Thereís a lot of folks left in the world who are superstitious about Friday the 13th.
I am not one of them. To me, one day is just as unlucky as the rest.
Iím not saying I donít have my superstitions, I just donít consider them such. I consider them sensibilities. Now, Iím not talking about walking under ladders, breaking mirrors or such things. Three on a match doesnít bother me in the least, especially since I donít smoke anymore.
According to one Internet encyclopedia, "The origin of the Friday the 13th superstition has been linked to the belief that there were 13 people at the Last Supper of Jesus, who was crucified on Good Friday."
Okay, I can see how that could be a good starting point for such a superstition, but the article goes on to state, "Strangely, there is evidence to suggest that Friday the 13th is actually unlucky for some. Psychologists have found that some people are especially likely to have accidents or fall ill on Friday the 13th. This has been attributed to such people feeling a heightened state of anxiety on that day. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina estimates that in the United States alone, $800 or $900 million is lost in business each Friday the 13th because some people will not travel or go to work."
I guess the fact that I showed up for work today shows Iím not very superstitious. Oh, Iíll make a wish with a wishbone for fun, and looking for four leaf clovers is a good way to pass the time if youíre bored, I guess. I donít carry a rabbitís foot, but I do carry two $2 bills, one for each of my kids, though I donít know when theyíll get them. I used to carry my grandfatherís 1853 half dime (not a nickel, mind you, itís a "half dime" and says so on the coin) for luck but it was getting badly worn so I put it safely away. In a way I guess Iíve been kinda uneasy since I donít carry it anymore, because I always felt like it would bay Charon for my passage across the Styx if I needed it. Maybe thatís a little superstition of mine, after all.
Itchy ear, someoneís talking about you; itchy nose, youíll kiss a fool; itchy right palm, youíll meet someone new; itchy left palm, moneyís coming, itchy feet, youíre on your way somewhere. Where does all that come from? Well, most are associated with the function of the body parts, youíll note. I often have an itch in my left shoulderblade. I guess that means one of my friends is going to betray me, i.e., a backstabber?
My grandfather was quite a treasure hunter, being convinced that the infamous pirate Jean Laffitte had stashed gold somewhere on Lake Fausse Pointe, probably, he believed on the little canal known as Peach Coulee. He searched for it for decades. But my grandfather knew that Laffitte would kill a man so that his spirit would guard any treasure left behind, so he went to great extremes to protect himself from these guardians. One such measure was to wear his briefs on the outside of his pants. I donít know if he actually every tried this, but I am reasonably sure he never found any of Laffitteís treasure, so maybe he didnít.
Step on a crack, break your motherís back. Whereíd that come from? I hope it wasnít EnglishÖwith the cobblestone streets of London people would have to practically tip toe around to keep from harming dear old mum.
I liked Steve Wonderís "Superstition" and the remake by Stevie Ray Vaughn. Guess thatís not exactly the same, though.
Very superstitious, writingís on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders boutí to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookiní glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.
I have no problem with black cats crossing my path, because Patches is mostly black, and she crosses my path often, figuratively as well as literally. I also do not mind owls, though Michael Martin Murphey does.
I believe I am bad luck to people who take me fishing for redfish and speckled trout, however, since Iíve been taken five times and havenít caught a single one yet, and each time, the people with me havenít caught a dadblamed thing, either.
There is, of course, the Cajun gris-gris in that you might inadvertently curse someone with something bad, to-wit, "Donít you put a gris-gris on me!" Itís been known to happen, but I think itís mind-over-matter, or power of suggestion.
When I was in theatre, it was bad luck to say "Good luck!" to someone going on stage, so you said, "Break a leg!" Conversely, when someone is leaving for a mountain climbing expedition, you must be careful to say, "Good luck!" instead of "Break a leg!"
I just found out, while researching this column, that if you use the same pencil to take a test that you used for studying for the test, the pencil will remember the answers. Well, thatís why I never made it through college!
And lastly, if you bite your tongue while eating, it is because you have recently told a lie. I shall have to remember that and watch people I donít trust very closely.
So I hope you have a great Ė and lucky! Ė Friday the 13th, and a great weekend as well.