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Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

September 18, 2012

Very Superstitious, Writing's on the Wall

Everyone has superstitions; a black cat crossing your path is bad luck, as is walking under a ladder, or that it's good luck to find a four leaf clover.

Athletes are known for their superstitious rituals; wearing the same t-shirt or socks, putting on their gear in a specific order, always taking their performance enhancing drugs at the same time, etc. Wade Boggs was famous for eating chicken before every game, Michael Jordan wore his University of North Carolina shorts under his NBA uniform and Bjorn Borg would prepare for Wimbledon by growing a beard and wearing the same Fila shirt. You don't want to know what rituals the New York Yankees practice before games, but it probably explains a lot of animal disappearances in the Bronx.

They range from common sense (An apple a day keeps the doctor away) to the bizarre (Seeing an ambulance is very unlucky unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a black or a brown dog. And, no, I didn't make that one up). Some have origins in fact. It's said that the "It's bad luck to light three cigarettes with the same match" or more commonly "Three on a match" superstition originated during the Crimean War, or the Boer War, or World War I (there were certainly enough wars to choose from back in the old days) when it was estimated that if a match stayed lit that long an enemy sniper could draw a bead on you and shoot you, which is about as unlucky as it gets.

Everyone has heard "Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you'll have good luck". Alas, even something as simple as that gets complicated. It's bad luck to pick up a coin if it's tails side up, good luck if it's heads side up. Old wives tales are unclear if this is applicable to any coin or just pennies. For example, it's never bad luck to pick up a Krugerrand if you see one lying around no matter which side is up. To make it more complicated there are those who believe the saying is "Find a penny, pick it up, then someday you'll meet Duane Rupp". Duane Rupp is a former hockey player who played for the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Minnesota North Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins back in the sixties and seventies (Editor's note: Duane Rupp was born on March 29, 1938 in MacNutt, Saskatchewan. That's really not relevant; I just like saying "MacNutt, Saskatchewan"). I have my doubts about this one, as I've been picking up pennies for years and have never met him. Or maybe I did and just didn't recognize him, as I have no idea what he looks like these days.

Anyway, here are some common superstitions:

· A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end. Especially if she stabs you with it.

· If you get a chill up your back or goosebumps, it means that someone is walking over your grave. Of course, it also means you're dead, which is usually unlucky to begin with.

· To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit. If it sticks in your foot it means the IRS is coming to visit.

· It's bad luck to say the word "pig" while fishing at sea, although most people rarely have occasion to do so. To catch a pig while fishing means that you're probably fishing in a mud hole. Just don't say "fish" while doing it or you're inviting trouble.

· If you say good-bye to a friend on a bridge, you will never see each other again, especially if one of you is planning on pushing the other off.

· To cure a sty, stand at a crossroads and recite: "Sty, sty, leave my eye,Take the next one coming by".

This often leads to another superstition associated with crossroads: "It's very bad luck, to be hit by a truck".

· A bird in the house is a sign of a death, especially if it's a vulture.

· To dream of a lizard is a sign that you have a secret enemy, possibly Jim Morrison.

· A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen. A dog howling when you open a package of bologna means you should be buying a better grade of cold cuts.

· If the groom drops the wedding band during the ceremony, the marriage is doomed. If he puts it on the bride's finger, the groom is doomed.

· A peculiar noise heard three times in succession at night, means someone will die. Usually the sound is gun fire.

And remember, buying my books will always bring good luck. I swear on Duane Rupp.






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©2012 Brian Codagnone
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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
. .
Ginger & Shadow. ..Embrace the Pun.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics .. ..Books for Sale . Online Store..
The Cartoonists ..In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . .Number 9