Author Archives: Craig Lynch

Jokes – American

“The scientific community measures the amount of energy released during the Big Bang as being equivalent to 1 CNRHK, which stands for 1 Chuck Norris Round House Kick.”

“If you have $5 and Chuck Norris has $5, Chuck Norris has more money than you.”

“Chuck Norris does not go ‘hunting’ because the word ‘hunting’ implies the possibility of failure.  Chuck Norris goes ‘killing.’”

“Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird.”

“Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked so hard and fast that his foot ripped through the space-time continuum and hit Amelia Earhart in the face as she was flying solo across the Atlantic.”

“Chuck Norris is so fast he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.”

“Chuck Norris once visited the Virgin Islands. They are now The Islands.”

My cousin Nicholas told me that for a while Chuck Norris jokes were a non-stop phenomena around his school. Every day he would hear new Chuck Norris jokes and over time they grew more and more ridiculous. Nicholas told me that being armed with a handful of new Chuck Norris jokes could easily allow someone to have a captive audience and usually his classmates would get animated during the jokes and do things like punch the air or even the legendary Chuck Norris roundhouse kick. Nicholas informed me that Chuck Norris jokes are not popular in his school anymore. He said that people were coming up with Chuck Norris jokes so often that there was just too much and everyone got tired of hearing them over time.

I asked him what he thought the jokes were about and why they became as popular as they did. He told me that Chuck Norris is a lame old guy and the jokes just make fun of him. I asked him if he had ever seen a Chuck Norris film and he said he had not, but he quickly informed me that he had seen many videos making fun of him on the internet and was not at all interested in seeing any of his films.

I remember Chuck Norris from my youth and I have seen a few of his films. He I not particularly entertaining and almost comes across as bland or boring. I think the jokes were popular because they ascribed super human attributes to a somewhat normal guy. I actually like the fact that he is so normal because it makes me feel that even regular people can do amazing things, like Chuck Norris. I think this is also why such jokes are especially potent with children. They often emulate adults and do not yet have much power. Looking up to someone like Chuck Norris allows them to feel closer to the power they hope to one day acquire. In reality Chuck Norris is a 9th degree black belt and has even trained with legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, he just does not look like it on the surface.

Rites of Passage – United States Marine Corps

When new Marines join the fleet and are officially part of the United States Marine Corps they are called boots. These Marines are considered boots until they gain seniority and especially when they get junior Marines that they are put in charge of. There are various pranks and tricks played on these new Marines. When a new Marine comes to work he may be asked to find an ID-10 Tag. This Marine will then go around asking others where he might be able to locate an ID-10 Tag. Everyone is usually in on the joke because they have all been through it before and they all usually play along. They will tell the Marine random locations or send him to another Marine who will also keep the wild goose chase going. Eventually the Mane will be told, or find out, that an ID-10 Tag does not actually exist. ID-10 Tag is actually code for IDIOT.

A boot may also be sent to hunt down a PRC-E5 (pronounced prick-ee-five). This prank is a little less forgiving than others. E5 is the pay grade of a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. He is in essence being asked to find a Sergeant who is a prick. When the Marine actually finds the Sergeant and tells him he was told to ask for a PRC-E5 the Sergeant may not be too happy that some boot is calling him a prick. What often ends up happening is the Sergeant hunts down the Marine that sent the boot to him and reprimands that individual. After being scolded, the Marine usually makes it a task to somehow punish the boot that went to the Sergeant. This prank is not exclusive to Sergeants it can be used amongst Marines of any pay grade.

Usually pranks like these occur during a workday when there is not much to do and senior Marines are bored. It is uncommon for these pranks to happen during combat deployment mainly because there is not much time to initiate boots when constant danger exists. These pranks are usually conducted by senior Marines who “know the ropes.” Often someone will take pity on a boot and inform him that he is being screwed with. When I first joined my unit I was sent on a series of wild goose chases and eventually I was pulled aside by a fellow Marine and informed that I as being tricked. I actually became extremely angry because I was more eager to actually do legitimate work than participating in what I felt were sophomoric pranks. I was so angry at being duped, in fact, that I never forgave the Marine that duped me and hold a grudge against him to this very day.

Some Marines swear by the utility in playing pranks on their new Marines. They feel it teaches them to distinguish ridiculous and unfounded orders from legitimate ones. I feel that it is more important to actually do ones job properly and save the games for non-work hours. I have had any arguments with other Marines over this subject and whenever I see a boot being tricked I inform him as soon as humanly possible. This resulted in senior Marines pranking their boots only when I was not around because they knew I would spoil their fun.

