agarraron. Le dijeron al manager y lo agarraron…Esta grande asi un cafecito verde asi. Y ya llamaron al manager y vino y este y ya le dijeron que ahí estaba. Y dijo que donde estaba y le dijeron que salio en la espinaca. Ahí adentro de la espinaca estaba. Y ya el manager lo agarró un frasco. Un frasco agarro y lo echo ahi, hay lo hecho y hay lo estaban viendo. Hay se pego el guey  y dijo que registraran ahi para ver si no abia mas. Porque estaba ahí que sacaran esa espinaca. Ya no había nada y el manager ya se lo llevó para la oficina. Y ahí estaban ellos haciendo escándalo que no un chintete salió ahí que se asustó el M-. Y ellos empezaron a hablar puro dialecto no se que estaban hablando…Que se asustó ese guey y la chingada…Y ya se llevó el manager pa’ ya y dijo ese guey “ ‘Tamadre lo vamos a matar. A quemar.” dijo. Pero como el manager lo tenia en la oficina. Se lo llevó y ahí estaba mientras que el tiempo que estuvimos trabajando y limpiando haciendo todo. Ya cuando salimos hay estaba el manager en la oficina sentado. Ya cuando le fuimos hablar y le dijimos que donde estaba. Que iba hacer con el chintete ya no estaba. Ya cuando lo buscaron ahí, ya no estaba. Y el dijo, “Pues donde esta” Y lo estuvieron buscando ahi en la oficina y no lo encontraron.



We were working in the kitchen and who was it …it was a dishwasher oh well it was that man. I think it was that same one, the brother-in-law of A-. We were there also and he came and asked for a hamburger from M-. He asked him for a hamburger and that dude he started to speak to him in dialect, “That this shit. And that shit. And I don’t know what.” And he told him that he wanted the number twenty. The number twenty had spinach and he wanted the twenty. And that dude told him, “No. That I don’t know. That he wasn’t going to..that he didn’t want to do it.” But in the end he did it. He did it and when he went to open the drawer to get the spinach since that is where we had it…when he took it out, there where he put his hand to take out a fistfull of spinach, out jumped a lizard and stuck on his wrist. That dude scream. Well he got scared. “Ahh! A lizard!” The dude screamed that it was a lizard. This stupid lizard it ran around all stupid. An he grabbed it. They told the manager and they grabbed it. It was big, a brownish green. They called the manager and he came and they told him it was there. And he said where it was and they told him that it came out of the spinach. It was in the spinach. And the manager put it in a jar. He grabbed a jar and he put it in there and they were looking at it. The dude was stuck there and he said to check to see if there were anymore. Since that is where they took the spinach from. But there was nothing there and the manager took it to his office. And there they were making a scandal that no it came out there and that it scared M-. And they started to speak in dialect so I don’t know what they were saying…that the guy got scared and shit. And the manager took it and he was saying that, “Shit. We should kill it. and burn it.” But since the manager had it in his office. He took it and it was there in the time that we working, cleaning and doing everything. When we were done there was the manager sitting in his office. And we went to talk to him and asked him where it was.  What he was going to do with it but it was gone. They looked for it but it was not there. He said, “Well, where is it.” They looked for it in the office but it was gone.



This is an interesting tale. While it may not have anything to do with eh supernatural there are still enough traces of it, to cause some paranoia and fear of the unknown.



RB is a student at USC majoring in Business. He is a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] front desk.



Transcript of Audio Recording:



on the third floor on the roof there i was climbing the old ladder i guess and…son on the third floor there was like this little attic it’s kind of like a stairwell or um there was it wa weird but kind of creepy but kind of cool but basically this building is like really old supposedly like um like one of the old pastors let a like a an immigrant who wanted to like hide away from the police i think hide up in the attic and that he supposedly died there and now there’s so he haunts the floor or this place thats’ what our director told us


did anyone ever see anything?


well our director said that um there’s been kind of  … he would stay to work really late here until midnight one two am so that he would sort of see stuff  and that he would feel like a presence like it was that not malicious so he felt calm so he felt that


did you ever feel anything?


no but B- and other student said they felt a presence.


