By Bob Huber
In case you didn’t notice, we had a Friday the 13th this month. To put it in a more scholarly manner, it behooves us to utilize the Freedom of Information Act in the examination of perils existing in all Fridays the 13th and offer up some time-honored, laboratory-tested solutions to make our lives easier during these troubled times.
That said, don’t fret if you missed Friday the 13th — another one will come along next year in May. I look forward to it, because I’m not superstitious. Still, I take after my mother who always said, “It’s silly, all this fuss about Friday the 13th, but …”
“BUT? What do you mean BUT?”
“Well, if you look at a mandrake plant too long on Friday the 13th,” she said, “your children will have scrambled brains and flat feet.” She always glanced at me when she said that. I don’t know why. I don’t have flat feet.
So I think Friday the 13th, mixed with dangerous ladders and black cats, should be kept under control. No one wants bad luck days or paint on his head, and cats of any color are a nuisance.
But now that this year’s Friday the 13th has passed, we can relax and spit in our hand and slap it to see if we’re headed in the right direction. That’s not superstition. That’s just mountain lore in case you’re lost and can’t remember what this column is about.
If you are a fellow traveler on the rocky road to Friday the 13th, read the following rituals and the washboards will turn into smooth pavement. But take heed: Don’t glue a penny over your navel on Friday the 13th like a guy I read about, because he almost died on the 14th trying to remove that penny. Other Friday the 13th rites are:
• Don’t turn your mattress that day. If you do, you’ll have six months of nightmares and probably will take up snoring. And you know where that leads.
• Don’t toss a peach pit out the window on that day, because you could kill a fairy. Gargoyles we can do without, but fairies are precious.
• If you want to know who to marry, put the white of an egg from a pullet under your tongue on Friday the 13th, and if you don’t throw up, the first name you hear will be your life’s companion. Overlook folks with funny names. A pullet, by the way, is a female chicken less than a year old. And the capitol of Kentucky is Frankfort.
• If you count your warts on Friday the 13th, you’ll get more.
• If you’re ill on Friday the 13th, look for a comet. If you see one, you’ll be cured.
• If you dibble your potatoes on Friday the l3th, your crop will fail. The same holds true for anyone who pours water on a windowsill. Apparently dibbling and wet windowsills are related, but I’m not sure how, because I’m not sure what dibbling is.
• For girls, if you want a sneak preview of your future husband, eat a salted herring on Friday the 13th, bones and all, and walk backwards to bed. When you go to sleep, a guy will pop into your dreams, and you’ll know who to stalk.
• Look around the walls of your home on Friday the 13th. If you see any pictures of ostriches, burn them.
• If you eat the marrow from the bones of a pig on Friday the 13th, you’ll go nuts on Nov. 1, just in time for the holidays.
• For teenagers with complexion problems, find a bramble shaped like a small arch. Then on a Friday the 13th crawl through the opening. If you do that, the blemishes will immediately disappear. Scratches from the bramble will take longer.
• Indiana is the Hoosier State, but nobody knows what a Hoosier is. We don’t know what an Iowa Hawkeye is either. I have my own opinions, but it’s not important. I just wanted to include these facts in a column.
• Also, Friday the 13th is a good day to drill a hole in a penny and carry it around in your pocket. So long as you do, the penny will have company. Of course, you have to take it out when the moon is new and spit on it and say, “Fetch, penny, fetch, fetch, fetch.” If you do that in public very much, your Christmas card list will grow smaller.
Obviously the world would be a shoddy place without my brand of scholarship. That’s what I believe.
Bob Huber is a retired journalist living in Portales. He can be contacted at 356-3674.