Big response to my announcement last week of a Rationalist Precinct for Bonalbo aimed at encouraging folks to live a life free of superstition.
Most reactions have been very encouraging, many along the lines of:
You’ve done it again, Bullgoose.
A big leaning ladder to walk under: top idea.
I’m going to name my first daughter after you.
Someone suggested a massive sloth statue, although she didn’t know of any slothic superstitions: she just hated sloths. Fair enough, but no.
Superstitious types had their say too. LeMunton Derriette of Tunglebung posited portentously: There ain’t enough salt in Lake Eyre to make up for all the bad luck coming your way, you ladder-dissing abomination. The cards see all!
‘Floriet’ from Ellangowan advised me to Chill back and lay it down a whisker, Bullboy – it’s all just a bit of fun.
And I suppose it is pretty hilarious that people still believe some of that stuff. But in a world where albinos are taken for their body parts and where ‘un-gaying’ ceremonies are a thing, not everybody is laughing.
Anyway, I’m not a canceller. People can be superstitious if they like, but I think they need to get their ducks and black cats in a row, and introduce a bit of consistency.
What I’m suggesting is an International Superstitionary Convention, to be held at The Hague, or Rappville Hall or wherever, where delegates brave enough to commence a journey on a Friday get together to update and standardise their superstitions.
I mean, if the ring on the string over the pregger belly button spins clockwise is it a boy? Or a girl if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere? Or if it swings in both directions but more to one side, how do you know whether to go with the gender reassignment or the counselling?
And if you see three black cockatoos, does it mean rain for three days? Rain in three days’ time? Does it make any difference if they’re already wet?
What about handling toads and getting warts? What constitutes “handling”? Touching it? Playing with it like a glove puppet? And where will the warts appear? Your hands? Or on your bum, even though you never even touched it (very much) with your bum?
They really need to sort out the seven years of bad luck thing. Does the bad luck start immediately you break the mirror or not until New Year? Is it continuous bad luck for seven years, or maybe, like, say, a broken tooth in 2023; losing Origin in 2024; break your phone screen in 2025 (some of those new ones have a mirror app, so does that mean an extra seven years?) and so on?
And if we don’t know we’ve broken the mirror does the bad luck still happen?
And can we be serving several bad luck sentences at the same time? Or are they like in the criminal system where sentences can go consecutive?
What constitutes ‘bad luck’ anyway? Is losing your job bad luck if your job is Crystal Meth Cooker? Or, say you marry a Hemsworth, but it’s on Friday the 13th and Hemsy sees you in your dress before the wedding and the Honeymoon Suite is Number 4 and you handle a toad. OK, so you subsequently discover he snores and farts in bed (Not the toad. Hemsy). That’s the bad luck, right? But you’ve caught yourself a millionaire. Where’s the bad luck in that?
This sort of thing needs sorting out.
Astrology. Do me a favour. If the fifth star in Pisces becomes a Black Hole, will love still be in the air on Tuesday 25th March? Or will I now have to be careful making decisions about money and travel?
What of the “mainstream” superstitions? It will be exhausting work, but the conventioneers need to thrash it out and clear things up.
Maybe they could start by ranking “saviours”. Who would be the Top Saviour? The itinerant Palestinian chippie? The middle-aged Arab merchant? The tubby Indian dude? The sci-fi writer? The Kool-Aid guy? That Aztec bloke who came up with whole terminal open-heart surgery for young “volunteers” idea?
But surely none of them could beat whoever it was that was doing all the saviouring for the previous two million years of human history.
Oh, maybe it’s all too hard.
I’ll admit to one superstition. On the seventh day of the seventh month every seven years I eat a can of dog food. I give the dog a bit and take seven steps backwards. It’s soft to chew and tastes like dolphin, but I’ve never been probed by aliens. Except for that one time…
A lesson to us all.