September 25, 2013


I am not a superstitious person. I don't care if it's Friday the 13th. Black cats cross my path all the time and as far as I'm concerned it's their bad luck, not mine.

I step on cracks all the time and have never broken my mother's back, although she says I give her agita a lot. And I'm not kissing someone ugly, even if she (or he) is standing under mistletoe.

I don't think garlic protects us from vampires, though I do know it makes my breath smell really good. In fact, when I was a teenager I would eat raw garlic before every date, which probably explains why I seldom had a second date with the same girl. It could also be because I was really obnoxious.

The matter came up because of the television commercial that plays ad nauseum during football games. The Stevie Wonder song "Superstition" plays and the ads show the crazy things fans do during games to "help" their teams win. The tagline is, "It's only weird if it doesn't work."

Did you know "a bird that comes in your window brings bad luck?" Tis true. I believe that a bird that crashes into your closed window has worse luck.

Have you ever done the wishbone thing? It got completely out of hand when I was growing up. First, someone would have to locate the thing during dinner. I'd be prying apart every piece of chicken looking for the damn thing. I'd never find it, mainly because I'd be searching the drumsticks. My big brother always found it because (duh) he knew exactly where to look for it.

The thing would hang somewhere, drying. It's bad enough we have to cook and eat birds, it's even worse to dry out their bones around the house afterward.

Then, the ceremonial breaking would occur. My brother would always grip the big half of the wishbone in his fist and make me pull a sliver from it. Thus, he would always "win" and his wish would then come true. Once he told me he wished something horrific would happen to me, like getting scalded with molten lava and having my face melt away.

I told him I didn't believe the superstition because even though I got the small piece my dreams came true every single time we did it. "What do you wish?" he finally asked.

"That you'll turn into an asshole," I said. And then he beat me up, but I wished for that too, so it was cool.

Here's a topical one to ponder: "To kill an albatross is to cause bad luck to the ship and all upon it." WTF? What does that mean? First of all, I believe an albatross is a big goofy bird, like Big Bird, something that looks like a camel with wings. Why would we want to kill one? To get the wishbone? What if it flew in my window, would it be bad luck?

The point of all this is that I too, have fallen into a routine of Sundays, believing that my Fantasy Football empire will collapse if I don't follow it religiously every week.

I wake up and sing, pretty much at the top of my lungs, "I'm feeling kind of fun day, a special kind of Sunday." Translated, this means I'm happy because I have conditioned Karen to allow me to lay around the entire day, do no work, ignore everyone and everything, lock myself in the man cave, yell and scream at the television and curse and threaten the players and coaches. I believe this is good for my blood pressure and makes me a better person . . . and husband, of course.

I lift weights for a few minutes – you know, testosterone and all that – and make grunting sounds to let Karen know I'm manning up.

I always put my baseball glove on right before the kickoff – I know, wrong sport and all, but it's what I do. The sad thing is even if I see a penny face up I can't pick it up because I'm wearing the damn thing.

My favorite superstition is that it's bad luck to light three cigarettes with a single match. I could never figure that one out. First of all, it's bad luck to smoke the cigarette. One theory was during wartime lighting three cigarettes would give a sniper time to fix the target. It turns out Ivar Krueger started the tall tale and spread it around. Why? He was the world's biggest manufacturer of wooden matches. In other words, he didn't need a wishbone -- he made his own luck.

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