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Toilet Freeze Tag

“We had a couple different types of freeze tag growing up. The one I remember everyone always wanting to play was toilet freeze tag. Once you were frozen by the tagger you had to stay in sort of a toilet position. You kind of squatted down and left your arm out to be the flusher thingy. Someone on your team would then have to sit on you like a toilet and ‘flush’ your arm. Once that happened you were unfrozen.”


“Depending on how big the group was there would be more taggers. If it was just a couple of us we would only have one or two, but I remember at tennis camp having like 10 different taggers.


“There was no real winner I guess because the game only ended once everybody was frozen. So if you think about it, the tagger only really had the chance to win. We played until everybody was frozen, it wasn’t timed or anything.


“I feel like throughout all the different types of freeze tag, toilet freeze tag was always suggested. It was usually by one of the boys trying to be funny or something but somehow we always ended up playing it.”


“We played it anywhere. Outside, like around my neighborhood,  and at different summer camps and stuff. Sports camps used it a lot as a warm up activity. A lot of times the staff had never heard of toilet freeze tag and thought it was funny so we got to play a lot.”


“I grew up in New Jersey but went to different camps all over where people knew about toilet freeze tag. Like at my sleep away camp in upstate New York most people knew what it was. Most of them were from Quebec in Canada, so I feel like the game is pretty universal. I’ve also met a lot of people that don’t know what it is but I feel like they’re a little older or something.”


My Interpretation of the game:


I remember playing freeze tag when I was little with a bunch of different themes. The toilet freeze tag was always a hit with the young boys. I’ve asked a couple people around to see if they also played toilet freeze tag when they were little and got an assortment of answers. There didn’t seem to be any consistency with knowing the game and being from a similar place. There also was no consistency in age. I think that attending different camps where they require you to do group activities and games like that has an effect on if you know the different types of freeze tag or not. In those situations, you already have a large group of kids together from different places and backgrounds and at least one of them are going to know toilet freeze tag. Therefore, I believe that kids that attended activities like camp and other group kid stuff are more likely to have heard of or played toilet freeze tag. I think it’s interesting how many different types of freeze tag there are because realistically you can make anything the key to unlocking your teammates. With kid’s creativity, the freeze tag possibilities are endless.

7 Layer Burrito

“When I was a probably a toddler, my dad would give me a bath and clean me. So like he’d bathe me and then when I got out he would rap me in a towel and like tuck in the sides super tight. Basically, I was a burrito. Then he’d pick me up in his arms and carry me to the living room. My brother would be playing video games or something and my mom would be working over in the corner at her desk. He’d lay me on my Thomas the tank engine rug where you’d build like train tracks over. It was a fat rug, play mat type thing. I’m still fully tucked. Then he’d say ‘who ordered this 7 layer burrito’ and look around at  my bother and mom. My mom would then get out of her chair and pretend she was eating me like a burrito.”


“The 7 layer burrito was my favorite burrito from Taco Bell. Whenever we went to taco bell I’d always get it, but the funny part was I would always take most of the stuff out of it so it wasn’t even 7 layers.”


“This didn’t happen every bath I took, but it happened a lot. At least twice a week. My dog would come over and lick my face and then my dad would yell at him to stop eating human food.”


“My grandpa didn’t do that to my dad. I think it was more of a thing just between my direct family. It had a lot to do with my obsession with the 7 layer burrito.”


My Interpretation of the story:


I think that it is completely normal and in most cases encourage to have traditions like this in your family that are directly related to each member personally. This story, to me, shows the importance of generating specific and personal relationships with your family. Your family knows you best, your like and dislikes. Generating traditions that stick have to stem off of ideologies and characteristics that are all shared, meaning that they are hard to create with larger groups, especially if they come from different backgrounds. Creating a tradition with in your family can have a lot more success because as a unit you should share a lot of beliefs and tendencies. Also, it allows you to continue the tradition through the family and maintain your identity as a family into the future generations. It is important to establish traditions and rituals in your family to develop closer relationships and enforce the importance and relevance of your family. Certain cultures stress family and personal matters over work ethic and individualism, offering them the opportunity to develop deeper relationship with those they grow up with and live with. The Interviewee’s father spent the majority of his life in Greece, which can be looked at as a collectivist society. The father is demonstrating his cultural values of family and group work through developing traditions and enforcing relationships in his family.

