Wednesday, April 15
Knocking on Wood
Now, who’d ever want to do something so outrageous as that?
Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit morbid, I suppose, because everywhere I look, I seem to spot danger – So today, I was talking with my tire guy who brings me my daily paper about the health risks of where he works. On a street so clogged with rush hour traffic, (and where I begrudgingly had chosen to walk my dog), I imagined (out loud) that the exhaust fumes would have to affect his lungs in the long term. After all, I could barely breathe by the time I got to his doorway.
So, during the course of our conversation, he immediately had the second best response he could summon -- he reached over to touch the metal jack that lifts up the cars. Only because he’s an amazingly polite and humble guy who happened to be in mixed company; or else, he would have gone for his first response: touching his balls.
Now, I don’t know where any of this comes from: knocking on wood, iron, or your balls (if you should be so endowed), but, I suppose in a later entry, I can look it up. I imagine it might come from Major League Baseball...perhaps the team with the..errr... lighter touch, so to speak, loses?
But, what I’d truly like to know is…has it ever worked? Is there some documentation that, after touching iron in your car, your auto didn’t swerve back onto the road and not tumble off a bridge? In a country choc-a-bloc with saints and miracles, are there testimonials stored in the Vatican's secret archives that show how many 'miracolati' there are from Iron - Wood and Palle? Or, perhaps Italy's Centro Nazionale della Ricerca conducted a study and found that all groin graters never ever got heart attacks?
Nonetheless, it’s one of those curious cultural caricatures which comes up now and again in conversation (polite or not so polite, take your pick), which always leaves you wondering.