Tag Archives: united states

Biden’s Body Double

Description: Some people believe that the 2020 president, Joe Biden, is actually played by actor Jim Carrey while the previous president, Donald Trump, remains in power.

Background: The informant hears about crazy conspiracies constantly from their mother, who legitimately believes all of it.


TS: My mom thinks Biden is a body double played by Jim Carey who’s actually in a Hollywood set, being broadcast by the satanist hollywood elites to make people think he’s actually president, when really Trump is still in control. Maybe the Jim Carey stuff is iffy, but the general vibe is he’s a body double/clone or something.

Me: Is there a reason for there to be a body double and not just have trump win the election instead?

TS: No, so (she believes) Trump is a good guy and the elites are the bad guys. They’re scrambling cuz “oh no trumps still in power we got to make it seem like he isn’t”. So they have “fake Biden” to try and trick people. I think that’s the thought process? It’s wild because all the conspiracy stuff makes no sense or contradicts itself. My mom will be upset about stuff the Biden admin is doing, but it’s like “He’s not the real president tho why are u upset?”. It’s also like “If the illuminati cabal is so strong how did they even let Trump in in the first place?” Apparently that was because “so many people voted for Trump that he broke the algorithm to rig the vote”, which is LAUGHABLE as someone who deals with code stuff. She says the same thing happened in 2020, but this time like they’ve just been able to lie about it (unlike in 2016?). I could go on and on about this garbage, it’s funny but it’s also sad cuz my mom believes it and is terrified by it

My thoughts:

This is one of the most recent and relevant pieces that I have encountered. Conspiracy Theories stem from people’s distrust of the government since they do hide an enormous amount of information from us. This is a piece of Folklore that is currently having an effect on our nation’s political climate and the well being of other people. Because of these beliefs, the rights and life of people is placed into question. This of course, is also often discussed in regards to censorship. Should misinformation be allowed a place to exist? It’s interesting to hear a second hand account of these theories as it shows us the logic that people are willing to jump through in order to deny being wrong. In the end, I think these theories stem from a combination of Denial and a fragile ego. People making justifications in order to remain in a reality that they are correct. People who believe it also tend to be those who are either emotionally vulnerable or just very easily accept certain dogmatic beliefs.

Family Christmas Traditions

Main Text: 

Family Christmas Traditions 

Background on Informant: 

Currently a student, she grew up in an American household with heritage links to her Polish and Irish backgrounds. She has shared with me her many traditions and the folklore she has been exposed to through her experiences. 


She explains:

“For Christmas every year, we have a small tradition. 

So on Christmas Eve, pre-COVID, we used to have the entire family gather, extended and all.

So we gather the presents together and they get handed out from oldest to youngest. We don’t open them but they sort of get complied into piles per person, which we’d open in the morning. I’m the youngest in my family and I’m 18 so we don’t do the Santa thing anymore unfortunately, so we know who got who what. 

Then we sit down for dinner and say grace. Grace? Grace died five years ago. We pray basically. Dinner is traditional Christmas food, maybe just for us, I’m not sure? But we eat roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and vegetables, with small desserts after (it usually varies).

The funny thing is that we still leave out cookies for Santa, it’s a bit outdated for us but I think it’s cute, although my dad usually ends up eating them in the middle of the night. 

I think it’s a very American Christmas for us but I love it and don’t see much changing in terms of our customs any time soon. Although making Santa cookies will continue to crack me up.” 


I love learning about people’s Christmas traditions and the importance of familial customs that always stand out. I grew up in an Eastern European household so our Christmas was accustomed to those traditions, so I always find it fascinating to learn about the ’American’ way of celebrating Christmas. 

I like how old-fashioned it is, with the traditional Christmas food customs and saying grace before dinner. I know the person I interviewed is not religious but they still adhere in order to continue the traditions. Christmas is so universal and because so many people celebrate it, it is always so interesting to see the variety and various ways it is enjoyed. Overall, I loved learning more about her traditions and always love finding out how Christmas customs are such an essential part of cultural identity. 

Car Rituals dealing with Hazard Avoidance – Automobile Superstitions

Description of Informant

PV (52) is a pharmacist and businesswoman from St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in a Persian household, PV spent some of her early childhood between the US and Iran, prior to the revolution. For the last two decades, PV has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Context of Interview

The informant, PV, sits in her kitchen browsing Twitter, while her daughter, LK, snacks on french fries. The collector, BK, is PV’s son, and lives with her and LK.


BK: So tell me about these car games/superstitions.

