Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Step on a crack

I saw a penny on the ground this morning, and I didn't pick it up, because it was face down. Well, I really didn't pick it up because it was a penny, and the sidewalk was crowded and I'd have blocked everyone, but my mental eye noted the tail of the penny and remembered.

The rituals of childhood! How many of you:

- grabbed a button to hold if a hearse passed you by
- jumped over sidewalk cracks, or even over sidewalk panels if they had the maker's stamp in them
- tossed salt over your shoulder if you spilled any
- said "padiddle owe me a coke" if you said something at the same time as another person
- parted company if you walked toward a tree, to rejoin after you'd gone around it
- punched your little brother, shouting "slugbug!" if you saw a VW Bug (transparent excuse for punching said brother)

Wasn't there something one did if you saw a car with only one headlight lit? It also probably involved punching little brothers....


Julie D. said...

I never heard the "face down" thing. But we DID jump over the sidewalk cracks and do slugbug (there is nothing so good as a legit excuse so slug your brother or sister). :-)

Valerie said...

Actually, "Jinx, buy me a coke" and "Padiddle" with the accompanying punch if there was one headlight out. :-)

Therese Z said...

Jinx! You are totally right! Now I have to go see my little brother.

Meredith said...

We just said "Jinx!"

We jumped over cracks. We threw the salt. If we saw a VW bug, we punched the kid next to us and said "Punchbug [color of car]!" I've never heard of grabbing a button if a hearse passed you.

We held our breath if we went past a graveyard, through a tunnel or over a bridge. My little sister and I would even try holding our breath over the Golden Gate bridge, but we'd always come close to passing out. So we decided to hold our breath in relay. This seemed dubious to us, but the only alternative was not doing it at all.

Maybe this kind of thing is partly regional?

Rosalind said...

We held our breath passing a cemetery, but we held our feet up off the floor going over a bridge (so as not to get our feet wet, you see) and put our hands on the roof of the car when going under a bridge (so it wouldn't fall down on our heads).

This stuff doesn't sound nearly as silly to me as burying St. Joseph upside down in your yard if you want to sell your house.

Elsi said...

It was "Popeye" when you saw a car with only one headlight. Probably because Popeye squinted all the time.



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