Can you count on Lady Luck?

You’d think in this high-tech age that superstitions would be irrelevant. But they are not, and I am as guilty as anyone in believing them.Whenever I see a single pigeon, I desperately start looking for another because the ditty “One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl and four for a boy” runs through my head.I don’t want sorrow, I only want joy. I need to find two birds.And why pigeons and not magpies, which is the bird of choice of most Australian believers? Probably because we didn’t have maggies in Fiji where I grew up.So the superstition is altered to fit the circumstances, which must surely undermine its authority.My hubby tells a story of arriving at a motel very late with his former wife and two young daughters.His then spouse took one look at the green bedspread and flatly refused to stay in the room because green was bad luck.And who hasn’t avoided walking under a ladder, crossed themselves after seeing a black cat, tossed a pinch of salt over their left shoulder and tugged on a wishbone.Eleven days ago it was Friday, August 13. Without thinking of the significance, I rang a supplier to order 13 bedside lamps for the motel.”Oh no,” he spluttered.”You can’t order 13 lamps on Friday the 13th. You must make it 14.”I immediately changed the order, but in hindsight perhaps I just fell for a clever marketing ploy.Interestingly, businesses generally experience a downturn on this fateful day as fewer people travel on Friday the 13th and some people don’t even leave the house.Actually, you have to feel sorrow for the number 13; it comes in for a lot of flak. Motels avoid a room numbered 13, many high-rise buildings skip the 13th floor and some streets don’t have a 13 house number.Many sports, including the Harlem Globetrotters and New York Jets, have retired the number 13 and no Formula One driver has had the number 13 on his car since 1976.However, in Greece and Spain 13 is only unlucky if it falls on a Tuesday and in Russia it is a bad omen on Monday.This fear of the number 13 even has a name: triskaidekaphobia.Mind you, if you live in China, Japan, Korea or Hawaii it is the number four that is considered unlucky.Maybe Lady Luck was always going to be against Julia Gillard in Saturday’s federal election. There are multiple myths about redheads and who knows which ones played a part in our voting decision.The superstitions include that redheaded women can be violent and false, glib and vain, and when they die they will turn into vampires.In New Zealand they are sacred and have a clear road to heaven, but in ancient Egypt they were considered unlucky and each year a Titian-haired maiden was burnt alive.And while some people might think it lucky to rub Julia’s head, others who passed her on the street might spit and turn around.Being a Catholic, Tony Abbott would regard superstitions as sinful, but then others would argue that all religious beliefs are superstitions.The only superstition I perhaps can adapt to him is my ditty pertaining to pigeons/maggies.If he has just smuggled one budgie into his swimming trunks he won’t be our next prime minister, but if there happens to be two secreted within he might squeak over the line.
Nanjing Night Net

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