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View Full Version : Superstition(s) - what's yours?


G-CPTN
20th Sep 2008, 17:05
Earlier today I went to lay down a table knife and it pivoted so that the blade crossed that of another table knife. I immediately 'corrected' it - as anyone knows such an arrangement signifies an impending argument.
This (and several others) were imprinted on me by my mother, and whilst some such as not walking under a ladder might have a sound in common sense, others such as stepping on the cracks of the footpath can surely have no basis in logic.
So what is your superstition that you religiously uphold (and is the belief in such matters akin to religion anyway)?

Atishoo
20th Sep 2008, 17:12
G,

My Aunty told me not only do you correct the cross knives before you do it you pick up one of the knives, throw it on the floor, then replace it.

I'm superstitious about lots!!

I wont walk under a ladder, i always say good morning, afternoon, or evening to one magpie.

Cant think of any others at moment.

Standard Noise
20th Sep 2008, 17:17
Not really a superstitious person and neither was daddy. But he did have one.
He had about 7 aunts who would gather together every so often and they told him a story about an old guy who lived in Bessbrook in the 19thC who was buried in a coffin cos everyone thought he was dead and then his coffin was dug up at a later date and they found scratch marks on the inside of the lid.

Now my dad might have been 8 stone dripping wet but he was as strong as on ox and scared of no man (nor the scumbags in the IRA who were known to threaten contractors who caried out work for the RUC or security forces), but this story scared him so much as a child that he told us years ago that he wanted to be cremated no matter what. He said he didn't care if we tipped his ashes in the bin afterwards, just as long as he was burnt at the end.

As for Mrs N, if she drops a knife on the floor, she won't pick it up. Talks to magpies as well, but then she talks to our dog so I'm not surprised.

Tower Ranger
20th Sep 2008, 17:23
I only have one superstition and i have no idea why i do it or how it started but I have to put on my left motorcycle glove before the right. If I ever inadvertantly put the right glove on first I take it off again immediately.

Oh, and I never stand behind "Standard Noise" but that is more of a health and safety issue!!

Damn it!! Now i`m below SN thats not good!!

acbus1
20th Sep 2008, 17:28
My superstition is that if I post on Jet Blast on a Saturday evening and its the twentieth of the month, my computer will crash before I can finish typi

Overdrive
20th Sep 2008, 18:26
I only have one superstition and i have no idea why i do it or how it started but I have to put on my left motorcycle glove before the right. If I ever inadvertantly put the right glove on first I take it off again immediately.


Me too! Since sixteen years old or earlier... but I put on the left glove, fasten the helmet, then put on the right.

G-CPTN
20th Sep 2008, 18:56
I put on the left glove, fasten the helmet, then put on the right.Probably a learned reflex after trying to fasten the helmet with a gloved hand (and, one presumes, being right-handed . . . ).

blue up
20th Sep 2008, 19:22
I wear socks inprinted with the day f the week. I have four sets. Monday thrugh to Sunday. If I dn't wear the correct day then we will all die. I start the deparure briefing with an assesment of sock safety before mentioning the safety altitude.

"Today is Tuesday. Sck says Thursday. We are all gonna die"





Sorry. Keybard failure. Intermittent letter failure.

Blues&twos
20th Sep 2008, 19:40
I believe that being superstitious is unlucky.

tony draper
20th Sep 2008, 20:36
Always found it amusing how many chaps my age and younger would refuse the third light from a match, most did not know the reason.
:)

G-CPTN
20th Sep 2008, 20:48
my age and youngerThought it dated back to WWI and the trenches?
There was in fact no such superstition during the First World War. (The light would not be visible if the soldiers were in a trench or bunker, as they usually were when not attacking.) The superstition was alleged to have been invented about a decade later by the Swedish match tycoon Ivar Kreuger in an attempt to get people to use more matches but it appears he merely made very shrewd use of the already existing belief which may date to the Boer War.

Rossian
20th Sep 2008, 21:18
When you have finished eating a boiled egg, you must, you absolutely MUST poke the spoon through the bottom of the shell which (as we all know) prevents witches using the empty shell as a boat. That's what my Granny told me, I told MY daughter and she has told HER daughter. It's nice to see the continuity running through the generations.
The Ancient Mariner

GROUNDHOG
20th Sep 2008, 21:28
Blue Up - sounds good but most of the time I don't know what day it is anyway.

