Author Archives: Kellianne Abshier

Tennis Superstition

“In tennis, if I kept winning a point.  I would only use that ball until I lost. Even if I had two balls I would insist they give me the ball I won with.”

The informant uses this superstition when she is playing tennis.  She played competitively in high school but she also utilizes this superstition when she plays for fun.    She said uses the same ball because it must be special if she keeps winning.

I personally do not believe this superstition to be true.  I do not see how the same ball could keep you winning. However, the use of one ball may keep the informant focused on winning and thus she will continue to win the point.

Dog Licking Hand at Night

“One night this woman was sleeping in her bed, and she felt her dog lickin her hand but didn’t do anything about it.  And the next morning after her shower, she sees written on the mirror, “Humans can lick too.”

The informant heard this during middle school at a slumber party.  It was shared when other scary stories were being told.  She says that she never leaves her limbs off the bed.

This is a very scary story because you are in the comfort of your own home and you assume it to be your dog but in actuality is a weird person in your home.  I think this legend is possible. Although this is a very creepy thing to happen, it is still plausible.  The idea of things being written in a bathroom mirror appears throughout folklore, literature, and movies.

Look Under Your Car

“At gas station late one night, a woman was pumping her gas.  She ran inside to grab a pack of gum and when she returned to get in her car … a man underneath her can slit her Achilles tendon so she could not run away.  And then he killed her.  So that’s why you should always make sure no one’s under you car or anything like that.”

The informant heard this story from her physics teacher. Her physics teacher would pinch people ankles in the bathroom stall next to her and then tell them the story.  The informant thinks about it all the time, and she says that if she knew the person in the bathroom stall next to her she would too pinch their ankles and tell them the story.  And she always check under her bed and car to make sure someone is not hiding under there.

This legend is so scary because everyone goes to the gas station.  This is a place one cannot get out of going to.  When the informant told me this, I found myself, for the next few days, looking under my car before I got in.  This story could easily happen and may have already happened.  Another frightening part of this story is that the victim cannot run away.

Folk Belief- Pregnancy

“When you’re pregnant, you know you’re having a girl when the baby sits higher and a boy sits lower.”

The informant first heard this when she was pregnant with her first child.  She said that people were always trying to guess if she was having a boy or girl.  One women told her this old wives-tale.  The informant believed this piece of folklore because while pregnant her baby sat higher and she had a girl.  However, she know that this is just a theory and probably not always true.

There is a lot of folklore about pregnancy.  The pregnancy stage is a liminal time, when the baby is coming but not yet born.  Because this is such an unknown time, people choose to use folk medicine and customs in order to figure out the sex of the baby.  Also science cannot determine the sex of the baby until later in the pregnancy, while folk medicine can solve the mystery right away.

Mexican Joke

“Why don’t Mexicans have a good Olympics Team? Because everyone who can run, jump, or swim has already crossed the border.”

Matthew is a high school student from Southern California.  The informant heard the joke, first, from his friends and then, later, from his grandfather. Laughing, the informant says that he would share the joke with his teachers, but in actuality he says he would only share the joke with friends at school.  He thinks the joke is funny because it is stereotypical and – laughing again – partially true.

This joke represents a well-known stereotype within American culture.  The joke assumes that the Mexicans living in Mexico are not athletic enough to make it into America (illegally) and thus do not have a good team for the Olympics.