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Tick-Tacking and Other Pranks

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Monica says that generations of children in her Augusta, Kentucky, neighborhood would go tick-tacking, or playing pranks during the nights leading up to Halloween — soaping car windows, tossing corn kernels onto front porches, leaving flaming paper bags of manure on people’s doorsteps, and finding ingenious ways to tap ominously on a window without detection. The last of these, tick tack, or window tacking, is described at length in Iona and Peter Opie’s classic 1959 work The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. This is part of a complete episode.

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