Informant: “their is this story in Egypt.. its like.. its not an ancient legend, its like a legend a from recent history cause it’s about envelopes right..that um if you lick envelopes… you never never lick envelopes you put the water on it… if you lick envelopes there is this one lady who cut her tongue and when it healed it healed over an egg that a cockroach had laid on the envelope and then the cockroaches crawled out of her tongue when they were born. It was disgusting so you never lick envelopes (laugh)
Collector: how did you hear about this?
Informant: my mom told me about it.
Collector: who told her about it?
Informant: uhh i don’t know we are Egyptian.
I recorded this from Sam Yassa while we were studying for other homework earlier in the semester. what i find interesting about the story is it’s logic. A cockroach could definitely lay an egg on an envelope and the egg could probably hatch within a tongue. I don’t know if the original story is fictitious but the idea that it could be true i don’t think can be dismissed, furthermore. It has enough belief so that many people as sam’s account tells don’t lick envelopes in Egypt. Another possible reason for this custom could be manners or a belief that envelopes are dirty and therefore ought not be licked and have it’s contents ingested. The Last possible analysis that i could imagine is that companies or people who sell the little bottles with water and sponges could have spread the story in order to find use in their inventions.