Sunday, March 04, 2007

Superstition, prompt # 49

Sunday 4 march, 2007


I'm a non-believer! There I said it. No regrets...I'm not superstitious. I can't think of one superstition, common or obscure, that holds any validity. Does that make me abnormal? (Don't answer that.) It certainly separates me from the majority. There are enough superstitions floating around in our collective consciousness to fill a Great Lake. Some are considered blatantly absurd, but others; well, let's not chance it!

As a child, my friends and I taunted and challenged the common superstitions of the day. My mother never did suffer any back problems. We were never able to find the end of the rainbow so we never found the pot of gold...don't know anybody who did. I've been able to blow all the candles out on my birthday cake since the age of three....never got what I wished for. Anytime I got the longer end of the wish bone didn't bring me my wish. The first time I played poker I lost my whole paycheck...so much for beginners luck. I don't recall ever taking a superstition seriously.

Currently we harbor a black cat. He was feral when my wife took care of him and finally made him a house cat. He's more afraid when I cross his path than I am when he crosses mine. Our first black cat ran out in the street and was hit by a car. He only had one life.

Every year on the vernal equinox (on or about March 21st), one of the two days per year in which the length of day and night are the same, we hear about the magical quality of this day which allows eggs to be balanced on end.Rarely does a year go by in which a local TV news station doesn't send a reporter out to a neighborhood park to capture images of people delightedly placing eggs on the ground and watching in amazement as the eggs stand on end.Rarely do we see any new stories reporting that this same feat can be achieved every other day of the year as well.
Snopes.com


© R.E. LaRock

Several years ago (15-20) I read in the newspaper about this phenomenon of standing an egg on end on the spring equinox. In front of my children I did infact stand an egg on end on the smooooooooooooth kitchen counter...to the utter amazement of my children and their friends. They all tried to do it but were unsuccessful. In fact, I repeated the act numerous times that day and took the above photo of the achievement. I also did this at other times of the year. Does that mean I'm always well balanced and will have good luck 'til the end of my days? No? I didn't think so.
Earlier today, my friend Jellyhead asked about whether I had had any hospital superstitions (Jelly is a physician in Australia):
Jellyhead said...
"As for superstitions, don't you have ANY? Being medical, surely you believe in not uttering the Q word? (you know, never say 'Gee it's been *quiet*', because for one everyone else will howl you down, and for another thing, 108 patients will suddenly hurtle in the door"

Jelly is right on the mark with that one. I have, much to my chagrin and the entire ER staff, said outloud when leaving the hospital through the ER; "everything looks quiet here tonight." If they get busy, which ER's are wont to do, then rel is a shit head. If they don't get busy then rel is still a shit-head.

I don't believe more women deliver at night or during the full moon. The records tell the story, but the superstition persists.

Out of a sense of self preservation I no longer utter the "Q" word. ;-)

Some people close to me, ie: wife, children, believe that if they say a test was easy, or say "I think I did well on that exam" will jinx themselves and the opposite will out.

I've predicted outcomes and been wrong, or right, but I don't believe in jinxes.

A true story about superstitions in our house: I observed with interested amusement and without comment when my children would have an exceptional game or if the team won the game. From that point on the participants (team members/parents) had to wear the same clothes, ie; shoes, socks, shirts etc. etc. to every succeeding game. Interestingly all three of my children, 4 and 5 years apart played on State championship teams. I could say coincidence, but instead I'll say talent. Oh, and the odor kept the opposition at bay.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Good night and good luck. ;-)



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24 Comments:

Blogger twitches said...

My best friend in high school had a black cat named Satan. It was great fun to run out into the yard and call for him while all the neighbors ran away from us and locked their doors!

8:38 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

You're such a joy to read :) I normally read your haiku but find your personality shines in your scribblings.

1:30 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

So those signs i've been Following... They aren't real???

2:11 PM  
Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

A great read, Rel. The whole egg thing is very curious- I'll have try it! Thanks for the picture!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous KG said...

Rel — Hilarious! I giggled throughout. You make a real case for saving one's energy for concerns OTHER than superstitions. Thanks for the smiles. :)

When you mention the sports superstitions, that is a favorite topic around here. When the "boys of summer" have hit the diamond, we watch certain batters, usually on deck, tap their hats, undo and re-do their batting gloves, stretch back and forth a number of times, grimace in certain ways, hit their bats on the sides of their shoes.