Rossian - Saw one of they eggshells whilst sailing off Cornwall yesterday, little b*ggers were raiding the crab pots, you can never trust a Witch.

As an ancient mariner sure you appreciate my superstition when sailing - always stay on the wet bit.

Blues&twos
20th Sep 2008, 23:33
Rossian - an alternative is to sprinkle witch poison round your dustbins, or put wizard dung granules on the ground. It apparently scares them off.

ShyTorque
20th Sep 2008, 23:58
All this stuff is nonsense.

I'm not at all superstitious, touch wood.

Loose rivets
21st Sep 2008, 01:41
When you have finished eating a boiled egg, you must, you absolutely MUST poke the spoon through the bottom of the shell which (as we all know) prevents witches using the empty shell as a boat.

That made I larf...a lot.

There was a cracked paving stone outside our old house. From the time my mum told me about the superstition, till I was a young pilot, I never, ever, not event to test it out, stood on that particular slab.

Scooby Don't
21st Sep 2008, 03:17
Superstition or OCD, I'm not sure, but I always....

get out of bed the same side I got in

count off the floors at the work car park, up and down

put left sock on first

and finally, when I were a nipper and went for a nocturnal pee, I always had to be back in my bedroom before the lav finished flushing or the monsters would get me. Them's crafty, them monsters. :}

400Rulz
21st Sep 2008, 06:55
The title applies to all superstitions - do you think the person ahead of you is following you? Now Rulz, they are different.
1. Always iron your uniform and pack your bag when on standby. You'll never get called out.
2. Never leave home with an argument unresolved. If you shag a hostie, you'll lose half your super. And your wife will find out, trust me.
3. Always cut your lawns with your jandals (thongs - as in footwear guys) on - you'll only cut your foot off if wearing safety boots.
4. Always let your wife get drunker than you at neighbourhood parties - that way they'll all think you are the good guy.
5. Always tell the kids your ex-wife is a good person underneath. That way when they find out you lied to them, they'll be eternally grateful you didn't screw up their perception when they couldn't understand bipolar disorder.
6. Never tell the Captain he is a total pratt, unless he is raging drunk. Then you can blame it on the Second Officer.
7. Always buy the Second Officer at least two rounds of drinks. That way he/she will be happy to take the blame for the "total pratt" comment.
8. Never comment on your wife's cooking. You'll get the burned portion.
9. Never clean your specs with aloe impregnated tissues. Your perception of the world will change, and so will your aiming point on the runway.
10. Always pass on that Al Gore is the Antichrist. Maybe the message will get through, and if it doesn't, at least you can say "I warned you".
-400R

TwinAisle
21st Sep 2008, 10:34
I won't walk under a ladder, but then I don't like walking under anything that has people on gantries or whatever above me - visions I guess of being brained by a falling paint tin...

However - I ALWAYS salute a single magpie and wish it a good day. But doesn't everyone?

:cool:

tony draper
21st Sep 2008, 10:58
I had never heard of this talking to or greeting Magpies until one read it on Prune,ladybirds yes,we alus talked to ladybirds and told em to fly away home.
:)

Scooby Don't
21st Sep 2008, 11:53
Someone more learned will no doubt know the whole rhyme for magpies, but it starts...

One for sorrow,
Two for joy.
Three for a girl
And four for a boy.

Thus, the correct form (and magpies obviously care about this...) is to say to a single magpie;
"hello Mr Magpie, give my regards to Mrs Magpie."
Thus, it's as if you've seen and greeted two of them, sorrow cancelled.

A good cure is to spend some time in the prairies of the Great White North. So many of the bvggers that you simply can't salute and greet them all!

Juud
21st Sep 2008, 12:22
Sounds like a nice few incipient OCDs keeping you lot occupied! ;)

jetset lady
21st Sep 2008, 12:28
And to continue on from Scooby Don't;

Five for silver
Six for Gold
Seven for a secret never to be told.

Does anyone know where the magpie thing originated from? It seems to be one of the most popular superstitions but I, for one, have no idea why I am constantly greeting a black and white bird.

Jsl

P.S. I often wonder what magpies make of it all. Do they sit in the tree with one saying "No! So I go down there and they're all gonna wave at me? You're having me on!" And do the other birds get jealous, especially those that are more likely to be greeted with a bum full of shotgun pellets than a cheery salute?

