There is only one superstitious practice I engage in: Erasing the bad luck of spilt salt by tossing some grains over my left shoulder. If the predicament arises in a public setting — a restaurant, say — the ritual must be accomplished quickly and discreetly, lest my rationalist bona fides go kaput.
Another public practice not easily accomplished without embarrassment is my habit of picking up orphaned pennies from the sidewalk or street. Unlike familiar pennies warm in your pocket, found pennies, I was taught as a child, are precious. They possessed special significance, meaning, power. I understand and accept this.
Before you scoff, remember children are wildly happy to believe certain persons, just like certain things, have extra-ordinary powers — powers beyond everyday reckoning. This belief, after all, is the lifeblood of the comic book industry, not to mention an engine behind many a summer blockbuster movie.
If found pennies possess an aura, it’s not too big a stretch to believe a similar power haunts fortune cookie messages. We’re all tempted to believe this, right?
Years ago I began to save those tiny slips of paper pulled from cracked, dry, misshapened cookies, on which are found orotund and suspiciously upbeat pronouncements from anonymous authors. One by one I’ve brought the scraps home, tossing each into an ever-fattening envelope, stuffed into a desk drawer. Below are the seven most recent additions to that collection. Frankly, now that I consider their words carefully, the messages have no unique attachment to me or my fate. Maybe the magic’s gone:
– Great thoughts come from the heart.
– You will soon be involved in many gatherings and parties.
– Your life’s foundation is becoming quite strong.
– You are appreciated by your company.
– Your example will inspire others.
– You are the center of every group’s attention.
– Treat others as you would treat yourself.