Archive for the ‘superstitions’ Tag

07/31/2022 Chicken Facts   Leave a comment

Living in Maine is always interesting. Maine is a large state with a very small population and most of the state is covered in forests with a population that consists of many rural folks. After moving here, I noticed that a great many people raise chickens. Every other yard has a chicken coop and a few birds roaming around the property. I always thought it was primarily the eggs everyone wanted but there are a couple of other reasons to have chickens I never considered. They are an easy way to remove bugs and ticks from your property and it’s also a very helpful way to help feed the many hawks, coyotes, and foxes that seem to be everywhere. They have to eat too you know. It’s not at all unusual for a homeowner to initially purchase six chickens and then be forced to replace a few every so often due to missing birds.

You would think these rural folks would be familiar with the many superstitions that surround chicken ownership. My better-half has tried numerous times to convince me to become a chicken owner but I’ve refused. I love eating them but after learning about all of these superstitions . . . no thank you. Here are a few things any potential chicken owner needs to know . . .

  • If a hen roosts at noonday that’s a sign that someone in the family will soon die.
  • Anyone who has the blood of the chickens spilled on their clothes will die an unnatural death.
  • The clucking of a hen near a patient’s head is a sign of death.
  • Watch out for mean gossip about you if you see two hens fighting.
  • If you see hens laying eggs, you will have good luck.
  • If you tie an old tough hen to a fig tree, the hen’s meat will become tender.

  • In Korea it’s unlucky if you hear a rooster crow at sunset and a hen cluck at night.
  • In Africa it’s unlucky for a rooster to crow before midnight.
  • In Germany it is believed that when a rooster crows when a guest is leaving – even if it’s at daybreak – that guest will soon die.
  • If a rooster crows in your cellar door – even at daybreak – it’s a sign of a speedy marriage.
  • If a rooster crows all day, expect rain.
  • If a rooster comes into your home, it’s a sign strangers will soon visit.

I hope that knowing all of these potential issues with chickens will help those of you who are on the fence about chicken ownership. I guess you could call this post a PSA, that’s Public Service Announcement for you chicken owners out there.

CLUCK. . .CLUCK. . .CLUCK

09/16/2022 “The Incredible & Edible Egg”   Leave a comment

The Egg? Over the years I’ve come to love eggs and eat them as often as I can. Sometimes as an entre and most times added to other dishes. Even though after all these years there’s still certain groups of alleged experts who insist that eggs are unhealthy. To them I give the “one finger salute”. So now we know I love eggs, but I found out recently that eggs have always been the topic of conversations both good and bad for hundreds if not thousands of years. Human beings are superstitious about everything it seems, even the egg. Here are just a few examples.

  • In the far past eggs were not only a protein source but a source of all magic. They were the universal symbol of the beginning of life, fertility, and resurrection. To watch a baby robin pecking its way out of an eggshell remains an awesome experience.
  • It is bad luck to bring a bird’s egg into the house.
  • The yellow yolk of an egg had the power to cast out the evil eye. Egg worshiping cults existed on Easter Island and in numerous places in South America. Ancient Egyptians believed the one supreme life was in the egg. This belief was expressed in their hieroglyphics for their sun god Ra.
  • Many superstitions about eggs still exist, especially in rural areas. One such belief is that if you see many broken eggs, you will soon have a lawsuit on your hands.

  • If you find a snake’s egg in a hen’s nest, your friends are really your enemies.
  • If a woman dreams of eggs, she will quarrel with her friends.
  • Two yolks in one egg means good luck for the one who eats them.
  • Eggs laid on Fridays will cure stomach-aches.

Eggs were never a superstition for me, but I did have a quirk or two concerning them. I still refuse to hang out in any bar that doesn’t have a large jar of pickled eggs available. I no longer drink beer but there was many a time I topped off a cold Iron City beer with a raw egg. Tasted great and slid right down.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE EGGS?

05/21/2022 “Choppers”   Leave a comment

Do you love going to the dentist like I do? I’ll bet you don’t, because most people would rather do anything than have strangers with their hands in your mouth drilling and poking and prodding and all of the associated fun of dental visits. I spent much more of my life in the dentist’s chair than I ever thought possible starting when I was 14 years old and had most of my front teeth knocked out while playing in a backyard football game. That was back in the day before mouthguards were even something anyone knew about, and it only cost me about six teeth and a lifetime of partial plates and dentist visits. You put forth what effort you must to maintain a reasonable appearance because as we all know bad teeth are not going to attract the opposite sex. Over the centuries there have been some strange superstitions about teeth. Some may be true and others ridiculous and here they are . . .