This is an interesting tale and brings in a political context as it questions whether this story is merely a cautionary tale of taking better care of those less fortunate or if it was something against immigrants

Feathered Serpent

RB is a USC student majoring in Business. He is a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] at the front desk.



My grandmother told me that when she was a little girl there was this river or creek that ran near the pueblo where she lived. There was supposed to be a feathered serpent that lived there and that is was due to the snake that the river was there. One day the men of the pueblo went out to kill it and the river dried up. She said that she saw it fly once.



This story came from Michoacan which is close to the area of El D.F. which may have had some influences from Aztec mythology. Quetzalcoatl was a feathered serpent and one of the main gods in the pantheon. This story may also be a way to explain a natural phenomena by casting blame on something tangible for the river drying up.


La Mujer de Blanco

SM was born in San Miguel Amatlan a pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico. He was lived here for half his life time working as a cook at various restaurants throughout L.A. County. The story that he has told me was from personal experience.



Transcribed from an Audio recording:


Pues hay estaba yo en la esquina de aquí la olympic y la western. Y ahí estábamos tomando y como ya se acabaron las cervezas ya nos despedimos todos. Y en eso vimos que venía la mujer y cruzó paso asi atras del puesto de revista que estaba ahí…y ya se fueron ellos y ya me fui y dice “vete ahi vete a ver” ya me fui atrás de ella. Pero cuando ya vi que cruzó la vi que era una mujer alta así como…creo que más alta que esa A-, así alta la vi yo y un vestido…un vestido todo, todo asi aguado desde aquí todo aguado, no se miraban sus manos, no se le miraba sus manos no mas asi se le miraba como que tenía un vestido largo, asi no se miraban sus pies nada. Ya camino hacia la olympic y ya camine yo tambien asi pero…si iba rápido y ya se cruzó otra vez la calle ahí donde mero tomamos el bus ahí ahorita asi hay se cruzó y hay…y ya ahí así como una distancia asi i le digo “Shh! Shh!” le estaba yo diciendo y este que empezó a caminar más rápido y que cruza la calle. Cuando cruzo la calle que cruzo atrás de ella tambien asi  pero cuando ya se regresó otra vez hacia aquí pero…ya cuando iba yo más rápido empezó a caminar mas rapido tambien y de volado cruzó así la calle, mira rápido luego ya agarro la banqueta otra vez donde esta la banquetita de este lado. aso cuando me crucé llasta se  dio la vuelta, aqui la esquina…pero bien rapido  y cuando me di cuenta como que no iba sus pies, no se miraba que iba caminando si no que nomas iba en el aire asi …y y ya, ya se vino y ya me vine detrás de ella aqui asi se vino y luego se cruzó la calle otra vez, hay donde se pone el camión de verdura, hay se cruzó luego ya bajo y no ves que hay esta una entrada, unas escaleras que sube a ese edificio que esta ahi de La Berta. Pues hay ya llegue y cuando ya se subio ahi en la escaleritas y se fue pa’ riba que me subo rapido, me subí yo en las escaleritas ahí cuando llegue arriba esta llego en la mera esquina del edificio, no ves que hay esta un callejón esta ahi. Llasta llego hay. Y este como hay ya esta oscuro el foco no más a la mitad del edificio alumbra pero todavía se ve un poquito más allá ya vi que luego dio la vuelta, y cuando dio la vuelta ahí es que como que sentí yo algo como que parece que algo me subio de mis pies asi senti mi pelo que se me iso mi pelo asi se me pararon. Entonces que regreso. Cuando ya regrese me baje  que me cruzo esta calle donde esta este árbol y aqui donde estan estas escaleritas que bajan de ese edificio hay me puse a orinar ahí estaba yo orinando cuando vi que ya venía otra vez de regreso ya venía y luego bajo así hacia la calle y cuando me regrese asi luego camino se fue pero cuando ay se fue para la…olympic cuando iba subiendo así en esa subidita la vi que ya iba como en el aire mira asi ya iba ya no iban sus pies en el piso nada no que…ya me para ahí para…como que se volteo a verme a ver si la seguía yo otra vez y entonces me dio miedo ya me entró miedo entonces ya agarre que corro que me voy a las una de la mañana ya agarre y me fui…