Mom cooks, Dad cleans

“My mom and dad always divided the responsibilities. My mom would always cook, and my dad would always clean.”

“I grew up in Westchester New York in the suburbs. My parents are both originally from New York. My mom moved all over when she was younger because her dad was in the Military Forces, but dad was born and raised in Queens. He went to school at Buffalo State and then moved into the city to start work. My dad is Syrian and Polish and my mom is Swedish, Irish, and Russian. My mom is more European decent and my dad is more Syrian.

“My dad’s side of the family all stayed close together, they all raised their kind in New York. We’re more spread out on our moms side because they were used to moving as kids. My dad’s side of the family never really moved.”

“My dad doesn’t really know how to cook. He can work a grill and do some basic stuff but my mom is the real cook of the family.”

“My mom learned to cook from her mom. She was from Sweden so a lot of the dishes are kind of similar to Swedish foods, she makes a really good beef stew. Then she converted to Judaism, so now she makes a lot of matzo ball soup which she learned from my dad’s father. She makes a lot of traditional food, like brisket and potato latkes. Since my mom converted, I eat a lot more traditional Jewish food. Because my whole family is from New York, we celebrate a lot of Jewish holidays, so yeah I guess that’s why we eat more Jewish cultured food.”

“My dad’s mom was a stay at home mom, so she would always cook for him. I guess that that tradition was passed down into our family. Well, my dad never really cooked or saw the man of the household cook growing up, so I don’t see why he would think that’s normal. My mom is a great cook though and I think that has a lot to do with why our family does meals that way. Also, like, if my mom’s gonna slave in the kitchen my dad might as well clean up. Team work.”


My Interpretation:

In modern times, there is much discussion about gender roles in society and in the household. Certain cultures stress that the woman is in charge of all domestic accounts, like cooking, cleaning, etc. Through listening to this dynamic, I was able to decide that I think that this set up is solely about cooking ability. If the wife makes better food, let her cook. Looking into their past lives, their modern and past cultures, and their heritage, there is little to determine that their meal set ups are structured this way due to cultural tendencies. Personally, being of Jewish decent and practicing their culture, I know that food is a huge part of their culture and lifestyle. In my experience, the people who know how to make the food make it, there is no worth in making food the wrong way and not letting everyone enjoy it. It is important to note that there are different types of Jewish cultures though. The interviewee’s family is of Sephardic decent, which is a strain of Judaism different from mine, therefor they could have different cultural characteristics than those of my own. I still believe that there is not much underlying cause for this teamwork, rather just how the family makes it work.

St. Ives

“In my third grade class we had a week where each student had to present a riddle to the class and see if the class could figure it out. That was a long time ago, so I don’t remember them all, but one was so absurd that I’ll never forget it. It was this boy in my class who usually didn’t say much. He got to the front with no paper of notes with the riddle on it and just began without any indication.”

“The riddle was.. ‘I was going on a trip to St. Ives when I met this man. This man had seven wives. Each of his wives had seven cats. Each cat had seven homes. Each home had seven balls of yarn. Each yarn had seven different thimbles. Each thimble had seven different boxes. Each box had seven different shelves. How many people or things did I run into on my way to St. Ives?’.”

“So immediately I see all my classmates on scratch pieces of paper writing 7×7 over and over or 7+7×7 or something like that. I remember not even wanting to put in the effort to figure out how many sets of seven there were. People started punching numbers into their calculators and shouting out random answers. They all started off being really high numbers because the riddle made it sound like there were so many things. After a few minutes of chaos, our teacher took back control of the class. She then started to chuckle at us and said that we needed to pay more attention rather than get lost in the numbers.”

