A while back, I submitted an article, somewhat on the subject of superstitions. It was about Baseball’s Great Jinxes. While I may have expressed some skepticism about the affected ballplayers and their fans, regarding the power of those jinxes, I have to admit, there are a few everyday private superstitions I live by. Maybe you have a few of your own. I do not think they are all that uncommon in the panorama of human nature.
Whether you have any (or will admit to any), here, in no particular order, are my top three.
1. Racing to the light
For most of my life as a driver, I have used a standard-transmission car to get me from point G to point H. It is in those circumstances that my first superstition applies.
If I am approaching a green light, the duration of whose greenitude is beyond my ken (and there is no pedestrian “Don’t walk” sign to offer a clue), I know, from frequent past experience, that it is a display of hubris to up shift ahead of the light. To do so will cause that light-without fail-to redden well before I can entertain any notion of getting through it.
On the other hand, if I stay in the same gear, even at the cost of racing the motor a bit, I will almost always make the light. Or so I have convinced myself.
2. The malocchio
Okay, let me admit, right up front, that I do not have the most modern computer extant, even as I bat out this deathless prose on it. My device, I would guess, is only a few steps removed from the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Oh, it works; otherwise you would be learning of my predilections via carrier pigeon. Still, it does show its age, particularly in the area of “waking up” in the morning, much like its owner.
What I have come to realize is that I cannot multitask while I am trying to get my computer to rise and shine. Let me turn away from my awakening computer for just one second, and it will inevitably fail to do so. No, the only way I will get this thing to start on the first pull is to sit down right in front of it and give it the evil eye.
Silly? Yes, but a little less costly than buying a new computer.
3. My timeless telephone
Mercifully, I do not live in a region of especially violent weather. That said, we do experience the odd violent storms and the power outages that sometimes result.
But was it the weather that caused those outages or my telephone answering machine? For many weeks now, every phone message I get has ended with the terse sentence: “Time is off.” You bet it is. That is because I have become hep, as they say, to the jive. For a long time, in my present domicile, it followed as the night follows the day: set the time and date on the answering machine, and BOOM-BOOM, out go the lights.
Doubtless, some malevolent creature of the spirit world had been getting a kick out of making me reset my answering machine, over and over again. Hence, the power cuts. Since I wised up, there have been no outages and, somewhere, there is a very grumpy poltergeist.
I have a few other idiosyncrasies that may not necessarily be based entirely on hoodoo. For example, if I whistle (as I almost always do) when I am carrying a container of liquid-even a very full one-I will seldom spill any, while, if I don’t, I could be carrying a demitasse of water in a barrel and still find a way to slop some. Yet, I think there may be a reason, possibly based on biophysics, the situation seems to work the way it does. I will leave it to some erudite commenter to elaborate.
Well, there you have my favorite superstitions. I do not claim to hold any sort of copyright or other proprietorship to the idea, so, let’s hear some of yours. If you will read my article on the subject (They just did, Einstein! DUHHH!), then I’ll try to read yours.