Thursday, February 28, 2008

Spiders and Toads and Ears! Oh, My!

This post was inspired by two spiders who had the gall to be hanging around my home. They met their death via wads of paper towels and Beth’s heavy hand.

Premeditated murder? Yes. Remorse? No. But the massacre got me thinking about childhood superstitions.

Kill a Daddy-Long-Legs spider and it will rain the next day.

It didn’t rain the day after I killed these dudes. It didn’t even snow. However, the possibility crossed my mind. I allow these creatures to live unless they are invading MY SPACE.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.

As a kid I made a point of avoiding cracks in the sidewalk - even when I was mad at my mom for some idiotic reason. Too risky. My mother’s back is fine – unlike mine. Perhaps I should have pestered my kids more often as to stepping on those cracks and the possible consequences to my well-being.

Touch a toad (or frog?) and you’ll grow a wart on your hand.

I can debunk this myth with authority. While I’m not fond of toads and frogs, my eldest was (and is). He used to collect them as pets although he always let them go. He has no warts on his hands. Nor do I from the rare occasions he convinced me to pat one.

(As for kissing a frog and having it turn into a Prince – I’ve never tested this one.)

If you experience a body shudder/shiver, someone is walking over your grave.

I don’t believe this for a second BUT after that involuntary shiver, I do pause and wonder where my earthly remains will end up.

If your ears are red and feel hot, someone is talking about you.

What an ego to believe this one! Anyway, let them talk.

If you have an itchy nose, you’re going to kiss a fool.

I’ve kissed some fools in my time but never noted a connection between those experiences and my nose being itchy. But now that I think about it, I never actually looked for a connection. It could exist and would explain WHY I kissed those fools.

Totally inane post, right? But it is amazing what our brains retain - all sorts of superstitions, warnings, admonitions, etc.

Like this last one. Another gem from my mother. I’m sure you’ve heard it, too.

Always wear clean underwear. You never know when you’ll be in an accident and end up in the hospital.

Who wears dirty underwear!?? And what a depressing thought to have whenever you leave the house.

Not that I actually think of it….


An Extra Tidbit

Sherry of Sage and Thyme passed along this little gem to me with the words, “…to those who could use a little lovin’ right now for one reason or another – or in some cases, just because.”

I think I fall under both categories. Thank you, my friend.

While I suspect everyone in the world could do with some extra love, I’m limiting my “pass along” to Trish of The Coffee Shop. (I am so bad at these award things….)

So there you go, Trish – with some love and a “just because.”


traveller one said...

I love all those wonderful childhood superstitions! Thanks for reminding me about them :)

Trish said...

I used to play with toads and frogs and never once got a wart on my hand either.

Thanks for the award, Beth! Just what I needed today.

oreneta said...

I won't even start on sailor's superstitions...they are outrageously numerous...

Sornie said...

I've always wondered about the underwear one. Wouldn't the accident easily caused dirty underwear. What's the point of having ultra-clean undies if you soil them during that accidnet that your mom wanted you to be spiffy for the aftermath of? It just boggles my mind. But then again I've never soiled myself in an accident so what do I know?

Beth said...

oh boy!! I ALWAYS stepped on the cracks!!! I was bad!

Beth said...

traveller one:
And there are many more of them!

You played with frogs and toads? That surprises me. Shouldn't really, but it does.
Enjoy the award - glad it turned out to be what you needed.

Do a post on all those sailor superstitions!

That scenario has crossed my mind. Trust you to mention it in your comment!

Why does that not surprise me?

Angela said...

YAY for your award.

Angela said...

Oh, I meant to leave more than that! YAY for your award and yes, I have always been superstitious. Still am, though I try not to worry about it.

Brendan said...

The Irish version of one of the above: an itchy nose means you're about to get into a fight.

Or so I was raised to believe.

A few years later, I had a weird cross-cultural moment when I was half-grown and allowed to go to movies by myself. I saw Bruce Lee rub his nose just about every time before he opened up a can of whoop-ass on some bad guy.

Or course, Bruce was only half-Chinese. Maybe now we know about the other half ...

(That's the best, when you have some superstition that gets debunked by real-world data, and you bend over backwards to make the data fit the hypothesis.)

(Oops. Sorry. Shouldn't have made that crack about "bend over backwards.")

(I sometimes have an inordinate fondness for parentheses. I wonder if their is an old saying to explain this?)

Brendan said...


I meant "there!"

Eileen said...

What fun memories those superstitions bring back!! Some of them, even now, just pop in my head automatically! Your so right, it is funny where our brain goes.
By the way, welcome back.
I hate, hate, hate spiders. I don't care if it rained for a week, I'd be there with the paper towels!!

Dorky Dad said...

You forgot "if your hand is itchy somebody is going to give you money." What a crock. Nobody ever gives me money when my hand itches. Grrrr.

And congrats on the award!

Beth said...

Do NOT worry about being superstitious. There are better (worse) things to worry about.
(Hugs to you.)

Bruce Lee 1/2 Irish? You simply came to a logical conclusion!
(I'm fond of parentheses, too...)
(And I never bend over backwards...)

Yup, paper towels are the way to go. If you use Kleenex, you risk touching the squishy remains.

dorky dad:
In my world, an itchy hand means a mosquito has made a successful landing.

Shari said...

I just had to read your comment back to Eileen...swishy remains...a good mental picture...

Hate those buggers, though they do help get rid of the other bugs in the house-no, I won't go there. Don't even want to think about that..

Warts and toads? Wasn't it wart-contagious if they did a number on you, more specifically, number one?

I remember those susperstitions/idoims/figures of speech.

BTW, congrats on the award. :)

Mighty Dyckerson said...

I wear brown underwear. Always looks clean - no washing required.

cipriano said...

Beth. Your posting reminds me of what I do when it comes to the issue of spiders. And occasionally they somehow find their way into this 14th floor apartment, I know not how.
Did they take the elevator one day?
If so, how did they push the button thing?

I am averse to killing any sort of animal [not kidding] so I trap my apartment spiders in a glass thing [I actually keep a separate glass for this process] and then I open up my kitchen side window and hurl them out there.

Thing is... most of the time when I take the glass back inside, the damn thing is still inside there somehow, hanging from all manner of ropes and apparatuses that he made by simply SHOOTING STUFF OUT OF HIS ASS!

And so it changes everything for me.
I figure the thing deserves to live.
It should be throwing ME out the window.
I can't do stuff that bizarre!
If you threw ME out the 14th floor window, there would be stuff coming out of my butt, yes... but none of it would be LIFE-SAVING!
So hell, I end up putting about 80% of my spiders back on my wall and I let them live here with me.

Beth said...

"A+" for remembering it's #1 from the toads (or frogs) that supposedly cause warts!

mighty dyckerson:
I recognize you! From my pal Beth's blog.
Trust a guy to come up with that kind of solution to the u/w dilemma...

I hope other people find you as funny (they must...) - otherwise, we're both crazy!
And, Cip, I suspect you can do stuff that bizarre!

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

"Just because" can be one of THE very best reasons to share a little love!!

Loved these expressions -- so true that we heard them all the time - and always think of them in those situations!!

My mom's twist on the last one was "in case you get hit by a bus" there's a pleasant thought!!