“The boy then had the ability to tell us we were all wrong. ‘The answer is 1’ he said. We all looked around at each other like what? How could the answer possibly be 1? He further explained that the most important part of the riddle was the beginning. He met one man on the way to St. Ives, not all of his wives and their kittens and the kittens yarn. I remember feeling played! It was so easy but we all made it so difficult.”


My interpretation of the story:


In the riddles I have seen throughout my life, I can usually find a common theme of the answer was a lot easier than I originally had imagined. I think that there is something in our minds that allow us to make things more complicated, especially when we think the answer is supposed to be complicated. This riddle reminds me of a similar one about a bus. It begins by saying that you are driving a bus with 18 people on it. It continues by saying that there are all these stops and this many people get on and that many people get off at each stop. I remember listening to it and thinking that I have to keep track of all of these numbers to get the riddle right. The end question of the riddle was “What is the color of the bus drivers eyes?” When I finally heard what I was aiming to figure out, I was annoyed because the whole time I had been focusing on the number of people getting on and off the bus at each stop, that I couldn’t even remember who was driving the bus and couldn’t possibly know the color of their eyes. The part to focus on of the riddle was the beginning, that stated I was the one driving the bus, and there for the answer to the riddle was the color of my own eyes, something so simple. Riddles have a way of causing distractions to take the person being questioned’s focus away from the part that will give them the answer. This can be seen a lot through magicians also. The trick to magic is distraction and confusion, which allows the person who is watching to think that things are actually happening when, in fact, they are not.

Eenie Meenie Miney Moh

“When I was little I always heard different versions of the riddle ‘Eenie Meenie Miney Moh’. It was a rhyme that was supposed to help you decided between different options. You would say the rhyme and point to a different object or thing for each word in the rhyme and whatever thing you were pointing too on the last word was the object that was chosen. It started to get more complicated though, because I would keep hearing different endings being added from different people.”

“So it started off like ‘eenie meenie miney moh, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers let him go’ and that was how I started doing it originally. Then different additions started to be created, I think because people weren’t happy with what it landed on so they just kept going with words that rhymed. The first additional ending was ‘my mother said to pick the very best one and you are it’. So everybody in my lower school started adding this on to the end so it seemed like it was just how the saying went. Then another addition was added and that was ‘red white and blue I choose you’. This seemed a little extra to me, but of course I still did it. After that I cut myself off with the additional endings, but I continuously hear other ones being added or completely different ones. One I heard recently was ‘take me to the movie theaters and I’ll by a chocolate bar for you to take me to the movie theaters right now’. They all followed the original tune of Eenie Meenie Miney Moh, so it was easy to follow along if you just wanted to add another ending.”

“My family was Swiss growing up, and I didn’t learn this from my mom. I just kind of heard it around and in school and picked it up on my own. I spent the majority of my childhood in Texas, so I probably learned most of the different endings there. Currently, I live in Los Angeles, and hear through my children and their friends so many different knew endings that rhyme.”


My interpretation of the story:


Growing up, I also had heard many different renditions of the riddle or rhyme “Eenie Meenie Miney Moh”. In this story, what stood out to me was the tellers recognition of the additional endings being for people that didn’t necessarily want what they got. I agree with this assumption, because I personally remember being a kid and not liking exactly what I got and adding another ending or not adding one because I wanted what I first landed on. Because the riddle or rhyme “Eenie Meenie Miney Moh” does not seem to have one origin and is used over most of the country and most likely the world, it is not surprising that it is altered differently throughout different places. I believe that in geographical terms, there should be similar additional endings for people from or in similar places. On the other hand, people are constantly moving and sharing their cultures and traditions with other people, so it is not alarming to see so many different additional endings in one place. Because of this, I don’t think that you can specifically assign the origin of one ending to a place, and that only the original Eenie Meenie Miney Moh part of the rhyme is perpetually consistent across the world.