“It seems I have spent a lifetime of mouthing mechanically, ‘Say thank you. Sit up straight. Use your napkin. Close your mouth when you chew. Don’t lean back in your chair.’ Just […]
It is Illegal to Sell Infants in Pennsylvania
The Commonplace Fun Facts Legal Department tells us that laws are supposed to be reasonable. Apparently, this concept doesn’t apply to legal advice, however. That one sentence generated a bill for $362.11.
Warning: These Warnings Warn About Worrying Warnings
In an earlier article, we discussed the reason for the lengthy warnings that always show up at the end of pharmaceutical commercials. That did not answer the question, however, about why some […]
Join the Effort to Save These Words and Phrases From Extinction
They are on the precipice of extinction. Without decisive action, all fifty of them will be gone, only to appear as footnotes in the textbooks of the future. Saving them is going […]
How Freak Shows Revolutionized Medical Care for Babies
Once upon a time, there was a place called Wonderland. No, this is not a story about the mythical place created by Lewis Carrol. The Wonderland of this story was real. It […]
It is Illegal in Georgia to Sell a Child Under the Age of 12 to a Circus
For anyone who is hoping to make money through the sale of children to circuses, be careful when conducting business in Georgia. The state has imposed a minimum age for such a […]
How to Become a Professional Santa Claus
All schools have a code of conduct, but some put a particular emphasis on keeping a list of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. If you want to make the spreading […]
Is Your Kid a Dumbbell? Take Advantage of It!
Most parents work very hard to encourage their children not to be dumbbells. At least one parent has a completely different idea and actually encourages it.
How Many Licks Does it Take To Get to the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop?
In 1970, the world was asked the question, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” The question was posed in an animated […]
Thank the Creator of the Headless Horseman for Your Favorite American Christmas Traditions
There are certain people who figure prominently in the development of Christmas traditions. What would Christmas be like without Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Thomas Nast’s depiction of Santa, or Clement Moore’s immortal […]
Don’t Spend Christmas in the Emergency Room
Christmas is a time to spend in church, shopping in stores, and visiting the homes of family and friends. For too many people, it is also a time to spend in the […]
How Much Do You Know About Santa Claus?
One of the most recognized people in the world is that jolly, old elf, Santa Claus. Everything about him — his beard, hat, coat, belly, and even his distinctive laugh — immediately […]
The Charming Christmas Tradition of the Belly-Slitting Witch
The Ideas Department of Commonplace Fun Facts suggested a series of stories during the month of December about Christmas traditions around the world. “Great,” replied the Research Department. “We’ll find some charming, […]
The Ghoulish Ghost Guardian of South African Christmas Cookies
UPDATE — June 30, 2022 — This story has been moved to the “Debunked Legends” category, thanks to the intrepid research of Mitologia.pt. It’s still a wonderful story. What a shame that […]
The Jolly Old Elf With a Jolly Ol’ Address
Many people have difficulty remembering to stay on Santa’s “Nice” list throughout the year, but remembering his address is much simpler.