  • Don’t trust people with pointed teeth regardless of how charming they are! You never know, vampires traditionally have pointed teeth and it’s best not to take any chances.
  • People with obvious spaces between their teeth will be lucky, wealthy, and widely traveled. This was a common belief before orthodontists.
  • People who have well-placed teeth with no gaps have fine singing voices.
  • People with protruding teeth will live a short life. Remember, these were the days before braces.
  • Breaking a tooth is a sure sign a friend will die.
  • Those of you who have teeth with few cavities have a good deal of sexual strength. If you have teeth susceptible to cavities, you are prone to sexual weakness.
  • It’s bad luck to count the teeth of a baby. But if a baby is born with teeth, he or she will be a famous adult but only if you don’t count them.
  • It’s bad luck for a man with false teeth to marry a woman with false teeth. The marriage will be unhappy.
  • The ancients had a number of talismans to avoid a toothache. Split open a nutshell. Dig out the meat but be careful to keep the two halves intact. Put a dead spider in one half and close up the shell. Hang it around your neck on a string and you will never have another toothache.
  • Always carry a wolf’s tooth with you. You will never get a toothache.
  • Last but not least, if you cut your fingernails on a Friday, you will not have a toothache for a month.

There you have it, the wisdom of the ages concerning teeth. There’s only one thing I know for certain. If I had all of the money I’ve spent on my teeth, I could’ve bought that Lamborghini that remains on my bucket list.

KEEP SMILING

04/27/2022 “13”   Leave a comment

I’ve always wondered about certain things that’ve become part of the human experience. But why is the question. Why is the middle finger such a bad thing? Why is breaking a mirror bad luck? Why does anyone pay attention to such nonsense? I suppose that’s the main question for all of these superstitious types of things.

I’ve always been drawn to the number three for some reason, but I haven’t a clue as to why. I honestly could care less why, it’s just something I picked up as a kid and it’s still with me. Just like all these other things. One of them that really confuses me is the number “13”. What causes world famous, highly educated architects to build buildings worth millions of dollars but refuse to post a 13th floor. There really is a 13th floor but they choose to call it the 14th floor. How stupid is that? I decided to check out the number “13” and its history and here are a handful of odd and silly explanations. The number actually began as a good thing with some of the pagan religions but became a bad thing during the Middle Ages.

  • Judas, the betrayer, made it 13 at the last supper.
  • The Jews murmured 13 times against God during the exodus from Egypt.
  • The 13th psalm concerns wickedness and corruption.
  • The circumcision of Israel occurred in the 13th year.
  • In a twelve-month period, there are 13 full moons, and a woman on a 28-day menstrual cycle will be “unclean” as stated by Leviticus, 13 times a year.
  • There are 13 zodiac signs (Gemini is counted as two)
  • The Christ child received the three Magi on the thirteenth day of his life.
  • And there is also “triskaidekaphobia”.

I read all this ridiculousness (mostly religious claptrap) and just shake my head until occasionally when I’m put in a position where I need to make a decision between options. I look them over carefully, study them carefully, discuss them with trusted friends, and then I almost always choose the third one. I guess I’m as screwed-up as everyone else, but you need to know that I also step on sidewalk cracks and walk under ladders as often as I possibly can to convince myself that superstitions are just plain silly. But you should also know that if there’s a black cat nearby, I still tread carefully.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE

02/19/2022 The Egg!   Leave a comment

I’m too much of a cynic to be a big believer in superstitions. They’re fun to talk about and laugh about but only a small percentage of people actually believe most of that nonsense. We’ve all heard about “don’t walk under ladders” or “black cats crossing our path”, and dozens more. I happened upon some additional information that I’d never heard before concerning the everyday common egg. You can believe what you will, I’m just spreading the word for fun.

  • Superstitions about eggs are still held, particularly in rural farming areas. One such belief is that if you see many broken eggs, you will soon have a lawsuit on your hands.
  • If you find a snake’s egg in a hen’s nest, your friends are really your enemies.
  • It is bad luck to bring a wild bird’s egg into the house.
  • If a woman dreams of eggs, she will quarrel with her friends.
  • Two yolks in one egg means good luck for the one who eats them. Folks who only buy eggs fresh from the farm will have the opportunity to find these. Factory examinations these days usually eliminate double yellow yolkers.
  • Eggs laid on Friday will cure stomach aches. Of course, only folks who keep laying hens know when the eggs are actually laid. This superstition is impossible to follow in heavily populated urban areas.
  • In some parts of the Middle East if you buy a new car, you have to kill a chicken and pour the blood on it. The chickens’ blood was thought to ward off any evil spirits that may be lurking in the vehicle.
  • Throughout human history, more eggs have been eaten raw rather than cooked! Eggs have always been a chief source of protein for primal humans and still are in most cultures. Americans often drink raw eggs in eggnog, flavored with a taste of vanilla and doused with whipped cream, another source of protein.