Folk Speech – American

At the University of Findlay in the city of Findlay, Ohio there is a constant usage of the term “deader.” My informant tells me that the term can be used as a noun to refer to an individual. An example of such usage would be, “Wow, man you’re a deader.” This can be said after someone does something that offends or displeases someone else. Referring to someone as a “deader” can be either positive or negative. In referring to an attractive female, for example, my informant tells me one would say something like, “She is a deader.” To “dead” is the verb form of the term and can be used to describe the action of “deading” someone. An example my informant gave me was that if someone tried to hit on a girl and was rejected one could say to the individual, “You just got deaded.” In this case the term “dead” is synonymous with getting rejected. The positive verb form can be seen in the example given to me by my informant in which a person sees an attractive woman and then says something like, “I would dead her;” The reference in that example being sexual.

My informant tells me that it is a kind of universal word that can literally be applied to any sentence or situation. It is a way for Findlay students to express themselves and partake in cultural exchanges. Outsiders overhearing conversations of students are often completely baffled by what they hear. The universal word has changed before. My informant tells me that before “dead” the universal word was “blood.” It was much more difficult to utilize that universal word and its existence was short-lived.

On the matter of context, not only was the word used in every context, it was purposely injected into phrases that would normally contain other words. It was their way of playing with the language and in a way making it their own. I think that it is fairly common for college students to try to invent new trends. Some of the trends grow legs and turn into national fads. Others stay local, as is the case in the University of Findlay’s usage of “dead.”

I found it interesting that the term could be used for anything positive when dead usually refers to death which is often a time of mourning and generally a sad time, except in some cultures like the Irish who celebrate death and play games and other things to make it much more positive than it is in Western societies. My informant tells me that that is the point exactly. The term has nothing to do with positive things and that is why he and his friends find it so amusing to use the term. It is an inversion of social norms. I think it functions to not only help build social bonds but also challenges the established order of things and refuses conformity.

Contemporary Legend – Miami University

(This story takes place in the dorms of Miami University) A loud commotion I heard and it turns out that there is an argument in a dorm. To help keep the peace the Resident Advisor (RA) goes into see what is happening. The RA sees two people having a confrontation and jumps in to break up the scuffle. Upon being separated, one of the individuals involved pulls out a handgun. He turns and points the handgun the RA and shoots him point blank in the chest. As he is falling the RA wipes his bloody hand on the wall leaving a smeared handprint. A short while later people that worked for the school tried to clean the bloody handprint off of the wall. No matter what they tried they could not get the handprint off of the wall. They eventually gave up trying to clean the handprint off and decided instead to paint over it.  According to the legend if you touch the bloody hand print the ghost of the RA will show up.

Elizabeth told me that the story has to have some truth to it because she claims to have actually seen the bloody hand print in person. She admits that it is possible that someone painted the handprint there in order to add strength to the story. She says she never touched the handprint. The first time she heard the story was when she was a freshman living in the dorms at Miami University. She was told the story by a member of her rugby team. The school takes the matter so seriously that they do not allow anyone to live in the room that the incident supposedly took place. Elizabeth told me that she thinks the story is a warning to all Reside Advisors to not try to be heroes and choose their fights more wisely.

I think the story serves to show that there is no telling what could possibly happen in any given situation, especially those in college. What may seem on the surface to be a typical fight might in fact be mortal combat. There are dangerous people everywhere and college is no exception. While this can serve as a warning to RAs it also highlights the danger that can accompany even everyday situations.

Contemporary Legend – American

A young woman is driving on a deserted road late one night. She notices she is out of gas and pulls in to the nearest gas station to fill up.  After she is done pumping the gas she gets out of the car to pay. The gas station attendant that is helping her notices there is someone hiding in her back seat.  The attendant is kind of a hick, and doesn’t speak very well.  When she is about to pay he goes over to the door and tries to prevent her from leaving.  She wants to leave however, and fights her way out after a brief struggle and runs over to her car.  She gets into the car and starts speeding down the road because she is afraid of the gas station attendant. Because she is so scared she is constantly looking in her rearview mirror. She thinks that he may decide to follow her.  She looks into the mirror the first time and does not notice anything strange. She then looks into the mirror a second time and she is feeling more afraid, but still does not see anything out of the ordinary. She looks into the mirror a third time and as she does she catches a glimpse of a strange person’s face in the rearview mirror. She realizes that there s a person in the back seat too late. The moment she realizes someone else is in the car, the stranger chops her head off with a hatchet.

Elizabeth told me that this urban legend always used to give her the creeps. After hearing it the first time she told me that she wanted very much to trust the advice of gas station attendants. This caused her a great deal of conflict because she says that most gas station attendants are in fact creepy. Even after hearing the urban legend she is still skeptical of putting her trust in gas station attendants, especially late at night.

To her this urban legend is about taking advice from people that you might not usually even talk to. She feels that it is a good point to make, but at the same time she feels that her instincts are usually correct in such situations. I think the urban legend points to the danger in traveling alone at night. The fact that the urban legend focuses on a woman and not a man probably has something to do with society’s traditional portrayals of women as victims. The illiterate-looking gas station attendant as a man and she was more afraid of him than she was the potential danger waiting in her car. I think it says something about not jumping to conclusions about people based on appearance as well.