Debunking some superstitions

Today, as those of you who do not live under rocks will hopefully be aware, is a Friday. Not only that, but it’s the 13th day of the month. It’s more likely than not that you knew that, but never let it be said that I don’t care about those of you who happen to have six limbs.

Anyway, when those two circumstances are juxtaposed as they are on this occasion, it is said to be “unlucky”.

I don’t know why. It’s silly. Similarly true, and silly, is that the number 13 is said to be unlucky, as is breaking a mirror, and placing a pair of new shoes on the table. Also, It’s lucky to come across a horseshoe.

Maybe breaking a mirror is unlucky because you might cut yourself on the razor-sharp shards of wrecked mirror. Also, the deficiency of a tool that can enlighten you of your appearance can increase the likelihood that you’ll smear that lipstick or manscara or lip balm all over the face, or not notice that someone has written the word “idiot” on your forehead.

Maybe 13 is unlucky because if you have a pair of egg boxes you can house 12 eggs, and if you have 12 eggs you might think: “oh, I can easily carry the remaining ovule separately.” And then proceed to break the egg, because really, it is not easy to carry two egg boxes and a naked egg all at once. Even if you have six limbs.

Maybe placing a pair of new shoes on the table is considered unlucky because if you have particularly big feet, the leather moccasins or brogues will make the table tip over. But surely well-worn shoes are just as heavy as new ones – if not more, due to the presence of mud. Maybe the silicon gel used to be made of lead.

And maybe finding a horseshoe is considered lucky because if you are a horse and you forget to put your shoes on, it is handy to come across some footwear that can stop you from dirtying your favourite pair – well, pair of pairs; horses have four feet each after all – of socks.

Odd, isn’t it, that a lot of this superstitiousness happens to be shoe-related? Interesting. Really.

But whatever. It’s all bollocks.

Was today particularly unlucky? No.

At first, I thought I had missed the bus. I heard the wheeze of a puny engine struggling to move a great big lump, just like my bus with all the modern Mars bar–fed youngsters on it. I was a little more sluggish to get outside ready than usual, but still had a good ten minutes before the yellow cuboid on wheels was due to roll outside. Indeed, I had not missed the bus, as I discovered when I climbed onto it. It must’ve been a tractor that worried my little cotton socks off. The relief!

Later there was a piece of genuine luck. After having pooed, I ripped myself a lot of toilet paper from the dispenser. I like to fold my toilet paper into thirds for extra strength, and quite by accident the number of squares of roll I’d torn off was a multiple of three! Normally I am forced to guess how I might fold the paper into thirds perfectly, a conundrum that will be familiar to anyone who has used one of those ridiculous long, thin envelopes and eventually decided just to fold the letter into quarters. But no, today I was able to use the perforated guidelines.

But then I realised that the faeces had slipped out without leaving a single tiny atom of residue on my cheeks, rendering the paper as superfluous as an apple-picker in a train. I guess that’s a bit unlucky. But it was not disappointing enough to wipe out the joy of ripping off a number of squares of loo paper that’s a multiple of three.

Oh, give up. This theological debate is getting too much for my simple, simple Norfolk mind to grapple with. But still, I hope I’ve made this place a bit more high-brow. Although I did talk about poo.