Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How Many Stomps Was That ?

Around this time of year people generally think about traditions more frequently.  It's likely influenced by the holidays that bring families together (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's) but whatever the reason, it is quite interesting to ask questions and find out about how certain traditions came to be.

In this case, I'm not actually referring to a holiday tradition, but rather, one that has been passed from my family of origin to my current family.  (Don't read too much into that current family designation - I'm not seeking a future family different from my current wife and kids - but families grow and shift and change so I'm just clarifying this tradition exists in our home in this family setup).

Growing up in different homes (because my family moved several times, not for some other reason - stop making me digress!) there was one common style of our houses - we always had a basement.  In fact, in most cases (no pun intended - and if you don't stop interrupting me this is gonna be a really long post!), almost all of us kids' rooms were in the basement.  This was the circumstance that led to our creation of a communication method between the people upstairs and those in the basement.  Stomping.

Spencer sometimes uses boots
to help him 'stomp'
Depending on the number of 'stomps' from someone upstairs there was a different expectation of those downstairs in our homes.  Two stomps meant the phone was for you (remember this was before cell phones existed - even before cordless phones if you go back far enough).  Three stomps meant 'come upstairs.'  For a brief period, four stomps meant someone was at the door for you - but that quickly proved ineffective (people at the door seemed to get really worried when they heard loud 'thumps' in a rhythmic pattern right after they rang the doorbell or knocked).  Along those same lines is the reasoning by which one stomp never retained an assigned value - sometimes people fall or something heavy drops.  This was sometimes used to indicate those downstairs occupants were being too loud - but then, since we were that loud, we never really heard that lone stomp, so the only effect was upstairs folks getting sore feet and more angry.

Here's how the record of the House of Case reads on this subject:
Sometimes the boots win
14. And it came to pass that the current Casa de Case household uses a similar stomping method in this day and age.  Yea, the wisdom of a generation before hath been passed on to the betterment of the lives in this generation.
15. And the use in this location was like unto this: one stomp indicates a message of 'quiet down', which is effective in this generation despite it's previous failure; two stomps has no discernible message, but is used as a more serious version of 'quiet down' should the need arise; three stomps indicates a message of 'come upstairs now' and is used frequently and with great success, especially when the stomps occur directly over the room or location wherein the downstairs person is present.

It ain't high tech and it takes some explanation when guests come over, but I dare say many other families have picked up on and use themselves this tradition of communication.  Feel free to join those who see the value of this - but I don't recommend it in the workplace or an apartment setting.  :)

Song Of The Day:
I don't know all the history and background of the song, but "Stompin' At The Savoy" by Benny Goodman and his big band has always been a favorite jazzy song of mine.  If you can't figure out the tie in with today's post then just enjoy the music (and maybe contemplate your capacity to apply basic critical thinking skills - I think this is a 3rd or 4th grade lesson).


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