Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Marsha Lovell is my mom. She is 54 years old. She grew up on a farm in Sugarville, Utah. She now lives in Delta, Utah and has lived there for the majority of her life. She is the second youngest of eight children. She is the mother of five children and has six grandchildren. She loves and spoils her grandchildren. She works at the Delta Elementary School as a secretary in the main office. Marsha is a quiet woman who never seeks attention. Because she is quiet people are always surprised to find out that she is a prankster. Even though Marsha loves to prank people she is super easy to scare and she always give a big open mouth scream.
I asked Marsha if she would be willing to tell Trevor and I some of her pranks she has done. She was so excited to share that she typed up a list of pranks that she had done so she wouldn’t forget one. She listed them in order: high school pranks, college pranks, first married pranks, pranks on neighbors, and work pranks. I had her mostly focus on telling Trevor because I knew I had heard some of them before and I hoped that if she talked to Trevor who hadn’t ever heard her pranks than she would give a bit more detail than she would have with me. Since I asked her to tell us the pranks it was a little more formal and not in a natural context. Normally these pranks would be told if other people were already talking about pranks. Marsha sat across from my husband Trevor, and I on the couches in the family room of her home. She held her paper that listed her pranks and she began in order. I wrote down one of her more funny pranks. This prank is from her high school category. This story begins in the old Delta High School.
Marsha: We were playing basketball with—Teresa and I were playing basketball with Kirt Myers and Robert Jeffery, and we got bored because they’re good. So we stole their pants. [Trevor and Breanna laugh] We went in the locker room and wrote clues to find their pants. Then we gave them a clue that had them go all over town to get the clues and when they found their pants they were [Marsha laughs as tells it] flying on the flag pole (in front of the high school). [We all laugh]
Breanna: That’s awesome.
M: [Still laughing as she speaks] We were hiding by the seminary building (which is across the street from the flag pole) and they saw us and they were like, “You!” [We all laugh] It was funny. We shouted “Hey where’s your pants!” [We laugh] When they found them at the flag pole they were trying to get them down.
Marsha was very excited to share her pranks with us that she was giddy. Marsha has a soft spoken voice. She used her free hand to wave in little motions as she shared her pants prank. She laughed a lot while she told the prank. Sometimes she had a hard time talking because she was laughing too hard. Marsha has a tendency to start laughing before she gets the punch line out. She doesn’t give a whole lot of detail in her stories. After she tells a prank she will sometimes wait for you to laugh or to make sure you appreciate her story. Marsha doesn’t talk a whole lot normally, but when she talks about her pranks she lights up and is happy and perky while she talks.
Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
Nielson, Breanna, "Flying Pants" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 576.