Tag Archives: superstition

American Superstitions

ladder

Every culture has its beliefs and superstitions, and they cling to them against all logic or persuasion.

The Romans believed that spilling salt was bad. The Druids believed that when you spoke of something you hoped for it was important to knock on wood to garner the sprits’ support.

America has its own strange and implausible superstitions:

  • No matter how full the dishwasher is, somehow, the coffee cup you’re holding will magically fit.
  • If you look at a leftover and decide it looks a bit old, putting it back in the refrigerator will make it so somebody else will actually eat it.
  • Milk tastes better if you drink it directly from the jug rather than using a glass.
  • As soon as you throw the single mismatched sock into the trash, its mate will show up.
  • If you pick up a pen and it won’t write, you should put it back where you found it because it will magically work in the future.
  • Rental vehicles are built to a higher engineering standard than those sold to the public; this is why you can subject them to things like driving through open fields or shifting into reverse at highway speeds.
  • Talk show hosts are bound to strict ethical standards, so you can trust what they say.

And my personal favorite:

  • If you read it on the Internet, it has to be true.

The World Didn’t End

Of course, it would be kind of difficult to have a headline telling everyone, “The World Ended!” I can see the story, “Just as predicted by the ancient Mayans, the world ended on December 21st, right on schedule. Efforts to interview Mayans were unsuccessful due to the fact that pureblooded Mayans have either died out or intermarried with people of other tribal or national groups. Several individuals claiming to be descended from the ancient Mayans expressed a common theme, translated more or less into, “We told you so!”

maya

But since it DIDN’T end, what are the real implications?

  • The news media’s relevance continues to decline for reporting one more inconsequential and irrelevant story.
  • The malls and shopping centers are crammed with people who expected the world to end, but now have to get the Christmas shopping done in a hurry. (If you get a strange gift from Aunt Bertha, it’s probably because she was expecting the world to end. When she got to the mall, the choices for gifts were pretty small, so just be glad she remembered you at all.)
  • Sales of Mayan calendars have plummeted. It doesn’t matter anyways – it’s now as useful as a paper calendar from 2005.
  • People are scouring the Internet to find something else to worry about.
  • I am pleased to report that our two cats were totally untroubled by the situation, and have maintained their daily quota of naps.

So the world continues on.

I’d write more, but the kids just came down and told me they’re out of clean clothes. It seems that “just in case” they didn’t see the need to take their dirty clothes to the laundry room.