Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol 42. (superstition special!)

Everyone's got superstitions. Some are expansions from observed obvious things, like how it's bad luck to open an umbrella in the house. Some just help to organize one's emotions, like how knocking on wood is supposed to help remove one's will from behind a statement of possible calamity.

I'd been thinking of doing this earlier, maybe declaring a Superstition Saturday (alliteration anyone?). But there really isn't enough to talk about in the superstition department to make it a regular feature, and besides, I was too busy relaxing this weekend to make it go. Let's see if I can make it happen today!

O: Observed event
I: Intentional action
>: increased likelihood of result
=: direct correlation with result

(I) Buckling down at work without outside prompting.
> I have good luck in matters which involve faceless, bureaucratic institutions OR social events in which tricky timing issues are crucial to success.

(O) I am interrupted while working on a creative, psychological or other thinky thing. Similarly, if I am trying to write something down and my pen keeps drying up.
= That thing being worked on is important, worth doing and deserving of careful thought. More repetition means more emphasis.

(O) The bus is either at the bus stop or just pulling away from it as I exit the door of the apartment building, meaning that I won't be able to catch that particular one as I don't run quite that fast.
> I will experience a frustrating and/or unusually challenging day. (Likely causation factors there involve lateness of wake-time and disruption of morning routine. Actual bus arrival times vary just enough from schedule that I can't always hold myself entirely at fault. Maybe the driver was just running a bit ahead of schedule, kind of thing.)

(O) Lightbulb or appliance light flickers when I walk past, OR I notice birds flying around in a suspiciously apt manner, OR I overhear a suspiciously apt snatch of conversation between passersby.
= Ironic commentary on whatever I was doing or stewing about in my brain, ancient Greek style. Repetition or more flamboyant bird action denotes increased sarcasm or concern on the part of the universe.

(I) I do something nice, decent, or obvious duty-as-friend for closeperson.
> I have good luck or miraculously avoid bad luck in tricky relationship situations or in the arena of personal care.

(I) Play or sing my songs in front of new people who respond positively.
= I get more songs more often, and have good luck in a random area of endeavor depending upon the nature of the audience.

(I) Defer gratification of my whims in order to pay attention to someone else and validate them.
= I am more able to sneak, slack, cut corners or laze about. Especially at work, but also regarding situations when, say, I might want tell two people who don't talk to each other that I'm hanging out with the other one so that I can stay home and sleep. Mostly used for work slacky. (Have I mentioned I've taken up the Kingdom of Loathing again?)

(I) Smoke my last rolled cigarette without having either rolled a replacement or bummed a replacement off of someone who smokes ready-mades.
> I will do something else stupid, like forget to call someone back or leave the house without my keys. (Likely this one's just a correlation, a mental state barometer of sorts. If I'm being lazy and not planning ahead in one area of my life, I'm more likely to do the same in another, ja?)

It's interesting to hear different people give different provenances for why their superstitions work or how they came about. Most positive superstitions get the thumbs-up from God, angels, or in the case of one lady I know, a dead loved one. Negative superstitions can fall under Murphy's law, demons, etc. Though I suppose there are people out there who will blame bad fairies, the government, or terrorists for all their little woes.

Who knows how this stuff works, though? Maybe the universe likes to run in grooves; maybe it's the quantum oberver effect of the person holding the superstition that nudges reality around them to form a correlative habit. Or maybe there are nice angels and bad fairies who get some unknown form of benefit from annoying us, poking us in the rear when we get sulky or complacent, and helping to make sure that if we've been being inattentive to other things, we lose our keys, too.