Last night I was teaching my creative writing class at "Hebrew High." As I am wont to do in more appropriate settings, I burped, albeit a muffled, barely audible belch. Still, I excused myself, and my students asked me why I excused myself. I explained that I burped.
Then I asked them if they remembered in elementary school when someone burped or farted, and everyone quickly brought their thumbs to their foreheads and cried out the name of a fruit.
Whaaaaa?!!? was their reaction, followed by peals of laughter. They had never heard of this commonplace cafeteria behavior.
They asked what saying a fruit possibly signified. I replied that I thought it was some sort of metaphorical immunity (against what, I don't know) much like knocking your fists together and saying "lifetime detour" did.
Of course, they had never heard of "lifetime detour" either.
Is this a generational difference or were these superstitions strictly concoctions of my hometown? Or perhaps an Akron versus Cleveland thing, like calling the grass between the sidewalk and street a "devil strip" versus a "tree lawn".