Open Thread: Luck

Hosted by crossed fingers

When I was in high school, I learned that if you drove through a yellow light, you had to slap your hand against the car visor.  For luck.

When I was in college, I learned that if you drive over train tracks, you have to lift both feet off the floor of the car and touch a screw.  For luck.

Both of these things are absolutely irrational - they will not keep you safe, they will not keep the light from turning red, and the second one could potentially add danger to what you're doing rather than take it away.  I know this.  In my brain, I know it.  And yet I still do them.  I still do them for the same reasons I still cross my fingers when I'm hoping hard for something, why I "prime" my D&D dice before each game, and why I still knock wood when I talk about something I don't want to happen.  They're so ingrained, even though I sometimes feel silly doing them, I can't quite bring myself not to.

How about you?  Are there any superstitions or "lucky" rituals that you still partly believe in even though you know them to be irrational?  Do you have any superstitions that you DON'T think are irrational - that is, that've been shown to work often enough that you credit them even though you can't explain WHY they work?  (I swear that set of green d10's was cursed.  We tested them!  We tested them scientifically!  For an hour!)  What interesting superstitions exist in your part of the world?  (The train track thing, for instance, I never saw outside of North Carolina, but the yellow light one seems to be pretty common.)  Do you know the origins of any superstitions, and if so, share them!


Wednesday Reminder!  Open threads are meant to be fun, chatty places to discuss anything that doesn’t “fit” into a deconstruction or other regular thread.  This can be something totally off-the-wall and random, or it can be something interesting that a deconstruction prompted you to think of, but which would be derailing to get into in the deconstruction thread.  When in doubt, move it over here - that’s what it’s for! 

And as always, please post new comments, rather than replying to other comments!


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