I know what “whistling past the graveyard” means, just not what it means here

(submitted by B.A.)

(Presumably there’s a way to put only a part of a line in color — which is standard and simple in every computer text editor I’ve used since the 1970s — but I’ve yet to find it; WordPress is making this intentionally infuriating. If they want to drive me away, why don’t they just take the direct approach and nuke the whole site?)


  1. Being glad she’s still alive after every Labor Day to be able to say she’s gonna wear white? That’s what I interpreted it to mean when I saw it this a.m. Rather morbid, IMO (says the woman who really liked DEATH comics).

  2. Labor Day = unofficial end of summer = end of vacations, fun, etc. Fall can be a good season, but it definitely is on the downhill side towards the drudgery of winter. Putting on white shorts, or wearing white after Labor Day, is trying to keep a positive attitude despite the obvious oncoming worse situation.

  3. Janis feels that completely ignoring the Labor Day rule and wearing white whenever she wants would be wrong. But she can wear white after Labor Day if she says out loud that she acknowledges the rule but is chosing to break it. Much like whistling past the graveyard as people do because it’s the rule, even if they don’t believe in its protective effects.

  4. Never heard whistling past the graveyard. That would actually be against the etiquette taught by my people

  5. “Whistling past the graveyard” is pretending a nonchalance you don’t actually feel. She’s pretending she’s not worried about sartorial judgment, but she is.Hence she has to comment on it each year.

  6. If Janis is supposed to be respected by the zombi community, I’d say that’s not a very high bar. One might even called it a new loa.

  7. Whistle past the graveyard definition is – to act or talk as if one is relaxed and not afraid when one is actually afraid or nervous.
    She says that she doesn’t care but is really afraid of being judged for wearing white.

  8. I remember using the ‘Serial mother’ reference as a joke when one of my aunts put on white shoes after Labor day, years ago. She laughed.

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