Well, there I was at the corner of over her Olympic and Western. And there we were drinking and since the beers were gone we all said our goodbyes. That’s when we saw the woman coming, she crossed passing behind the newspaper stand that used to be there. And they left and I left but they said, “Go. There. Go look.” I went after her. But when I saw her cross i saw that she was a tall woman like..I think taller than A-. I saw her as tall and the dress…the entire dress was loose, everything from here was loose you couldn’t see her hands. You couldn’t see her hands, it only looked like she has a long dress, you couldn’t see her feet, nothing. She walked towards Olympic and I walked also but…she was going fast and she crossed the street again right where we take the bus now and there she crossed.  There she was at a distance and i said to her, “Shh!Shh!” I was saying to her and she started to go faster and she crossed the street. Really fast and she grabbed the curve again where the curve is on this side. When I crossed and she already turned and when I took notice like her feet were not going, you couldn’t see that she was walking, only that she was only going in the air…and, and she came and I came behind her and here she came and she crossed the street again, there where the vegetable truck parks, there she crossed and you know there is an entrance, some stairs that go up to that building  that is there on La Berta. Well there I was and when she went up the stairs she went up and I went up fast, I went up the stairs and when i got there she was already at the corner of the building, you know there is an alley there. She was already there.And since it is dark there and the light only goes up to the middle of the building but you can still see a little and i saw that she turned the corner and when  she turned the corner there is when I felt something. It felt like something went up from my feet all the way to my hair, that they rose up. Then she came back. when she came back i went down and crossed the street to eh tree and there where there are those stairs that go down the building I started to take a leak and there I was taking a leak when i saw that she was coming and she came down and crossed the street and when she came back, she crossed, and she went towards olympic when she went up I saw that she went like she was in the air, her feet were no longer on the ground, nothing…and then she turned around to look at me to see if I would follow her again. Then I got scared and I felt fear in me then I decided to run and I left around one in the morning and left…



This is an interesting story seeing as it was told as a personal experience. It has been told to other people who have also recounted similar experiences but since they had been told this story first they were more cautious. It is a cautionary tale to not go out and if people are out at night to be careful.




SM was born in San Miguel Amatlan a pueblo in Oaxaca, Mexico. He was lived here for half his life time working as a cook at various restaurants throughout L.A. County. The story that he has told me was from personal experience.



When I worked in Hollywood, i was in the locker rooms with F- changing when we heard the heels of a woman talking on the corridor outside the door. We turned around and there was no one there but we still heard the heels walking past. We got scared and left quickly. when we got down we asked the others who the woman was that came down but they said that they didn’t see anyone. There were a lot of stories told there. That they heard things since there was a cemetery there before they built the restaurant.



When there are stories told of hauntings it is usually because they were built over cemeteries or sacred grounds. It can be a way to say to others that they should be respectful of these places and not build things over them.


Guardian Angel

RB is a USC Student majoring in Business and is a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC].


My uncle followed an angel once. When he was four he was being taken care of by my mother who is the oldest of all the siblings. While they were out in the fields she lost him and the started to look for them. She was heartbroken because she thought he was dead but the next day around midday they found him in another pueblo across the mountains. Recently my father asked him if he remembered what he saw. He said that he saw an angel. Other people said that he had seen a guardian angel and that he had followed him to safety.


There are many have recounted stories of having seen angels during times of peril. There are several magazines who have articles written by people who have had similar experiences. It is interest the interest that is prevalent in angels particularly in the last several years as seen by the rise of TV shows that include angels. Fr example: Supernatural, Constantine, and most recently The Messengers. Angels are not very prominent in the bible so it is interesting to see that they are popular across generations and cultures.

