Informant: Hey, while we’re talking about college towns, did I ever tell you about the black angel of Iowa City?
Informant: Um, so it was a big deal when I was in college, there’s not much to the one I’ve actually heard, it’s just that if you ever kiss a virgin in front of this black statue of an angel in the cemetery near the university in Iowa City, it’s face will turn white.
Interviewer: Did you ever?
Informant: No one ever has!
This local legend/joke might be construed as emphasizing anxiety about sexuality and, for women at least, the fine line between being considered prudish and being considered promiscuous; for young men, perhaps anxiety about being considered manly enough. The informant heard this first from a college girlfriend of his, and apparently it was not uncommon for couples to go kiss in front of the statue on a dare–playful proof of adulthood in the liminal space of college, when many students find themselves no longer protected by parents but also not quite independent.