Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: February 13, 2009 Archive

New Wive's Tales

Posted at 4:36 AM on February 13, 2009 by Dale Connelly (22 Comments)

Friday the 13th. Big deal.
Bad luck comes unbidden, as does good.
There's no such thing as "deserving" either one. That's why we call it "luck".

That said, some of those old wive's tales are based on common sense precautions, such as the one about it being "bad luck" to walk under a ladder. You certainly wouldn't want to walk under a ladder while I'm on it.
I'm always dropping stuff.

Boiling down folk wisdom into an easy-to-remember saying can help pass along good advice. So why can't we come up with new superstitions that are based on all the fresh knowledge we've accumulated? Like something that incorporates the latest scholarship about blowing your nose when you have a cold, using both nostrils simultaneously.
The New York Times (registration required) says researchers at the University of Virginia discovered that two-nostril blowing dramatically increases pressure in the sinus cavities and forces goop up into the areas we want to drain. Ugh.
The solution? Clear one nostril at a time. Who knew?
Maybe if we had memorized this rhyme when we were children:

Don't be a two barrel blower
Or your cold will leave you slower
Be a single nostril snorter
And your misery is shorter

Here's a Friday the 13th game we can play:

I'll list ten familiar superstitions with an asterisk in place of one of the nouns.
Can you come up with a new noun or phrase that would work in place of the asterisk in all these cautionary sayings?
Since most Heartland listeners already have one of these at home, I'll offer the first one - "Goat".

Never walk under a *.
Step on a *, break your mother's back.
A * crossing your path means bad luck.
Do not put shoes on a *.
If you spill some salt, throw a * over your shoulder.
To break a * means seven years bad luck.
It is bad luck to put a * on a bed.
If you shiver, someone is casting a shadow on your *.
To refuse a kiss under a * causes bad luck.
It is bad luck to chase someone with a *.

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