I am not a superstitious person. Well, generally I’m not. I will, if I spill salt, pinch a bit up and fling it ceremoniously over my left shoulder.

I am not a superstitious person. Well, generally I’m not. I will, if I spill salt, pinch a bit up and fling it ceremoniously over my left shoulder. I don’t really know why, it’s just something Mum used to do and I guess I picked it up along the way. It seems it has something to do with the incredible price of salt way back when and you so flung so that evil spirits wouldn’t shoot up your hooter.

I won’t walk under a ladder most of the time because it’s just a dumb thing to do, fraught with the danger of paint cans upending on your unprotected head. Apparently a upward facing ladder would create a triangle with the ground and thus produce a construction-type Holy Trinity and it wasn’t a fab thing to go messing around with that, let me tell you.

You can put me in Room 13 on the 13th floor of a hotel, and I faithfully promise I won’t have hysterics, and I am exceptionally fond of black cats – after all my grand-cat, Draco – is very black and I find him very pleasing in an aloof feline way. So nice, indeed, that I will let him walk in front of me, or away from me – depending on which particular superstition you follow – whenever he pleases, which is often.

I will, of course, say Bless You, if you sneeze. I am, after all, quite a polite person. It has nothing to do with the fact that this seems to have originated in the time of the Black Plague when if you sneezed you were showing symptoms of an early and ugly demise and thus the responding “Bless You” was to say “Oh you poor bastard.”

I do remember as a child blowing a dandelion or two, and by counting the times it took to eliminate the pretty head, it was apparently the time of day. I must have had quite prolific lungs as a kid, as I seem to remember I only ever got to 2 o’clock. I’ve since read that it actually meant the number of children you would have, but I seemed to have failed by one in that department, but I figure my darling Madam is so unutterably fabulous, she is in fact a twofer.

My mother tried to foist the odd pseudo-superstition – or should that be a pseudo-psuperstition or a seudo-superstition – I’m never sure (or is that psure) on me.

Take for instance her famous one: “don’t make up an illness if you’re going to nick off school or work, because you will actually come down with whatever was your alibi,” or words to that effect. So generally I would make up a generic ailment, once with which I knew I could cope, just in case. Period pain was always a goodie, as I never had any, and male bosses tended to shrink away from anything relating to “Lady Land”; and the other was a sore throat. As I had my tonsils forcibly removed at age 11, nothing could come close to the pain of tonsillitis, and besides which I was awfully good at imitating a snuffly, sore-throated sick person:  “I’b so sorry, I can’t cub to work today, I’b all stuffed up and by troat is gilling me”.

I’m not terribly sure that it was a superstition – more of an embarrassed motherly piece of advice – but I do remember going to my first mixed party – boys AND girls in one room, fancy that – and Mum’s parting words sounded in my ear: “don’t let him take you out on the back lawn.” I’m still a tad bemused by this. Was it for fear of earthworms drilling through the soles of my shoes? Apparently “he” could take me anywhere else – the bedroom, the back seat of a car, the laundry – but woe betide me if it was the back lawn.

So having said I’m not superstitious, I find I am becoming so.

Remember a couple of weeks ago I thanked all deities for the invention of air conditioning and the very next day the air conditioning went out when the temperature in Kansas City approached that of the sun? Well, if you are a faithful reader, and I know you are, the very next day, out went our air conditioning.

Then, just last week, I wrote about my passion – nay verily – my obsession, with having everything in place just so in the morning: my coffee, my crossword puzzle (in the correct section of the paper), so that I can enjoy my Zen of the morning in peace and quiet before I go to work?

Well blow me down – the very next day, both Sir and I overslept the alarm, so my tranquil time of the morning was turned into a Keystone Kops whirl of dervishness of extremely hurried showering, dressing and makeuping, with no time left for Zen-ing. A distressing occurrence.

So this week I am turning the tables. A cunning ruse if I ever I saw one.

I am SO bummed out. I bought Powerball tickets today, and I just know tomorrow (Wednesday August 24, 2010) I will not win. I’m positive that those $20 million will not be mine tomorrow. No trip to Jeff City.

Three time’s a charm, apparently dating back to old English law that if they tried to hang you three times and weren’t successful, you were released. Well I’m up to my 879th try at the bloody thing, so Powerball is mine!

Oops – no it’s not, I mustn’t jinx myself, must I.

Stay tuned.