Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some thoughts on superstition

I’m not particularly superstitious. Okay, so I cross my fingers when I watch the lotto results but I don’t really count that. It’s more of a nervous habit.

Some people won’t walk under ladders. Someone once told me that you shouldn’t because the triangle formed by the ladder the wall and the pavement represents the Holy Trinity, and by walking through you sort of break it up thus condemning you to a life of bad luck. Now I don’t walk under ladders either, but in my case it’s in case a can of paint drops on my head. I knew someone once who walked round a ladder by stepping onto the road, and then promptly got mowed down by an old geezer on one of those electric wheelchair things.

It’s either good luck or bad luck if a black cat runs across your path. I can’t remember which. I unfortunately ran over a black cat once. It was certainly bad luck for the hapless moggie! On one occasion I recall seeing a single magpie and thinking to myself that it was an unlucky sign. Suddenly a black cat rushed across in front of me and pounced on the poor bird. I remember watching fur and feathers flying everywhere and wondering what I should conclude from this unfortunate incident.

There is a superstition which says that if you spill salt, you should chuck some over your shoulder. I did this once, and later in the day a friend sidled up to me and discreetly suggested I try an anti dandruff shampoo!
But even worse, I was having dinner with my friend Rosey one day when the top fell off the pepper pot when she shook it. She knew about the salt thing, but thought she would hedge her bets by applying the same ritual to the hot stuff. Well, you can imagine what happened. It was bad enough having Rosey sneezing like a machine gun, but I had to feel sorry for the four people on the table behind her who were going choo choo choo like a steam train at full speed!

Talking of sneezing I told one of the kids I work with that she shouldn’t thank someone if they said ‘bless you’ to her when she sneezed. If she did, a fairy would die. It was meant as a joke but she took it seriously, and now she gets cross when she hears anyone else say thank you! I ask you –a 16 year old fretting over the decreasing population of fairies as if they were an endangered species! The ones at the bottom of my garden are breeding like rabbits!

Tell you what though – if you go out on a sunny day then see black clouds on the horizon, that is a sure sign of bad luck, especially if you left your umbrella at home!


  1. Yes, I do tend to laugh at the crazy misfortune of others, and this had me rolling:

    'I knew someone once who walked round a ladder by stepping onto the road, and then promptly got mowed down by an old geezer on one of those electric wheelchair things.'

    Thanks for the laugh!

  2. Oh, this is great humor, Keith! Nicely done!

  3. I tend to look at the funny side of superstitions, not in ridicule, but because they cause so many funny situations.

  4. I enjoyed reading this thank you.

  5. This is a smiley one. Loved how you played with superstitions in practice. But still have a feeling you quietly hedge on the side of caution where some of them are concerned. I wonder what you think of Frday 13th?

  6. I was once told that when two friends are walking, and an obstacle comes in a way, like a pole or a tree, they shouldn't each take other sides, its supposed to break them apart. superstitious ha?

  7. I laughed out loud over the person walking around the ladder too.
    I own a black cat, so I figure that cancels out any of the bad luck part. Then again, she does have an unfortunately habit of peeing in inappropriate places.

    You can assure your friend that there are plenty of fairies here too, as I've finally convinced the Queen that she shouldn't step on mushrooms because the fairies live under them.

  8. lol at the last line!!!! hahaha

  9. Superstitions only work if you believe they will. It's all psychology.
    Fingers crossed ;-)

    Loved the pepper incident.

  10. LOL great post. I can't say that I am overly superstitious either



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