Tag Archives: Fair

Bubblegum Bubblegum

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Salvadorean
Age: 24
Occupation: Law Student Advisor
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: 3/9/19
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Spanish

MR: “Oh…Did you ever play Bubblegum bubblegum in a dish, how many pieces do you wish?”

MG: Wait can you explain how it went?

MR: “When you are going to play a game and you need to choose a person, everyone has to put their shoe in the middle (puts foot in middle) then you say …”Bubblegum bubblegum in a dish, how many pieces do you wish?” oh and then whoever it lands on has to pick a number and then it continues until that number is reached. Whoever it lands on gets out until the last person is left.”

Context: We were talking about childhood games and this rhyme came up.

Background: Informant is twenty four years old and from the Los Angeles area. RR remembers playing this in school for tag or hide and seek and also with her cousins. She believes she learned this from the other students in her class. Then, she taught this to her little brothers.

Analysis: Children often teach other children folklore. I thought it was quite interesting that regardless of the fact that RR is two/three years older than me, I also learned this rhyme from other children in my school. It shows that folklore can live on for many years and now lives in our memories. This song/rhyme is a common example of children bringing order and structure to their play. This rhyme allows children to choose a leader in a fair way. Because the person it lands on the first time gets to chose a number it leads it up to fate, in a sense, to choose the person who will be “it.” It prevents kids from fighting over being chosen or not being chosen.

Other versions of this include using one’s fist to count rather than one’s shoes. For this version please see: https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=2776

Fair

--Informant Info--
Nationality: German-American
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles
Date of Performance/Collection: april 20, 2012
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): German

The informant uses this response whenever someone says something isn’t fair.

“Fair is where you ride rides and eat hot dogs.”

She heard the phrase from her family and continues to use it. It is employes as a snarky response to someone who has said something that annoys her using the word “fair” playing on the two meanings of the word. There seems to be a common trope of folk responses to common statements and questions. I.e. “I’m hungry.” “Hi Hungry. I’m Bob.” or “What time is it?” “Time to get a watch.” I think people enjoy displaying their cleverness through these phrases.