Author Archives: Haley Winters

The Story of Raggedy Ann of Towanda, PA

There was once a young woman named Ann, who lived in the rural town of Towanda, Pennsylvania, with her parents, who loved her very much. They would always say to her, “Just remember, Ann, if you ever get into any trouble, any trouble at all, just run home. Run straight home, and we’ll be here.” One night Ann was driving out by the woods. A deer sprang out onto the road, and Ann, swerving to miss it, crashed her car. In the crash, the glass from the windshield shattered, and split through either side of her neck. Ann stumbled out of the car and ran home, but as she ran, her mostly-severed neck flopped back and forth–flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop. Her parents found her and rushed her to the hospital, but somehow in the crash Ann lost her mind and went insane. Her parents put her in a mental institute. One night, Ann escaped, so that she could run home to her parents. And on some nights, you just might see her, running through the woods, her head going flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop.

This was a ghost story told at my informant’s childhood summer camp every year, usually at a bonfire on the Fourth of July. The camp policies didn’t allow most traditions, such as camp songs or stories, except for this and a few more told only on this night. Only one of the oldest, most experienced campers  will be allowed to tell the story, and every year, the camper with the honor does his or her best to make it new and exciting, even though everyone knows the story already.

On the last line– “flip-flop, flip-flop, flip-flop”, Raggedy Ann herself comes running across through the words, her head flopping back and forth, to the screams of the campers. This is always another senior camper, and it’s considered an honor to play the part.

Flipping two Cigarettes, “One for luck…”

When you buy a new pack of cigarettes, you take two out and flip them upside down, and smoke those two last. It’s “one for luck, and one for fuck” — one for good luck, and one to smoke after you’ve had sex, often to share with the person.

This is a common tradition among many smokers, especially in New York. My informant first heard it in early high school, from girls that would smoke between classes. She’s been doing it as long as she’s been smoking.

Since smoking is generally considered a vice, I think it’s probably a way to ‘negate’ that, and make it something ‘lucky’ and good.

Getting Iced

Getting Iced is a drinking ritual where, if an individual is presented with a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, he (or, sometimes, she) is required to to drop to one knee and chug the entire bottle, no matter what the situation. 

“Icing” is a common prank among college students. It’s generally tradition to “Ice” someone in some kind of unexpected or surprising way, or at an incredibly inconvenient time or place, such as in a public place or at 7 in the morning. It’s usually done amongst young men, specifically “bros”, and a “bro” is honor-bound to drink the Smirnoff when he is Iced. My informant, and myself as a college student, have seen many a bro get iced, and never seen anyone refuse. It would be unthinkable.

My informant told me that, when his best friend, who graduated last year, was taking his last final of college, all of his friends planned a huge Ice for him. Eight of them spread out along the path from his friend’s dorm to where he was taking his final. As he walked to the classroom, one at a time, his friends would spring out along the way and Ice him. Every single time, he dropped and chugged the bottle. By the time he got to the final, he was practically falling over from being drunk.

No one really knows where exactly “Icing” came from, but part of the point is that a Smirnoff Ice is considered a very girly, lame drink, that no self-respecting man should drink. Icing turns the “girliness” of it into a test of manliness. It’s often used by fraternity brothers as a form of hazing. Although girls can Ice others be Iced (and are held to the same Icing standards as everyone else) it’s usually something done to guys by other guys.

To the Breezes (a toast)

Here’s to the breezes
That blows through the trees-es
That lifts their skirts above their knees-es…
That shows us the spot
That gets us hot
That teases, pleases and causes diseases…
Oh my god, what a snatch.
…down the motherfuckin’ hatch!

This is a toast my informant learned at the University of Evansville. It’s told among guys while drinking.

Toast for Honor

Here’s to Honor.
To getting Honor,
To staying Honor.
And if you can’t cum in her…cum Honor.

This is a favorite toast at the University of Evansville, where my informant attended. It’s a toast performed by guys, for other guys, when they’re drinking, and always gets a laugh.