Knock on wood
Superstitious? Not me. I’ve never been superstitious and hopefully never will be, knock on wood.
Looking ahead I see we have another Friday the 13th on the calendar in December. That’s a day superstitious people like to avoid.
Superstitious tradition has it that Fridays which fall upon on the 13th day of the month are “bad luck” because Jesus Christ was crucified on a Friday and there had been 13 persons at the Last Supper.
That kind of superstitious thinking should have gone out with the belief that the world was flat. But, superstitions remain deep in our subconscious and we often behave superstitiously without even thinking about it.
Oh, you think not? Have you avoided walking under any ladders or thought twice when a black cat crossed your path?
Yeah, me too!
I have seen superstitious behavior in our supposedly enlightened society throughout my lifetime. Remember chain letters? Most reeked with superstition. “Henry Phipps of England broke this chain and died two days later.” Made you think twice before you tossed that chain letter in the waste basket, didn’t it?
What the originator of that letter didn’t report is that poor old Henry had participated in 302 previous chain letters and he really died of an overdose of envelope glue.
When I was a kid some folks carried a lucky rabbit’s foot to ward off bad luck. I often wondered how lucky that rabbit felt. In later years I wondered why PETA didn’t make a big deal about people who carried a dead animal’s foot in their pocket for good luck.
Maybe if we hang a lucky cow’s hoof over the front door we’ll be lucky and PETA will go away.
Former Iowa Hawkeye Coach Hayden Fry was superstitious. The great coach wore white trousers on game days for good luck. That allegedly went back to a point early in his coaching career when his team won and he was wearing white pants.
Most of my pants are unlucky. If I don’t spill on them or snag them I rip out the seat.
Some folks use lucky names or numbers to pick dogs and horses at the race tracks. That’s a form of superstition. I went to the dog races in North Sioux City with some co-workers one night. I won $20 and then quickly lost it again so I quit betting. I went home with as much as I had come with; I consider that lucky.
Some of my co-workers called me a tightwad Dutchman for not betting more. Judging from the losses some of them suffered I guess I’m lucky to be a tightwad Dutchman.
I’ve never had much luck with raffles and door prize drawings. One year, however, I did win a quarter of beef in a Rotary Club raffle. I felt pretty lucky until I added up the number of raffle tickets I had bought over the years before I ever won anything. Shucks, I could have purchased the entire cow!
The Iowa Lottery has a lot of people feeling lucky these days and a lot of people are superstitious in playing the lottery. Lucky numbers. Lucky birth dates. You get the idea.
Over the years, I would guess, I have spent no more than $20 on lottery tickets and all of them were losers.
They say you have to play to win, but I have a better chance of being the first fat guy on the moon than winning the lottery. I’m superstitious about throwing money down a rat hole.
You know, I kind of miss the big envelopes I used to get from the big Publisher’s Clearing House folks. I suspect I purchased a few magazines over the years but never won anything. The big winner with that gimmick was the Postal Service.
Is there such a thing as luck? Is the concept of luck superstition? Are there things we can do to ward off bad luck or improve our luck? I agree with Benjamin Franklin who said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
I’m not afraid of Friday the 13th. Not at all. It will be a lovely day. In fact, it could be the best day of the month!
Knock on wood.