Each player has his own routine — sometimes more entertaining than the actual (slow) game — all in hopes of next hitting it out of the park. Baseball players seems to be a very superstitious lot!

P.S. I had a black cat once, and she was nothing but lucky. That egg feat you do is incredible.

2:28 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Rel, very clever post. Made me laugh out loud. And I never heard that about the eggs - must be a regional thing. Will have to try that one.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

I've never heard the egg thing either. I'm superstitious though I'm afraid, particularly about seeing a single magpie - I sometimes drive along and seeing one, start looking for a second one. At which point it occurs to me that it certainly will be bad luck if I have an accident because I'm looking for magpies instead of where I'm going! :):)

4:02 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

So many funny examples! The hospital one is one I hadn't thought of before, and though I too consider myself completely NON-superstitious, I DO knock wood. I think that's just social ritual rather than belief, but it's funny. I was thinking about whether I had really encountered any serious superstitions among my friends and peers and I couldn't really think of any until you said "the Q word" -- I remembered in college, in the drama department, the dreaded "M" word, you got it: Macbeth. Seriously, many actors DO take this very very seriously! That to utter the word Macbeth brings dire bad luck. I wonder how that one got started. Maybe I'll google it!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

Wonderfully funny and clever! I'm in total agreement with you on the whole subject of superstition :)

6:23 PM  
Blogger whitney said...

What an interesting story :o) I especially liked the part where you said your black cat was more afraid when you crossed his path than the other way around. Oh, and I loved the little cartoons.

6:24 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

I so enjoyed this post Rel...to tell you the truth, I'm not superstitious either. I can't think of one thing that I do or don't do because of a superstition. If I see a black cat or any cat for that matter, I squat down and call it to me to pet it...if I see a ladder, I'll walk under it if it's in my way...if I break a mirror, I just go buy another one...etc! lol

7:18 PM  
Blogger Kat Campbell said...

I have to agree with you Rel, I'm not superstitious either and have always had a black cat. I feel the same way about superstitions as I do about voodoo - it works perfectly if you believe it. I did have all five of my kids on a full moon though.

9:54 PM  
Blogger sundaycynce said...

Clever, funny, and oh, so wise!!

12:14 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I'm a little superstitious. But usually more in the fact that I'll step on cracks, and then worry about it later - not enough to be more careful, however.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

What an entertaining post! I too, had a black cat that I called Shadow for obvious reasons. I used tell people he was my familiar and had some very interesting reactions to that! If I was in mediaeval England, I would have been burnt at the stake for having my lovely Shadow, doesn't bear thinking about, does it.

As for the egg thing, I've never heard of that. And yes, in the medical field, one never, never uses the "Q" word!

It's a bit like theatre actors never referring to Macbeth as such...it's always "The Scottish Play". It brings dire bad luck if the play is spoken of by name...apparently!

1:40 AM  
Anonymous hundred and one said...

So funny and interesting to read, rel. I'm glad the inspiration finally kicked in. ;)

3:12 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

What a great post! I dont doubt you didnt get the things you wished for when you blew out all the candles...what 10 year old has a car? LoL

I am very impressed with the egg....I may try it myself later today. Its 5:24am and I havent been to bed yet! Good night Rel!

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! Break a leg!! JEL

5:53 AM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

Well, Rel, I can tell from this post that you are a thoroughly sensible guy!

I love the egg photo. Now I am going to be wasting hours trying to balance an egg in my kitchen!

Thanks for the mention :)

6:28 AM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

It was a pleasure to read this post. I am a non-believer myself.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

But superstitions can be a bit of fun, sometimes, Rel. Not sure about the 21st March, though. I got married on the 21st March...ummm...now divorced...but the actual day was fun!

4:37 PM  
Blogger Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Great post! I`m not really superstitious either except in the matter of things come in threes. Love black cats and I`ve broken a few mirrors over the years. I must admit though that the thought of that being a bad thing, did cross my mind at those times.

tea
xo

8:55 PM  
Blogger Lucy said...

great post! Very interesting too, I had never heard about the egg theory. Thanks for a great read. :))

10:26 AM  
Anonymous tongue in cheek said...

Intersting !! I am going to try!

It has been such a pleasure to catch up on your blog! I have missed my daily fix!

3:20 AM  

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