The dolls were made by a local artisan, were cheap, and seemed the perfect guests for Halloween. They’ve taken up permanent residence in my wife’s print shop, usually in front of artist Trenton Doyle Hancock’s tombstone-shaped fan that reads: “We done all we could, and none of it’s good.” The spooky little vine, called bittersweet (naturally), grows wild outside the print shop in Hampden, Md.
We gave away the money we saved on the doll purchase at a blackjack table in Cripple Creek later that day, so they aren’t exactly good luck charms. But, it’s darn near Halloween and, as the soul-snatching villain in a favorite bit of animation says, “Oh, what the hell?”
Give it a quick look. We’ll wait.
Always read the small print, kids.
Now, then … superstitions. They’re fascinating, even though I don’t usually partake and sometimes even act in an intentionally so-not-superstitious way. Take the gym T-shirt that reads: “Ways to Die” and features stick-figure representations of being stabbed, shot, poisoned, “electrocuted” (everybody needs an editor), eaten by a bear and the like. My workout habits are such that I could drop dead at any second and be carted away in this thing by giggling EMTs, so I’m courting some serious irony but … what the hell? My true superstition, I guess, is a fear of picking one up.
How about you? What are you superstitious about? Worried that kissing the frog in the school’s courtyard will give you warts? Eat the same breakfast before every test? Good luck charms? Have a smooth-rubbed “worry” stone or coin in your scrubs pocket? How’d the superstition get under your skin? And what gives you the heebie-jeebies? Please share any and all — even those you’ve simply heard of from others — in the comments field below.
Saying its name out loud might just send the superstition back to the hot place from which it came for all eternity.
– Steve St. Angelo