Mac the Knife
21st Sep 2008, 12:31
Salt over shoulder - check
Greet one magpie - check
Don't walk under ladders - check

All surgeons are superstitious

:ok:

TwinAisle
21st Sep 2008, 12:47
Oh, you don't TALK to the magpie, Mr D. That would be silly, it is only a bird.

But you should certainly salute it and wish it a nice day.... :p

Keef
21st Sep 2008, 17:08
When I was a lad, I used to chat up birds. Don't do it now (well, not calling it that, anyway).

I used to shoot magpies, not talk to them, though.

KiloDeltaYankee
21st Sep 2008, 17:46
I purposely walk under ladders, open umbrellas indoors etc to see other peoples reactions.
I find it surprising how many people are genuinely superstitious in this day and age.

However I do have one superstition of my own....when I brush my teeth I have to put the brush under
running water twice, once before putting the tooth paste on, and once after.....the world won't end
if I don't....but for some irrational reason it just doesn't feel right if I don't.

Rossian
21st Sep 2008, 18:38
'Scuse me JUUD (sorry can't do purple) "incipient OCDs" indeed. From your other post, going to see SoM, under any circumstances, implies a certain level of self-abuse; going to see it in NORWEGIAN is almost beyond belief. Having watched a moderate amount of Norsk TV in various hotels in Bodo over the years gave one the impression that lightheartedness is not a national characteristic. (Per Gynt is an aberration, Brand by the same author is a more accurate indicator of national Psyche (IMHO).
The Ancient Mariner

Abusing_the_sky
21st Sep 2008, 18:44
Scissors open - argument (that's what my Nan used to say anyway)
If you drop salt put pepper on it ( argument thing again)
If you forgot something and you go back to the house to get it - you're gonna have a bad day.
If one doesn't take out 5 infant seatbelts ready for boarding one will have 18 screaming kids inflight.
Black cat crossing - three steps back and pray


That's about it for now...

Rgds,
ATS

barry lloyd
21st Sep 2008, 18:58
P.S. I often wonder what magpies make of it all. Do they sit in the tree with one saying "No! So I go down there and they're all gonna wave at me? You're having me on!" And do the other birds get jealous, especially those that are more likely to be greeted with a bum full of shotgun pellets than a cheery salute?

In the days when milk was still delivered in glass bottles, as some of the more senior posters will recall, they used to wait until the milkman had been, and before many humans were about, they'd peck off the silver tops! A yoghurt carton did the trick for a while, until they found out how to get them off:* - never did like magpies.

My father would never allow an opened umbrella in the house, and my mother went mad one day when I put my (newly cleaned) shoes on the table. Apparently it was more to do with superstition than hygiene!

G-CPTN
21st Sep 2008, 19:08
my mother went mad one day when I put my (newly cleaned) shoes on the table. Apparently it was more to do with superstition than hygiene!Yup! Never could extract an explanation though . . .

tony draper
21st Sep 2008, 19:21
Opening a Umbrella indoors was a no no, not that one has ever done so or indeed ever carried one, one would rather get wet.
:)

G-CPTN
21st Sep 2008, 19:22
That too . . .

barry lloyd
21st Sep 2008, 20:24
Opening a Umbrella indoors was a no no, not that one has ever done so or indeed ever carried one, one would rather get wet.

Which has now made me wonder what I was doing with an umbrella in the first place! I mean, what do you call a Scouser with an umbrella? - a caddy I suppose!

CATIII-NDB
21st Sep 2008, 20:35
"Always found it amusing how many chaps my age and younger would refuse the third light from a match, most did not know the reason."

It may date from the Northern Frontier Afgan war clashes in the Khyber Pass in the late 19th Century -

Afgan snipers at night would follow the light of the match in their gunsites and as the light paused for the third time pull the trigger.

The shoes on the table myth, comes from the practice of putting the shoes of a dead person on the table in the case of an accident eg at a mine / factory / farm - I remember this one from my parents.

CAT III

P S - only one superstition - Never fly in a Gee Bee super sportster - Engine too big for the rest of the thing. Ticklish in pitch.

Standard Noise
21st Sep 2008, 20:41
Yeah, the shoe thing, Mrs gets all shirty if I put a new pair of shoes up on the table. I keep telling her it's not a table, it's a feckin breakfast bar, but she won't listen. Mad old trout.