As I’m sure you can recall over the last few decades eggs were first vilified as being unhealthy and a few years later some illustrious scientists changed their minds. All of a sudden eggs became a healthy addition to our diet. So much for the credibility of governmental and scientific experts. I simply love eggs, always have and always will. If eating large numbers of eggs is going to kill me, so be it (I think the bad water and air will get me first). At least I’ll die with a smile on my face because I just love eggs (with lots of bacon, of course).

WHO DOESN’T LOVE HEN FRUIT??

10-22-2013   4 comments

Are you superstitious?  Do you believe that by doing something in particular bad things could happen. Or maybe even good things? It seems that in every community, state, and country there are hundreds of these ridiculous  superstitions passed down from generation to generation. "Step on a crack and break your mother’s back" was one of the ones I specifically remember from my childhood.  It had been jumping over and walking around sidewalk cracks for years and I’m still not sure why.

Like I didn’t have other things to worry about at that age. My concerns at that time were how to meet girls, how to get a date, acne, and will I play well in the big game tomorrow. Instead I was worried about walking under ladders, seeing black cats or breaking a mirror.  Why?  No one seems to know why we’re loaded up with all this nonsense at such an early age by both family and friends who are supposed to care about us.  It’s just crazy.

I’m going to supply you with a short list of some of the good old standby’s and then a second shorter list of some odd ones from around the world.

  • Two people breaking a wishbone is said to lead to good luck for the person with the larger piece.
  • Opening an umbrella indoors is said to result in 21 days of bad luck. Some traditions hold that it is only bad luck if the umbrella is placed over the head of someone while indoors.
  • If one walks underneath an open ladder it is said to bring bad luck. Sometimes it is said that this can be undone by immediately walking backwards back underneath the ladder.
  • Breaking a mirror is said to bring bad luck for 7 years. To "undo" this, take the shards of glass and bury them underneath the moonlight. In ancient times, the mirror was said to be a window to the viewer’s soul.
  • The superstitious symbolism of a black cat crossing one’s path is dependent upon culture: some cultures consider this a sign of impending bad luck, while some cultures consider this a sign of impending good luck.
  • Once a wedding ring has been placed on the finger, it is considered bad luck to remove it.
  • At times, a horseshoe may be found above doorways. When positioned like a regular ‘U’ it supposedly collects luck. However, when it is positioned like an upside-down ‘U’ the luck supposedly drains.
  • Many believe that if all of the candles on a birthday cake are blown out with one breath, while making a silent wish, the wish will come true.
  • When you speak of bad luck, it is said that one should always knock on wood. Also knocking when speaking of good luck apparently helps with having good luck. This is an old Celtic tradition related to belief of wood spirits.
  • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
  • It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come in.
  • An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.

 

  • Pirates around the world believed that piercing the ears with such precious metals as silver and gold improved one’s eyesight.
    Amber beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.
  • There are numerous sailors’ superstitions, such as: it is considered bad luck for a ship to set sail on a Friday, to bring anything blue aboard, to stick a knife into the deck, to leave a hatch cover upside-down, to say "pig", or to eat walnuts aboard, and to sail with a woman on board.
  • In Russia it is believed that before traveling a person should, apparently, sit on their luggage.
  • In Sweden it is believed that if you collect seven or nine different flowers on midsummer eve and place them under your pillow, you will dream of your future spouse.
  • It is bad luck in Great Britain to put new shoes on a bed or a table (this comes from the tradition of dressing a corpse in new clothes and shoes and laying them out so everyone can give their respects).
  • Placing keys on a table in Sweden is considered unlucky.
  • Placing a hat on the bed is, apparently, bad luck in certain European countries.
  • In some parts of England, rum is used to wash a baby’s head for good luck.
  • According to an age old custom, carrying a dead shrew in your pocket wards off rheumatism.

Just to be on the safe side you should write these all down and take time to memorize them.  Then when the time is right pass them on to your children and grandchildren.  It’s only fair that we do our part in keeping these really stupid traditions alive. 

Someday when you have a free moment take a seat near a sidewalk and relax with a hot cup of coffee.  Then watch the passers-by and see how many refuse to step on the sidewalk cracks.  You’ll be amazed.

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