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Earwick, Nosepick, Facelick

Posted By Kevin Comartin On May 16, 2012 @ 7:00 am In Childhood,Folk Beliefs,Folk medicine,Game | Comments Disabled

Earwick, Nosepick, Facelick

It’s a game the source’s mother, used to play with her, her brother and her sister. The rules of the game are as follows: “two people race to see who can complete three tasks first. They have to stick their finger in the other person’s ear and nose, and then lick their face. The game can be started by either person at any time.”

When the source and her siblings were kids, they thought it was just a game, but when they were older, their mother explained that it wasn’t really a game at all. It turns out she was testing for cystic fibrosis. She was really only trying to lick their faces, and if it tasted salty it would mean they had cystic fibrosis. Healthy kids are supposed to taste like flour.

The source’s mother invented the game so her kids wouldn’t run away every time she tried to test them. She added the steps of picking the nose and ear because it made the source and her siblings laugh.

 

I believe that while the game started as a way to practice a folk medicinal test, the reason why it caught on in the family, and why they still occasionally play it now is because it is a way for the family to playfully get close to each other. All of the actions performed in the game are fairly intimate gestures, and at the heart it’s a way for the family to stay close.


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URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=12038