Rubber Band Prank
Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My youngest sister, Emilia “Emmi” Rivera was born on October 1, 2004. She’s an eighth-grader at Oquirrh Hills Middle School in Riverton, UT. She is the youngest of five siblings, the oldest being 38 and the youngest (herself) being 14. She lives in Riverton, UT at home with her mother, father, and brother, who is leaving to serve at LDS mission in March. Emmi loves to write, draw, and socialize with her friends. She often gets lonely at home with her siblings being gone but is a typically happy teenager.
The “rubber band prank” is a practical joke that her brother, Jamen, taught her when she was seven or eight. The stretches of age difference often left Emmi without a constant playmate, so her family often remembers the practical jokes she’d play on them for entertainment. The prank consists of tying a rubber band tightly around the button on the sink hose, so when someone turns on the sink, the hose sprays that person directly in the face.
I actually forgot about this. Jamen taught me the rubber band thing, but my friends and me used to watch pranking videos on YouTube. Dad was the only one it really worked on though, because, like, after Dad got sprayed everyone would check the sink to make sure I hadn’t tied anything on the nozzle. Dad laughed because Manny [Emmi’s father] can take a joke. Mom didn’t at all… [laughs].
The interview took place over the phone after she’d gotten home from school. Emmi told this story very awkwardly, slightly embarrassed by this story of her eight-year-old self. I could tell that she’s approaching the age where she’d like to be taken seriously. I sensed that she has a strained relationship with our mom and a more comfortable relationship with our dad by the way her tone of voice shifted from upbeat and chirpy when she said “Dad laughed…” and the more subdued tone of voice when she stated, “Mom didn’t laugh at all…”
Semester and year
Rivera, Josephine, "Rubber Band Prank" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 315.