By Alex Berger
Teenagers are busy, too – they're trying to figure out how they can get treats without wearing a costume. I am always amazed when they stop at my abode, usually around 9 p.m., and just stand there. I ask them what they are supposed to be. They answer that they are dressed as bums. “But that's how you always dress,” I tell them.
“So, does that mean we're not going to get any candy?” they moan. Nevertheless, Halloween remains one of my favorite holidays. As a youngster, I was never the sharpest crayon in the box, but you might say I was the most colorful. Even now, writing the annual Halloween columns , like this one, is sheer pleasure. When else can I get my editor's approval to scare the pants off my readers? Not on Arbor Day. So, unsuspecting readers, BEWARE! If you read on, black cats, ladders, and broken mirrors aren't all you have to worry about on Halloween. The following list of secret superstitions were given to me by that infamous brain surgeon, young Dr. Young of Frankensteinville, Nebraska. So, here goes and do take heed:
To ensure good luck, a newborn child must be carried to the top of the house before being taken downstairs for the first time. If the house has no stairs, climbing with the child on top of a box or chair will help.
It is unlucky to enter a house with the left foot first. The left side of the body is thought to hold more evil than the right. The Romans were so concerned that someone might enter their homes on the unlucky left foot that they assigned a man – a “footman” – at the door to watch the feet of people entering.
You'll have good luck if you step on your own shadow, but it is bad luck if someone else steps on it.
It is bad luck to have more than one working clock in a room. It is unlucky to enter a new house for the first time by the back door. A frog brings good luck to the house it enters. If you sneeze on Sunday morning without any reason before you have eaten anything, you will be lucky in love forever.
To meet a man with flat feet on a Monday morning is bad luck. In order to stop the bad luck, you must return home, eat and drink something, and start the day anew.
If you pick blackberries the second Saturday in October, you will suffer a grave misfortune. (Aren't you glad that the second Saturday in October has already passed this year?)
To see a new moon through the branches of a tree will cause bad luck for the entire month. It is unlucky to see the new moon for the first time through a closed window. When ironing anything flat, be careful not to iron in a diamond-shaped fold. S
uch a fold will bring bad luck to the user of the item.
To drop a dish rag means bad luck is coming. The bad luck can be stopped by turning three times toward the sun while throwing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder.
To wear green to a christening or a bris, brings bad luck to the child undergoing the ceremony.
It is bad luck to cut a doorway between two rooms after a house is built. You must never leave half an eggshell unbroken or you will have bad luck. It is bad luck to sleep in a room with a pumpkin in it. And, it is far luckier indeed to have a baby's first tooth in the lower jaw than in the upper.
There you have it. Study the list very carefully and follow it to the letter. You are also mandated to bury this column immediately after memorizing its mysterious contents.
Failure to do so will result in an uncontrollable, insatiable, craving for Halloween candycorn, to quote the Raven, FOREVER MORE!