Rhymes, Rants & Accolades from North Central BC

SUPERSTITIONS

Sept 9, 1976 Sense and Nonsense

The young people of today seem to have completely shed the shackles of superstition.

Their forefathers tread much more carefully and often with a good deal of trepidation. They never crossed a black cats’ path nor walked under a ladder. If they spilled salt at the breakfast table, they diligently sprinkled a little more over their left shoulders. Spiders usually died of natural causes except in years of drought, and Friday the 13th was a good day to stay in bed.

Our generation, born in the dirty thirties and not-so-fabulous forties, are less superstitious than our parents were. But we are also inclined not to take unnecessary chances. If we see a black cat in our path we encourage it to travel in another direction. We do not walk under ladders unnecessarily nor step on spiders except in years of drought. And we do not sprinkle salt over our left shoulders anymore. That is because very few people spill salt anymore. The salt shakers of today have very small holes in them, barely large enough to release enough salt to enhance the flavour of the smallest egg. We do spill milk, sugar and jam regularly on the breakfast table but luckily there are no superstitions regarding them. If there were, I would have a very messy left shoulder much of the time.

There are few people over thirty years of age who can honestly regard Friday the 13th with complete nonchalance. We can pretend it is a day like any other day but most of us feel at least a slight trembling in one small superstitious vein, as this day approaches. It is probably a memory from childhood when our parents regarded Friday the 13th as a very bad day. We used to laugh at them, but there was always the possibility that they were right. Parents were often right in those days.

I have found that Friday the 13th sometimes seems to have a delayed affect. This past Friday the 13th was not a bad day at all but the following Friday was disastrous. I am wondering if it has something to do with the moon. Our calendar does not always follow the moon phases but is often contrary to Natures’ very own calendar. If it did, Easter Sunday would always fall on the same date. There is often as much as two weeks variance between Easters from one year to the next. Therefore I am of the opinion that Friday the 13th just past actually fell on Friday the 20th.

The first five minutes of the day were not unusual. I did not burn the toast and only broke one egg yolk. I placed a pot lid on hubbys “sunny side ups” to preserve their warmth like they do in the hospitals. This was a mistake. When he lifted the lid to survey his breakfast the steam from the eggs provided the suction to hold the plate firmly to the lid. Not firmly enough though. Plate, toast and eggs (sunny side down) landed on the floor and hubby was left holding the lid. I quickly cooked him another breakfast, breaking both egg yolks this time. I am sure today’s eggs must be laid by yesterday’s chickens, the yolks are so fragile. I made sandwiches for our breadwinners’ lunch; then remembered this thermos. It was still half-full of last Tuesday’s chicken soup. I had tried for two days to remove the top, to no avail. When I tried to twist off the lid everything else twisted as well. Hubby with his superior dexterity and intellect removed the bottom half of the casing and proceeded to remove the thermos from the lid instead of vice versa. Suddenly there was a small explosion combined with the terrific odor of three-day -old chicken soup.

Molotov would probably have envied the devastation this small bomb had caused. Thermos glass, chicken soup and this dreadful smell were everywhere. After a complete change of clothing hubby had just enough time for a cup of coffee. The coffee was cold and the devils that decide the fate of mortals on unlucky days had drained the propane tank. Hubby left for work coffee-less and I went back to bed. I placed a rabbits’ foot under the pillow and pulled the covers over my head. One cannot be too careful on Friday the 13th even when it falls on the 20th of the month.

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