Lolling at the Sugarshaker


Here’s the story of Charlie, superstition, and a goblin.

As she once said to me, “The cracks in the pavement are actually portals to the underworld,” and I happened to believe her. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what an ‘underworld’ is. I know it’s often portrayed as a frightening thing and that there’s a television show where that’s the name of a knickers factory. Finding oneself there could be a tad frightening. The sheer number of varieties is a nightmare all of its own. I’m not a superstitious person, readers, but I did spend much of my childhood trying not to walk on the cracks between the paving slabs. And I suppose I’m also guilty of throwing sugar over my left shoulder every morning. Well, it’s perfectly harmless. Except that one time. “ARRGH! Some idiot just threw sugar in my eyes!” Hmm, really, you should always look behind you before you do this…

You might wonder why I do this every morning. It’s not out of habit. Like saying, “Good morning Mr. Magpie” to the first magpie you see every day and yes, people of America, most British people actually do this. This is a quaint and backwards hellhole. Only a moron would do such a thing. They never respond anyway. Ahem. “Why good morning to you too, young squire!” “ARRGH! THE MAGPIE IS TALKING TO ME! Run away!”

You see, I do this out of practically. We don’t have a proper saltshaker. It’s just a glass tube with a metal funnel at the end. That is an unacceptable faux pas in saltshaker design. If you tip that on your Weetabix, you’ll have the most sugary Weetabix imaginable. You just get a huge dollop of sugar all over it and that’s like when you get pasta served to you in a restaurant and all the cheese is in the middle. You see, what I do, right, is layer the cheese. Bit on the bottom of the bowl. Then a bit of pasta. Some more cheese. Then more pasta. And then – sorry, this isn’t a cookery blog…

What I do is pour the sugar into my hand and then I sprinkle the sugar on to my breakfast. But of course, that means I have some sugar left over and it has to be disposed of. Now, I do put back into the saltshaker what I can, but there is spillage, so that goes over the shoulder.

When I say ‘saltshaker,’ I mean the sugar variety, but there’s no word for that. Sugarshaker. Well, if enough people use it I suppose it’ll enter the dictionary eventually. ‘LOL’ did. Tragically. Superstition aficionados out there will probably be scratching their heads at this point. “Isn’t it salt you throw over your shoulder?” Yup. It’s supposed to ward off the devil. I’m hedging my bets, really. I also throw sugar over my shoulder. Apparently, you do that to ward off the Irish. True fact.

I don’t throw every condiment over my shoulder, in case you’re wondering. Throwing pepper and vinegar at will is ill-advised. Also, what has Will done wrong? I think superstitions are a part of all of our lives, aren’t they? I bet we don’t even realise half the things we do are for superstitious reasons. And we don’t question them. I mean, really, if the cracks in the pavement led to some kind of underworld, what would the point be? A type of punishment? I don’t know. And think of the logistics! Not just the infrastructure to create this vast underground realm, but also the physics-bending reality we’d have to live in to actually slide through the cracks. Also, more and more of them are being Tarmaced these days. We’ll have to come up with more ingenious ways to frighten children. The Tarmac Goblin. There you go. A huge blob like creature made from Tarmac that rises up from the pavement if you’ve been a very naughty boy, one that gobbles you up and sends you to the knickers factory…

I also don’t walk under street signs. Very bad luck, that. It might have something to do with that silly superstition that you shouldn’t walk under a ladder. I’m not entirely sure where I picked up this unusual superstition, but I know quite a large number of people avoid walking under street signs but very few would admit it. I also don’t walk under ladders. More of a health and safety thing, though.

And then there’s the clock thing. If a digital clock reads ’13,’ I must stare at it until it turns to ’14,’ otherwise it’s very, very bad luck. I mean, you’ll get 50 years of torture if you don’t abide by this. Think decades and decades of wet willies and purple nurples…

So, as I said, I’m not really a superstitious person. Science can explain everything, surely? Or maybe not. You see, I had a funny Friday just gone and there is a nagging little voice in my head thinking it might know why. I call him Charlie. The voice, that is. Feels like a ‘Charlie.’ Nag, nag, nag…

When you wake up to a winter wonderland, as has befallen the north of the UK this week, you know the day isn’t really going to go all too well for you. I did not expect to wake up and trip over the alarm clock I have on the floor. It’s not important why it’s on the floor. I then ended up with a pile of sugar a mile high on my breakfast. I then knocked over a bottle of water and then I walked through the resulting puddle, leading to very soggy slippers and therefore, feet. I then went to work and slipped over on the ice several times. Which hurt. A lot. Oh, I was then nearly run over by a guy on a bike. Then everything was fine for a few hours. Then I got home and I couldn’t find the instructions for the oven. Then I knocked some more things over. Including the instructions I’d found. Instructions that I’d spent a good 20 minutes rifling through to find a certain page, a page that was now mixed in with several hundred other pages in what can only be described as a confused jumble of hell.

Then I noticed something. It was Friday the 13th. I mean, I know it’s just a date, but the fact so much went wrong is a little fishy. And it’s not just because mum and dad are away and, as we all know, I can’t look after myself without at least a couple fires. But then there’s Charlie, that irrepressible little voice. “If this was Friday the 14th,” he said, “You’d be in bed right now eating candyfloss with a hundred golden retriever puppies licking your face…”

Maybe all these superstitions are just a silly bit of nonsense. Maybe there is nothing in them. Or maybe my mother is right. Maybe they’re all true and we’re all making a grave mistake ignoring them. Or maybe it is all just nonsense.

After all, mother once said to me that the cracks in the pavement are actually portals to the underworld…

American comedian, film and television star, Julius ‘Groucho’ Marx (1890-1977), once said: “If a black cat crosses your path, it signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”

Peace Out :|:

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Please feel free check out the latest posts from my other blog:

To Contrive & Jive
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