1. Title: Fork in the Tray
2. Informant info:
Chris Boone is an student at Dartmouth, part of the class of 2017. He is from Trumbull, Connecticut, and is studying government. He was a trip leader for some of the incoming freshmen. He tends to eat at Foco on most days.
3. Type of lore (Genre and Sub-genre): Customary, Superstition, Magic Superstition
4. Language: English
5. Country of Origin: Hanover, New Hampshire, United States
6. Social / Cultural Context: In most dining halls in Dartmouth, there are utensil dispensers that dispense plastic utensils one at a time. Sometimes, someone takes more than one fork and leaves the extra fork in the tray. When the next person comes to get a fork, there is a high chance that they will rather take a new fork than the one sitting in the tray. No one truly understands why people do this, but on certain days you can see multiple forks piled up in the dispenser tray in Novack Café.
7. Associated File: N/A
8. Transcript: N/A
9. Informant’s comments:
“Haha it is kinda funny how this is even a thing… I know I’m guilty of doing it a couple times. But when i go to get a fork from the dispenser and there is already one in there, it just makes me wonder… why was it left there? It just seemed… unclean… haha. It’s a very weird situation, many times i just tell myself ‘this is ridiculous’ and take the fork anyway. But I find it hilarious that people do this.”
10. Collector’s comments:
I believe the superstition of the fork in the tray exists due to a variety of aspects of the human psyche. The way I see it, when most people go up to the dispenser and see a fork already in there, they wonder “how long as the fork been there?” It could be anywhere between 30 seconds or all day. As the fork sits there, people assume its getting more and more unclean overtime, making it more desirable to just grab a new one from the dispenser. I just find it amazing how Dartmouth College students will drink beer after a ping pong ball that was recently rolling on floor of a fraternity basement falls into it, but refuse to grab that fork in the tray.
11. Tags/Keywords: Fork, Tray, DDS, Superstition, Magic