PV: I think… my memory is… so there’s all these things, when I was a teenager, right? And we would be driving with friends, you started to pick up some of these, kind of, rituals that people had in their own— because, like, when you’re friends and you’re not driving in a car you never really, like, pick these things up. So it was more like when I turned 16 and we were driving, all of a sudden I noticed— we’d be driving and it would be a Friday night— and all of a sudden I remember a car went by and one of the headlights was out, and all of a sudden [my friend] went, “Perdiddle!” And I’m like, “What?” and she’s like, “Oh, don’t you guys do that?” and I’m like, “Don’t I do what?” *laughing* And we were like, so we were like, “Oh okay cool!” So whenever another car would go by that had a headlight out, then somebody would yell “Perdiddle!” So that became kind of a thing, right?

PV: And then there was this thing about if you go over a bridge… now that’s the part where I can’t remember. I think some people would tap the ceiling when you go over the bridge. I don’t know what that was about. But other people would lift their feet up [in the car] when they’d go over a bridge. Silly games, I guess.

BK: And LK you said you had something about…

LK: We’d just hold our breath. When we’d go through a tunnel. And see who could hold their breath through the whole thing. I don’t know really when it started but it’s— I feel like a lot of people know about it. Like whenever I’m with friends or whatever I’m always like, “Okay, ready? 1-2-3!” And we all hold our breath and like, everybody just does it and knows that it’s a thing, but we don’t, like, know how we all found out about it. Like, I felt that probably one time it happened and we all did it— like nobody was shocked when we all did it. It was like nobody was surprised.

PV: Oh, when I was with [my ex], they always honked when they went in the tunnel. 

BK: Honked… long? Or, was it just like a “beep!”

PV: Well, I will tell you. The idea was you were only supposed to honk when you went in the tunnel. Just a tap, I thought that’s all it was. But one time I got really mad because, we were in… believe it or not, of all things we were in, you know, like Monte Carlo? We’d gone from south of France, Monte Carlo, south of Italy, you know, like that area. And we were going through a tunnel. The whatchamacallit had been going on… the Tour de France. And we were in a tunnel and he’s going honk! honk! honk! honk! for the entire long tunnel. And his daughter starts crying cuz her ears are hurting and he doesn’t stop. He’s like “You’re supposed to honk in tunnels.” So like, his desire to do the honking in tunnel… was stronger. That ritual was stronger than his daughter crying.

Collector’s Reflection

Looking over each of these car games/activities, one may immediately suspect they are methods to keep yourself occupied on a long drive, especially pre-smartphone. However, upon inspection, a pattern becomes clear: hazard avoidance. Each of these games is performed in the presence of a potential hazard, and seems to be a superstitious ritual to protect oneself/the occupants of the vehicle.

Take the bridge and tunnel examples. Both present the threat of imminent collapse. Perhaps tapping the roof represents lifting the car over the bridge. If there’s water under the bridge, you may lift your feet to keep them from “getting wet”; otherwise, raising your feet may help you float above the bridge, or avoid adding excess weight so the structure stays standing. Holding one’s breath in a tunnel seems to be an act of prayer, akin to holding your breath in a high-stakes situation. Again, superstitious and intangible, but for good reason.

These car games can have more practical origins/applications too. Perdiddle (or padiddle as it’s sometimes known) can keep the driver and passenger aware of reckless drivers on the road. If a car approaches with one headlight, calling perdiddle ensures that your driver is aware of the potential risk. Such a threat posed by these single-headlight cars is their similar appearance to motorcycles in the dark. If the driver isn’t paying attention, they might get too close, not realizing the oncoming vehicle is much larger/wider than it seems.

Similarly, honking as you drive through a tunnel signals to oncoming traffic, much in the spirit of old trains. The auditory cue will allow any pedestrians or oncoming cars not yet in the vehicle’s line of sight to clear out, keeping everyone safe.

Playground Lingo

Context: The informant is a 23-year-old white female from Florida who grew up with her parents and two older siblings. When the informant was in grade school, a common accusation between kids swinging on adjacent swings, when someone got too close to them, was, “You’re in my shower!”

Analysis: The informant says she remembers the phrase because “I thought it was a weird thing to say, i was like, okay, whatever you say…” This indicates that it was not a widespread saying but perhaps unique to a small area of schools or perhaps even just the one school that the informant attended.

It can be assumed that when someone had possession of a swing, they would be unwilling to give it up or to experience interference from other swingers. The connotation of a shower being a very individual, private space, therefore, transferred onto the swinger’s small area of free movement and they would understandably be indignant of someone invading their “private,” designated area.