Since I wrote about being shat upon by a pigeon the other day (Unlucky) I have been told many times that I was very lucky.
Yes it really did seem that some people thought it was lucky to be pooed on by a bird or more specifically that it would make me lucky.
This really does seem to be counter intuitive. But then perhaps that what I should expect from trying to intuit what’s going on with superstition. Some of them do kind of make sense though.
For example if you spill salt you get bad luck. And I suppose at the time this nugget came up was the time when salt was very expensive and it really was bad luck to spill it. And what’s the remedy? Throw more of it over your shoulder. By making the waste explicit in this way really makes it clear what you’re doing. Also it being unlucky to walk under ladders or cross on the stairs sort of make sense in that they are dangerous.
But what about the less obvious ones? Why is it unlucky to let a black cat cross your path? Perhaps it is because the cat might get under your feet and trip you up? But then why specifically a black cat. And what happens when you cross its path? I walk past a black cat every morning that is so docile there isn’t a rat’s chance in gouder that it will run under my feet. Put it this way he normally sits there looking incredibly bored at all of the pigeons that are wondering around. And how do I know I’m not crossing his path? From the look on his face he certainly thinks that he owns it.
So what of this luck that comes from enduring avian target practice? Is it simply to console a poor unfortunate or is it enough to win the lottery or a bet? And if the latte why don’t all the pigeon racers come first equal and betting shops have a roost available for those who are down to their final couple of quid?
I think the answer is we’ll never know but with a bit of luck we might find out.