Marine Kingdom-Pacts

AU is a student at USC majoring in Anthropology with a minor in Journalism. She will begin her graduate studies next year at USC Dornsife. She is also a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] working at the front desk. The story that she told me comes from her African origins.



Transcribed from Audio Recording:



So what’s the story? Like…


So basically there’s kind of this um folklore about um people that live in rivers state and that is kind of called a delta state and it has different types of nigerian ethnic tribes which include um the ogoni tribe um and the uwera tribe and so you know nigeria is divided by lots of tribes and so there’s kind of this folklore of people that live near the river um nigeria is a very like um spiritually heavy um nation so when you talk about um you know demons and angels it’s a very real thing and there’s this kind of story about when you live near the river there are certain spirits that inhabit the river and they’re not nice spirits they are usually demons that inhabit the river and they call it um and they call that kingdom the marine kingdom where a lo tf those mermaid spirits um inhabit the river and stay near the river causing issues whether it is causing shipwrecks or or um granting people wishes and so um so i heard of a story a long time a go and his goes along with other stories of women but if there is  a women that is barren and she is not able to have children um she can go to the river and she can um go pray and cry at the river saying that she wants to have you know a child and she doesn’t know how to go about getting a child but she really wants one so then a spirit will appear will usually appear in the form of a human um and they’ll say yes you can have a child but once you have that child that child belongs to our kingdom. to the marine kingdom and they said that um theres a lot of different types of like demons in marine kingdoms in nigeria um theres one that deals in the shrines theres kingdom in you now the mountains and the bush but the marine kingdom is said to be the most wicked um thats where the meanest spirits are and um so once you know you make that deal with the spirit they are the most stubborn and the most resistant to let go um of that promise or pact that you made originally with them so people theres more fatalities with um with people who make pact with those people in the kingdom the marine kingdom um and so you know a women will go and have her baby but then once the baby turns becomes you know is born they start manifesting supernatural powers they’ll start seeing things at night they’ll start seeing different spirits the most seen spirit that you can encounter with is um sometimes the parent forgets that that was the pact that they made and so when their starts you know manifesting all these things or having issues or being violently sick you know they try to go and get them healed by like  Christian pastors and stuff um only to find out that the child is inhabited by a demon and that the demon has inhabited the space of the child um and so that requires this like really intense christian deliverance and deliverance meaning that um you know its a nicer way of putting exorcism um but um those spirits of the marine kingdom usually show up as humans but um most of the time like their true form is in the form of mermaids and mermans and um fish heads with human bodies you know it its really fantastical like crazy and um but yeah its just one of those stories in nigeria um where if you ever meet someone from rivers state you kind of give them a side eyed because you don’t know…


If they’re human.


If they’re human or not. You don’t know what pact they made.



This story brings to mind the stories of changelings who are left behind in exchange for human children. Later in life when the child left behind starts to experience differences they realize their origins and go back to their people. There is a common thread of other realms and the pacts that they make with humans and the price that they will have to pay in exchange for having their wishes fulfilled.



For more information on this mythology this site may be helpful:

Crooked Mouth

EA is a student at USC majoring in Creative Writing. She is also a co-worker at the United University Church [UUC] working at the front desk. This story comes from her Mexican heritage.



Transcribed from Audio Recording:



I’ve heard um oh I told my friend two days ago and he started laughing at me. But my mom and my grandma would always tell me like, “Y si comes like y luego te bañas o te metes a la alberca o whatever like se te… la boca se te hace chueca.” [and if like…and then you shower or go in the pool or whatever, like it…your mouth gets crooked.] I’m so serious and like to this day I, I shower first and then eat. If I come home late I would shower first and then I’ll eat even if I’m starving ‘cause I don’t wanna like eat then shower and come out with this mouth over here but I guess, I didn’t, I never thought about the logistics of how does that happen, but uh I was always scared of that.


While I have heard that you will get cramps if you go into the pool soon after eating, this is a new take. The reason for the crookening of the mouth may be that the mouth is a symbol of intake. It could be that the water is seen as trying to cleanse something of the body and the extraction has damaged the jaw. It is a harsher punishment for not following a rule.