How To Survive Friday The 13th, Cajun Style
It’s Friday. It’s the 13th. There’s a full moon. Things are gonna get weird.
I've lived in Louisiana less than a year now, but I’ve been here long enough to realize that people here have a superstition for literally everything. Any occasion or possibility you can imagine, you can bet there’s a Cajun remedy, preventative, or ritual to either make it happen or stop it from happening.
With that in mind, here are a few tricks I’ve picked up from my time here in the bayou, just in time for Friday the 13th.
If you’re a young lady itching to get married, try slipping one of your hair ribbons into your boyfriend’s pocket when he’s not looking. This superstition is kinda dated though, because I’m pretty sure any human woman still wearing hair ribbons outside of grade school will be more likely to marry one of the two dozen cats she shares her home with. To modernize this one a little bit, try slipping one of those rubber band ponytail holder things my wife buys in bulk and promptly loses all around the house. Then the dogs find them. And there are Questions.
Speaking of marriage, watch out whenever somebody starts sweeping the floor around you, ladies. When they get close to you, plant your feet and refuse to yield to their assault of cleanliness. Sure, they might glare at you with a good Southern stink-eye, but it’ll be worth it in the end. If you lift your feet to allow the person to sweep under them, you’ll never get married, no matter how many hair ribbons or ponytail rubber bands you slip into the pockets of every man you’ve ever met. That’s just how it works.
Also, pay special attention to your nose. If it starts itching for any reason, it’s a sure sign that somebody wants to kiss you. Do your palms itch? Good news, if it’s your left hand. That means money is coming your way. However, if your right palm gets itchy, it just means you’ll meet up with an old friend, who will probably be coming around to collect on that bet you lost back in the ‘90s when you were so positive Chumbawamba was going to be the next Beatles. You idiot.
If you do end up getting a visitor you don’t want, try throwing salt at them as they leave. Not only will this make you look like a crazy person they’ll never want to bother again, but if you toss it in the form of a cross, the poor fool won't ever come back to your house. For best results, use on stubborn in-laws.
Moving right along, pregnant women should be especially careful today. Be sure not to touch any baby animals, lest your child be born with features of whatever adorable creature you decided to pet. This might be okay if you’re, I dunno, really into that Beauty and the Beast TV show from the ‘80s and want your baby to end up looking like a Ron Perlman cat-person or whatever, but most moms will probably prefer to keep their children looking somewhat human when they’re born.
Feeling under the weather? Of course you are. It’s cold and flu season, and something is always going around. If you do get sick, grab a sharp knife and stick it under your bed. This should cut your suffering in half, although I’m not entirely sure what happens to the half you cut out. It probably gets transferred to your significant other, though, so be careful. Men can probably get away with this on account of how horrible the manflu is, but women should be careful of sending any hint of illness toward their husbands and boyfriends, lest they spend the rest of their sick days taking care of a whimpering man-child on the couch.
Want a little good luck? Try killing a spider after dark. That’s supposed to do…something. I think. You could also try hanging a mirror on your porch to keep the devil away, or drilling a hole in a dime and wearing it around your neck to ward off evil. For extra protection, spit three times. Just try not to spit on the devil if he happens to be stuck on your porch, staring at his reflection in that mirror you so cleverly hung up there to distract him. It will only end in tears. And possibly lamentations.
Make sure not to let any alligators crawl under your house either, because that surely means there will be a death soon. (Probably the next time someone goes outside and steps off the porch, because you have an alligator living under your house, dummy. Alligators have lots of teeth.)
Don’t eat both ends of a loaf of bread, because this will make it virtually impossible to make ends meet, financially. Also, nobody really likes the ends of bread anyway, so it’s best to just leave them alone and throw them out before they go moldy and your wife yells at you for not cleaning out the pantry sooner.
Well, that should get you through today. Just watch out for the usual things, like walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, and having black cats cross your path. Don’t open any umbrellas indoors, if you find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck (unless it’s tails-up, then it’s bad luck), and be sure to avoid crossing through a house. No, really. If you go in the front door, go out the front door. Don’t go out the back, because then Bad Things will happen that no amount of salt or mirrors or spitting can protect you from.
Happy Friday the 13th, Louisiana. Let’s be safe out there.