Did you ever step on a crack and then get home to find your mother on the ground, writhing in pain, screaming, “WHY? WHY DID YOU STEP ON THE CRACK!” I don’t think so. And if so, why haven’t I heard of you? What about finding a penny on the ground, heads side up, picking it up and placing it in your pocket only to find, at the end of the day, a hundred dollar bill? No. I don’t know why these good luck shams exist but I do know we all look like jerky morons trying to abide by them. And maybe that’s why they exist.
- Find a penny, pick it up, all day long… you’ll have a penny. This is what the saying should be. Having a penny in my pocket has never brought me great fortune. How about you? Mostly, it’s just embarrassing to pick up a penny that has been on the germ-ridden ground for who knows how long. And why does it have to be heads side up?
- Finding a four-leafed clover. If you find one, it’s considered good luck. Key phrase here: if you find one. Working with kids, I spent hours searching for four-leafed clovers in vast fields with no success. Again the only luck I had was the pure pleasure of looking like an idiot after standing up with grass stains all over my ass from sitting and scooting for so long.
- Bird shitting on you. This one is perfect and makes no sense. Whoever made this up was a genius. Imagine the best friend of the first person who got shit on by a bird just laughing behind them, all like, “you didn’t know that was good luck? You better just leave it there, man.” I found the BEST replies to people asking if getting pooped on by a bird was good luck. Two funniest replies: “Well… on average, your luck is likely to get better. After all, you’ve already had a bird poop on you. Just getting back to normal would be better luck,” and “No. It is true, however, that if a bird poops on you, you will need to change clothes.” Perfect.
- Getting the bigger piece of a wishbone. Hey, let’s both grab an end of this bone like idiots and pull as hard as we can and hope we don’t poke out our own eyes! Everyone watch us do this!
- A stray eyelash. Nobody looks stupider then when they are trying to either get an eyelash out of their eye or trying to pick it off their face. It’s the most ungraceful of acts. It’s also super awkward to watch up close, like if you are helping the person try to locate said stray lash. Oh you almost got it…nope…still in your eye…you’re just getting it deeper in there now….oh, almost got it again….nope I think that’s in there for good.
- Step on a crack and you break your mother’s back. This one is cruel and unusual. Do you know how much time I spent avoiding cracks as a kid? I was really weird as a child, like I refused to wear underwear and socks at most times. So clouding my conscious with the thought that if I step on a crack my mother, who already had a bad back from waitressing, would break her back was some slick trickery.
- Bad luck to walk under ladder. The best thing about this superstition is when someone is like halfway under a ladder and you can see the thought click in their head and they back up slowly to walk around the ladder, as if already walking halfway through didn’t count. We’re all blockheads.
- Step on your shadow, have good luck. Ever see someone try to catch up to/jump on their own shadow? If not, go outside and try it for yourself.
- Blow out all your birthday candles and your wish will come true. There’s nothing more depressing than an old person with limited lung capacity trying to blow out a cake with 80 candles on it. Literally nothing.
- If you break a mirror, you’ll have bad luck for seven years. As if breaking a mirror didn’t suck enough already. You have to clean up, most likely stepping on a shard, cutting your toe and then worry that in seven years you’ll get struck by lightning or something (unless that’s also good luck.) If you type this phrase into google, you will literally be bombarded with people trying to find a way reverse the bad luck they anticipate from having broken a mirror. Come on, people.
- Bad luck to you, holder of an opened umbrella indoors! This one is great. Because clearly some parents got creative and made certain there annoying kids would never open an umbrella inside again.
There’s definitely a reason the movie Just My Luck wasn’t a hit. First, Lindsay Lohan. Secondly, I don’t want to see a bunch of shmucks that can’t get their shit together deal with a bout of bad luck. But maybe we do like watching other people make fools of themselves way too much. Maybe if we tell people that bird poop is good luck we can watch them sit under trees, looking up and wishing for white turds to fall from the sky. How much fun is that? If we watch people search frantically for four-leafed clovers we can forgot about how bored we are! I’m now positive these superstitions were made up out of boredom, before reality television provided us with unabashed looks into people’s embarrassing daily lives.
Did I miss any good luck rituals? Has a penny ever made you lots of money? Have you ever glued a mirror back together to save your luck? Tell me, people.