Author Archives: lucyalle@usc.edu

Lawyer joke

My friend and classmate Pauline told me the following joke, which she learned from her dad, who is a lawyer: “It was so cold outside today that earlier, I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.” This joke relies upon the stereotype that lawyers are greedy and corrupt, and the metonymic use… Continue Reading »

California breaking off

My mom, who grew up in Los Angeles, recalls a folk belief from her childhood that California would break off from the US and float away: “So when I was growing up there would be these periodic panics or rumors that on a certain day, California was gonna break off and float out into the… Continue Reading »

Shooting guns to welcome visitors

My friend Amal is of Jordanian and Lebanese descent. She told me the following story about a tradition in the town of Fuheis, Jordan, and a chaotic culture clash resulting from it: “My grandfather was from a wild west of Jordan, otherwise known as Fuheis. And like, so in Jordan like, at weddings- not weddings… Continue Reading »

Sickness & not wearing socks

My friend Justine is Chinese-American, and her parents are doctors who practice holistic Eastern medicine. She shared the following folk belief with me: “Something that like, my family weirdly believes–and I’m gonna equate this to, like, Eastern medicine or like, myths in Eastern medicine–but my family hates it when I don’t wear socks because they… Continue Reading »