No, this isn't a review of the movie "Friday the 13th Part 2" (and I'm sorry if you ended up here expecting to find one). Today is once again Friday the 13th and I figured it was a good time to relate a couple more of my own "Favorite" superstitions that I left out of the previous entry on the topic, My Own Personal Superstitions. While that blog gave plenty of examples there were a couple things I should have mentioned but didn't. And here they are...
Knock On Wood
This might not qualify as a true "superstition", but I always try to find a bit of wood to rap on with my knuckles a couple times whenever someone says something that I believe will lead to something bad. I went into detail in the other superstition blog about how I was afraid of jinxes, and knocking on wood has always been my preferred way of trying to avoid a jinx situation. Whenever I'm watching or listening to a football, baseball or basketball game I always cringe when the commentators mention a stat at just the wrong moment. For instance, they might point out that the pitcher who is currently pitching to a batter hasn't given up a home run in 34 innings. More likely than not--if that pitcher is playing for "my" team at least--that batter will crush the next pitch for a home run. I know this sounds crazy, but it boggles my mind how many times I've seen/heard it happen. My only defense in such instances is to knock on a piece of wood. If I'm sitting down in a chair with wooden arm rests then it's pretty easy. Sometimes I have to walk over to a wooden doorway or something like that. I've been meaning to find a wooden nickel that I can carry in my pocket everywhere I go so I can have something to knock on when no wood is easily available in my current surroundings. Of course wooden nickels are also supposed to be tokens of good luck. While that's not the main reason I'd be carrying it I'll certainly take any additional good luck that I can get along with that which comes from heads-up pennies that I find lying on the ground!
The Wife has given me plenty of opportunities to knock on wood too. She's more of a glass-is-half-full person and I'm more of a glass-is-half-empty type. Because of this I tend to try not to jinx something that could still go wrong by commenting on it too soon. The Wife on the other hand is more than happy to throw caution to the wind (without even realizing it of course) by saying something that could come back to haunt her (or more specifically, ME). If we're on a long drive and the weather is of the rainy variety she'll say "Well at least the rain has stopped" as soon as there is a break in the precipitation. I always cringe at something like that because it seems that Mother Nature also hears it and starts the rain back up in short order. I also never want to admit that an activity we are taking part in is successful or going well until it's safe to do so (like when it's over). I always feel that saying "this hike is going great" is a sure way to invite a sprained ankle or a sudden cloudburst. I don't see anything wrong with just enjoying an activity and then talking about it later rather than take a chance on messing it up by saying how wonderfully it is going. What can I say?
666 - The Number of the Beast
The number 666 is frequently associated with satanism, black magic and that sort of thing. I don't know if it's generally thought of in terms of superstitions, but in my case it is. And it's appearance is only an issue for me in one specific instance--when I'm driving. I don't have any problem hearing the number uttered in a movie or on the radio. It's okay for me to look down at the page number of a book I'm reading and to discover that I'm on page 666 (if I'm ever reading a book with that many pages). The problem arises when I'm driving and just happen to look down at the odometer or trip odometer in my car and see that the last three digits of the current mileage reading are 666. And it's amazing how often this happens. Of course it can only happen once every thousand miles (or twice if we're counting the trip odometer), but it always seems to be there whenever my eyes wander down. And it's not like I check the odometer on a regular basis either. It's something that I'll just sneak a little peek at when things are pretty quiet and there's nothing much else to look at (besides the road of course).
The funny thing about the number 666 is that it generally tends to bother me more than the number 13. Other than Friday the 13th I'm not really all that concerned with the number 13. It can give me pause from time to time, but in general is a pretty innocuous number--even when I see it on my odometer.
The Number 143
It may seem that everything I believe in terms of superstitions is negative, but there's at least one thing that I consider to be good rather than bad luck. The number 143 has been a favorite of mine since high school. There's a long and possibly uninteresting story behind this which I won't go into detail about here. Suffice to say that whenever the number 143 randomly appears in my everyday life I've decided to consider it a sign or omen of good luck. While driving I'm always pleased to see the digits 143 in a license plate of a car in front of me. Along the lines of the number 666 above, I also enjoy (instead of dread) seeing that the last three digits of the odometer reading are 1-4-3. It's also nice to see things priced $1.43 in a store.
I suppose a lot of the reason that the numbers 143 and 666 seem to come up so often in my daily life is simply because I look for them (even if subconsciously sometimes). It would probably be the same case with any random number that I decided to fixate upon. Either way, it always seems strange how such a seemingly random number as 143 should show up in bunches in many different places at certain times.
That's about it for this installment of my own personal superstitions. Please have a safe and luck-filled Friday the 13th!