Wonder why? Consult almanac

By Karl Terry: PNT columnist

You can catch a bird by salting its tail but if you salt your wife’s hairdo you’re liable to catch a backhand across the chops.

I know, I tried it this week but managed to avoid her right hook. We’ve both become a bit near-sighted in our middle years and after pumping the salt shaker a few times over the potato salad she was preparing she shook it over her hand to see if anything was coming out. I thought I would demonstrate that, yes, I had just filled the shaker and salt was coming out … by salting the back of her head.

A full-on food fight didn’t break out but she grumbled about it all night. I told her she should try the salt shaker on the birds she’d been feeding outside our home office window. She just glared.

Wondering about that old bit of folklore I consulted my Farmer’s Almanac print edition but came up empty until I checked online at farmersalmanac.com. Evidently even Poor Richard isn’t clear how this bit of folklore got started. Some say salt has magical properties, others believe the salt causes birds not to be able to fly somehow.