The Informant is 29 years old, grew up in a military family, and studied at USC and UCLA. He’s very close to his Japanese culture.
Me: What is the phrase?
Him: “Face down, ass up, that’s the way we don’t do snatches.”
Me: And what is this based off of? Why do you use it?
Him: It’s based off of that one song where the chorus is like “Face down, ass up, that’s the way we like to fuck”. I don’t remember who it’s by. B*** started it. He knows the song. We yell it to remind our athletes how to have proper form when they do an olympic lift. The snatch. And it’s supposed to make them laugh.
Me: How did it start?
Him: B*** was being extra goofy during training and one of our athletes kept putting their butt up instead of back and they were looking down instead of ahead of them. And B*** just busted out this phrase and everyone started laughing. And it stuck. Now, whenever we see people with bad form, we yell the first half of the phrase and they’re supposed to answer with the second half.
Me: And is this phrase unique to this gym?
Him: I know that G has started bringing it to another gym in Hollywood because he thought it was so hilarious. So it’s starting to spread. We basically do it during every Oly Lifting class and we’ve actually got some T-shirts we’re getting designed with the phrase on them now.
This shows explicitly the ways in which folklore can just occur in the moment in any context. There doesn’t always need to be any sort of set-up that calls for folklore to start, it can just sort of appear out of thin air. In this instance, it proved relevant to pop culture, so that it could be relatable on a wide scale, and also serves to improve athletic training by reminding the athletes to obtain proper form in their weightlifting. In addition, it proves hilarious because it serves the same purpose of a “catch riddle” by leading the listener down a certain path, only to reveal that the teller has purposefully misguided them and reveals a twist in the punchline. Because of this great formula that this folklore serves, it has risen so much in popularity in one gym that it has started in another. And, they’re even making T-shirts with the phrase on it!