I Am Not, Repeat, Not Superstitious

I Am Not, Repeat, Not Superstitious

Here’s Barry with another of his tales – this time it’s all about superstitions and one in particular that has a certain Port Vale-related twist.

What about those who wish for luck by crossing fingers? I guess it’s all well and good if you’re not suffering debilitating arthritis.

I Am Not, Repeat, Not Superstitious

Now let’s be clear right from the off – I am not superstitious. I may have quirky behaviours, but not superstitions. I simply cannot understand why folk get all emotionally tied up fretting about such things as ladders, crossing fingers, carrying a rabbit’s foot, being mesmerised by the Horoscopes, or getting dressed the same way every time.

Take the saying ‘It’s back luck to walk under a ladders’. Well of course it is! But as I see it there is nothing superstitious in this behaviour because the consequence is more practical – such as being injured by falling items. Therefore, we are really talking about dangerous situations. Unfortunate perhaps? Yes. Superstitious? No way!

What about those who wish for luck by crossing fingers? I guess it’s all well and good if you’re not suffering debilitating arthritis. Mind you, these days some folk simply say ‘fingers crossed’ to confirm their message. Still, I do wonder sometimes if folk physically or verbally ‘crossing fingers’ really believe it brings good luck, or whether they are simply doing it out of some mistaken politeness.

Now we all know that talismans and amulets are said to be time-honored ways of fending off evil – such as ‘Crosses and garlic to keep away vampires. Good grief, vampires indeed. Then we have the ‘Rabbit foot’ talisman which has, as far as I can determine, a very obscure history as to its influence or otherwise in ancient history. Still, if you believe they will bring you luck then go for it. But not for me thanks.

What about the Horoscopes – with some placing great store in what is written? One of our peers religiously reads the Horoscopes at morning tea – even gets a little spooked if their star rating is low. My response is always the same…”Your Horoscope today will be mine tomorrow and vice versa”. It usually goes down like a flat tyre.

Back in the early ‘60s when living in North Perth, Western Australia – north of the Swan River to where we live now – a family of four from Manchester moved in next door. To say they were a tad strange is an understatement. We would not see them out and about for days on end. One time we were concerned they had not been seen for nearly a week so yours truly drew the short straw to go and knock on their door to see if they were okay. After several knocks the father answered the door. He seemed okay – even invited me in to say hello to the family. They too seemed okay. They were huddled around a large table leaden with Horoscopes and charts – including Astrology and Numerology.

The father did the talking explaining they were guided by their collective Horoscopes in everything they do. “Early each day we sit around the table to study in depth our respective ‘Readings’ and if the consensus is one of not steeping out of the house for whatever reason, then we don’t” That’s right folks, they would simply stay at home. I must confess I was very pleased to leave them to it.

Very early one morning when making my way to work I noticed their curtains had been taken down and the house deserted. At the time we thought they had done a moonlight flit. Several weeks later we were to learn they had gone back to Manchester because their collective Horoscopes had told them to. Make of that what you will.

You sometimes read where successful sports people routinely prepare themselves before competition. e.g. putting on ones left sock and shoe first…  All that I can say to this sort of behaviour is ‘What a load of rubbish’.

You sometimes read where successful sports people routinely prepare themselves before competition. e.g. putting on one’s left sock and shoe first; offering up a prayer; crossing themselves; always entering the sporting arena the same way every time; celebrating a victory or goal with a ritual dance; and so on . To do otherwise would be considered bad luck by them. All that I can say to this sort of behaviour is ‘What a load of rubbish’.

Okay, I will admit to wearing my Port Vale shirt on match days – a Christmas present from my eldest granddaughter a few years ago and brokered by Rob Fielding our esteemed Webmaster. A ritual mind as apposed to superstition, and a chance to be out and about wearing the colours of my beloved ‘Club. No matter the score I would wear my ‘shirt each and every match day. That is until Boxing Day 2012.

December 2012 saw us play Sheffield United, Bradford City, Chesterfield and Cheltenham Town – lost 3, drew 1. Each time I wore my ‘shirt without giving it a second thought. Then on Boxing Day, with family celebrations continuing into the night, I forgot to wear my pride and joy Port Vale football shirt – the same day that we took on high flying Rotherham United away from home in front of a 10,000 plus crowd and come away with all three points. Well, that set me thinking. It shouldn’t have, but it did.

It was a few weeks later I confessed to Caz – well known OVF Moderator and connoisseur of fine trifles – that since Boxing Day 2012 I had not worn my ‘shirt on match days. Other times, yes. Match days, no. I further added that maybe next season when we’re in League 1 that will I consider wearing it again on match days.

Now before any of you say anything, let me say categorically and without any equivocation what-so-ever that I am not superstitious. A tad nervous perhaps, but not superstitious.

Are we clear about that? Good!

See you later…

Barry Edge
Western Australia
February 22, 2013

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