Monday, March 3, 2014

White Rabbit

White rabbit, everyone.  I know it's a couple days late, but this is my first post after the 1st of the month. And I don't think anyone on Facebook got me this month, so ppbblltt.

If you're clueless, allow me to explain.

When I was in college at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma (good ol' PU), I learned this tradition. On the first day of the month, you need to say "White Rabbit" to your friends before they say it to you. I know -- it's weird. But people got serious about it. Some, on the first day of the month, would answer their phone, "White rabbit -- hello?" -- just so nobody would get them.  And of course, there was the guy who would call someone at 12:01am to wake them up and white rabbit them.

I told my then-boyfriend-now-husband about the game, and his remark was, as I recall, something to the effect of, "That's really weird.  And dumb." And I couldn't deny that.  Nevertheless, almost every single month since then, he has tried to white rabbit me.

After a while he got bored and changed it up. "Roger Rabbit . . . what? Oh, I thought you said it was Roger Rabbit!"  "Bugs Bunny . . . what? Aw, come on, you keep changing it . . . "  One month in Hutchinson, I woke up after sleeping in on a Saturday morning with a sign on the door that said, "LEPUS ALBUM".  I groggily tore off the sign and looked at him questioningly (because he was standing right outside the door waiting).  He said, "It's Latin for WHITE RABBIT!!!" I married a crazy man.

As the girls grew older, they caught on and got into it, too.  (Well, the youngest is into it. The eldest is of that teenage ilk who likes it if she wins. If she loses, it's dumb and she wasn't even playing.) Nobody has tried waking me up at 12:01am to white rabbit me yet. I think they know better.  That would not be a bright idea.

Once I got on Facebook and started reconnecting with old college friends, I found a lot of them still do this . . . so then the game became posting it before anyone else.  One friend tends to get us all every month because she's pretty regularly up at 3:00am every morning anyway.  Crazy woman.

But I also found friends who were NOT from PU who played this game. Or a variation of it anyway. Somebody insisted to me once that it should be "Rabbit Rabbit", which I snickered at. Get it right, people.

But then a friend posted a Wikipedia article yesterday -- "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit".  Apparently this is a long-time superstition that came from Britain. For decades at least (that's how far back they can find evidence of it), people have said "Rabbits" or "Rabbit Rabbit" or "White Rabbit" or some such variation first thing in the morning on the first day of the month for good luck.  (We didn't do it for luck -- just for bragging rights.) FDR himself was a rabbit-er. 

"Even Mr. Roosevelt, the President of the United States, has confessed to a friend that he says 'Rabbits' on the first of every month—and, what is more, he would not think of omitting the utterance on any account." – Newspaper article, 1935

And Nickelodeon promoted the idea for a while in the mid-90s, which was before I had children watching the channel.

So, it's not just a PU thing. How about that?

And so, white rabbit, everyone. Gotcha. Try it again next month. (But no middle-of-the-night phone calls . . . I'm warning you . . . )

No comments: