Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Very Superstitious

I only remember this once every week or two. I have to write it now because I will forget that I do it until next time.

I don't clip my fingernails in order.

Years ago while living in Bolingbrook, Illinois, I often visited the Fountaindale Public Library. Often isn't the word. I went every day. One summer, I think it was like sixth grade or something, I took my bike and rode the couple miles to the library, right after the rerun of LOST IN SPACE was over at 9 am. I would then be there for the 10:00 am opening.

That summer I read a lot. I used to roam the stacks looking at everything I could imagine. I read a lot of those bad Daniel Cohen books about Aliens and UFOs and Abominable Snowmen and Men in Black (way before the movie or comic). I also liked looking at encyclopedias and reference stuff. I would look through just about everything. I read a ton that summer.

That summer I found a book on SUPERSTITIONS. Now, I am not very superstitious. I don't have a lucky shirt or anything and I could care less about black cats or walking under ladders. Breaking a mirror isn't bad luck, just a bad accident. Did you know that buttoning up your shirt wrong, if you did it by accident, is actually good luck?

The book was filled with the origins of superstitions. For instance, it explained why people throw salt over their shoulder or why you have to say "Bread and butter!" while walking with someone as a post gets between you. There was one superstition in particular that stuck with me.

"While cutting your fingernails, they should not be cut in order, one finger after the other. Only the fingernails of the dead are cut this way."

That one made me think. It's right. I'm alive and can change up what I'm doing, to not be comfortable and in a proper order. If I were dead, my fingernails would be clipped quickly and efficiently, one right after the other. Being alive meant you should shake things up.

So to this day, I still clip my fingernails out of order. I take one at random on one hand, then go to another random one on the other, different every time. Funny thing is that I have tried to clip them in order since that book. I get two or three fingers and just can't do it. Something tells me not to push my luck or something.

Now I simply cannot clip my nails without switching the order. I can't. I don't even think it is necessarily bad luck, per se, but every time I do it, I think that if I clip in order, then that means I am cutting them for my death bed or something.

It is almost like the button on the island on LOST tv show. I think I would keep pressing the button too. I know I would clip my nails out of order, as I have done for at least twenty years now.

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