USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘urine’

Professor Thompson’s How To Get Rid of A Bear Story

A fellow classmate and I went to Professor Thompson’s office hours to ask him for any folklore. ME is the classmate, PH is myself, and TT is the informant.

PH: We were wondering if we could collect folklore from you for the project.

ME: Specifically, any stories about Alaska, the Alaskan wilderness, maybe about animals

TT then proceeded to tell us a story not related to animals that is documented in a separate post. That other post has more background about the town he grew up in, where these stories come from.

TT: Oh, and I have one about …

There are plenty of stories about their encounters with animals and whatnot, um and especially with bears, that was the main thing you had to watch out for, especially brown bears, so there was all these stories of people getting, you know, attacked by bears and chased by bears, um, and the one that kind of sticks out in my mind, that my dad told me as if it were true, but I, I kind of wonder, (laughs) iit sounds a little traditional to me. Um, so this guy was out, um, somewhere and this uh, this brown bear started chasing him, and he climbs up this tree, which is what you can do when you’re chased by a brown bear, people are climbers, and uh, so the bear wouldn’t go away though, he just kind of waited for the guy underneath the tree, so the guy would try to climb down the tree and the bear would run over right underneath the tree, ready for him, so after a while, this kept going on, the guy would yell at him, try throwing sticks at him, nothing, the guy’d be up there for, like, hours, and he’s getting really annoyed, you know, the bear’s not getting him, but he’s not leaving either, and see it’s going to get dark, and he’s up in the tree, and so then he gets really annoyed, and he realizes he has to, uh, he has to take a leak, so he comes down, uh, about most of the way out of the tree, the bear rushes over right underneath the tree, and he just starts peeing right on the bear’s face, and the bear gets so upset, so annoyed, that he tears off, and then the guy can go home.

(We all laugh)

PH: Alright!

ME: That’s interesting…

TT: So as a kid, I always remember that story, so in case I ever got chased up a tree by a bear that was going to be my fallback move

(We all laugh again)

PH: Good to know!

ME: Now we know what to do, too


Trapped in the Desert.

 Q:  There is a man stranded in the middle of a desert with no resources nowhere to go, no one to ask for help.  All he has with him is a water bottle with a small ping pong ball inside.  How does he get the ping pong ball out?

A:  He pees in the water bottle.

The informant first heard this at his work, where his coworkers like to tell each other jokes during their break times.  He was 42 when he first heard it, and retold it to his family that night.  The informant asked his family the question.  They came up with a variety of answers from “stomp on the bottle until it cracks, then rip it open,” to “suck it out with his mouth.”  However, none of these were the right answer.  When he finally told the answer to his family, they all groaned but then laughed for almost half an hour after because it was so original and pervertedly funny.  The joke was a great way to end the family dinner before they all had to return to their work, be it school homework, or things around the house to finish.  The joke had worked to bring the family a little bit closer together.

A joke like this would be inappropriate anywhere unless the people participating in the joke either knew each other or were in an atmosphere where talking about “peeing” would be appropriate.  However, it is a great tension breaker and would most likely cause a few chuckles at the least.  I think the informant retold this joke because he thought it was funny and that other people might enjoy it as he did when he first heard it.  He enjoys bringing laughter and happiness into others’ lives.   The American obsession with perverted ideas is an underlying idea in this joke as well, as with private things like going to the bathroom. Normally people don’t want to talk about things like that because it is uncomfortable, but jokes allow people to talk about these things without feeling awkward.