Stockpicker
21st Sep 2008, 20:59
Shoes on the table
Hats on the bed
Salt over shoulder
Don't cross knives
Salute a magpie
Don't walk under ladders
Don't talk under bridges
Don't whistle backstage (or in the robing room at the kirk)

...I'm sure there are more, I'll let you know when I remember!

OK, so it helps to be lucky in my job! :O

Radar66
21st Sep 2008, 21:17
Rossian - I too do that hole in the bottom of the empty eggshell thing... and i'm an adult! :)

My old nanny told us the same story of the witches, but then my mother ruined it later on in life by saying that it was just her way of ensuring that we finished our meal! :{ don't care, still do it! :)


Both my father and my younger sister have slight OCD - Pa will always know the number of steps in any house within minutes of arriving - his explanation is that he likes to finish on one particular foot. :rolleyes:

Most of my supersitions have been covered here already - the umbrellas and ladder thing amongst others. But going back to the old nanny... in wintertime we used to toast our bread for tea on her old coal fire, and if we saw soldiers climbing up the chimney all was right with the house, and if we didn't it was okay because they were still inside fighting the night time demons so that we could sleep easy.

the 'soldiers' were those little tiny glowing embers that creep/march in a wriggly line up the backboard at the rear of the fire.

My russian grandmother always kissed her fingers and placed it on each of the five icons in her bedroom before she retired for the night. I still do the same when i go home and sleep in the icon room. ;)

tony draper
21st Sep 2008, 21:23
Ah yes whistling at sea one had forgot that one, first trip and one regarded oneself as a talented whistler,very quickly had to cease me tootling though after dodging flung chipping hammers and spikes,the old timer took it very seriously.
:uhoh:

Radar66
21st Sep 2008, 21:25
You've just reminded me of another homily/supersition that I was told as a nipper Mr Draper sire...

'sing at the table, die in the workhouse' :uhoh:

G-CPTN
21st Sep 2008, 22:05
Never fly in a Gee Bee super sportster - Engine too big for the rest of the thing.Used to look in awe at the photo of a Gee Bee in my aircraft recognition book when I was a child. Couldn't believe that anyone could actually build such an outrageous machine (long before I understood aerodynamics):- Ironically, the R-1 rapidly earned a reputation as a very dangerous machine due to its small wings, very low polar moment of inertia and tiny control surfaces.Quite!
http://i274.photobucket.com/albums/jj279/LarryO_bucket/014_19.jpg

barry lloyd
21st Sep 2008, 22:18
Continuing with the aviation-related superstitions, I remember being on duty at a major airport once, and there was a call from the cockpit to say that they couldn't open door 1L, and that they'd have to use 1R instead. One of the old-timers amongst the ground crew was very unhappy about this, and said that it was extremely unlucky, and the aircraft was doomed.
I've never heard this before or since, but I notice that passenger ships invariably embark/disembark from the port side - is that the connection, and if so why?

That aircaft above is appropriately named - and just about as aerodynamic by the look of it!

SyllogismCheck
22nd Sep 2008, 00:54
I notice that passenger ships invariably embark/disembark from the port side - is that the connection, and if so why?
Ships go portside to because that side was named such precisely because it went against the quay, or port. Early vessels couldn't go the other side to as the steering oar, or star, went on that side - thus starboard.

Too Short
22nd Sep 2008, 11:20
My only superstition is to do with flying. Every time I board a plane (I'm pax) I have to touch the fuselage, just next to the door, with the flat of my hand. Strange, because I don't believe that anything untoward will happen if I don't do this, yet, it would feel 'wrong' not doing it.

One of my nan's superstitions is to never buy knives as an engagement or wedding present, as it will mean the relationship is doomed to failure... Mind you, this is the same woman who still calls a period "the curse". :rolleyes:

Rush2112
23rd Sep 2008, 04:58
I do the boiled egg thing, stops the witches from using them as boats. Another one my mother impressed upon us is if you give a purse or wallet as a gift you should always put some cash in it, otherwise it will always be empty. Years later, we I were buying a purse for someone here in Singapore, and the shop assistant asked whether we wanted it gift wrapped. Being a lazy sod I said yes, but I made her wait until I had put a $2 note inside, much to mrs R's bemusement, however, the Chinese shop assistant thought it perfectly correct.

On the salt thing, if I spill it, I take a pinch and throw it over my shoulder, but one of my mates does that every single time he uses some, saying that's what they all did in the parental home. Given he has 3 brothers, they must have got through a shed load of the stuff...