Place item was collected
LLC Building E, suite 403. USU College dorm.
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Alexandra (Alex), age eighteen, was born and raised in University Park, Maryland. She is currently attending Utah State University as an Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Science (Pre-Vet) Major. She loves animals, learning, and thinking about the future, but also claims to think pessimistically. When she was a junior in high school, she transferred schools because she was fed up with the apathetic attitudes of both the teachers and the students. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and tries to be as involved in her religious life as she can.
This joke, or physical retelling/reenactment of a meme, was told at roughly three in the morning in the little living room of the suite style dorm I share with seven other girls. There are two couches forming an L, lining the walls of the room. Directly across from the longer couch is some cupboards and an alcove where two old TVs sit. One of the TVs only plays discs, but you can’t fast forward, rewind, or pause—you just have to stick a disk in and try not miss anything. The other TV displays only black and white, so we rarely use it. Both of the TVs are small, so when we watch anything, we move a TV to the coffee table and plug it into an outlet via extension cord (which sits in the little alcove by the TVs when not in use). Strung up all around the little alcove is multi-colored Christmas lights. Behind the larger couch is a tapestry one of my roommates brought, and behind the smaller couch there are a lot of quotes displayed on sticky notes. At roughly three in the morning, three of us (Alex, Sam, and I) were sitting on our couches, and we had been talking/laughing for a couple of hours when Alex decided to tell us about this meme. Afterwards, I looked up the meme and asked Alex which one it was, and she showed me the two were the closest to what she remembered, but neither had the right caption.
Alex: Have you seen that one meme? Where the guy tries to plug that thing in to itself [points to extension cord, laughing] but wonders why it doesn’t work. and. that thing. over there. [stands up and walks to the extension cord, still laughing, untangling it from Christmas lights]
Sam: What are you…
Alex: Showing you the meme! [tries plugging it into itself, but is laughing so hard she has it upside down and fails. Finally, after multiple tries, plugs it in and holds it out for us to see].
Alex: [starts impersonating a big man]. Hmmm. It’s not working. I wonder why. [pauses before putting extension cord back. still laughing. Sam and I are laughing too]
Alex: Please tell me you’ve seen it. It’s not as funny if you haven’t
Sam: I think… maybe I have.
Me: [at roughly the same time as Sam] Sorry. No.
Alex: At least [big, dramatic sigh] Sam knows what I’m talking about
Honestly, the amount of giggling that happened during this entire encounter is absurd. Since it was around three in the morning, right near finals, we were all incredibly tired, so it was no surprise that all of us were barely coherent. When Alex walked over to the extension cord, she was laughing so hard she almost fell over. By the time she got there, it took her a significant amount of time to untangle the extension cord from the Christmas lights, and an even longer time to find the end of the extension cord. The more she struggled, the harder the three of us laughed. By the time she was impersonating a big man, where she had puffed up her chest and spread her arms out wide, I actually hurt from laughing so hard. It was truly an entertaining time, and Alex told her story/joke/meme with a lot of gusto!
Dr. Lynne McNeill
Semester and year
G9: Internet Memes
Colton, Elizabeth, "Extension Fail" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 358.