Banks County Opinions...

FEBRUARY 26, 2003


By: Jana Adams
The Banks County News
February 26, 2003

Do you knock on wood?
Do you knock on wood? Or make an X across your windshield when a black cat crosses the path of your car? Think it’s unlucky to open an umbrella indoors?
You could be superstitious. Maybe you don’t really believe you’ll be jinxed and lose your good luck if you don’t knock on wood, but you find yourself doing it anyway. And you hesitate to open an umbrella inside and hold it over your head. Bad luck.
It’s interesting how we hang onto these “superstitions” or “old wives tales,” as they are called — many of which have their origins in long ago days — even if it’s for habit. It’s not that I really believe a black cat running across the road in front of me brings bad luck, but I’ll typically make an X out of habit. A friend of mine laughs at me — superstitious! I can’t believe it. Maybe it’s the Irish or Scottish in me somewhere.
I’ve caught myself several times lately saying “knock on wood,” and then rapping my knuckles three times across a door or wall or desk so I don’t jinx myself out of some piece of good luck (I’ve also heard it called “touch wood”). Where do these things come from? Why I am doing that is a whole other question...
I found an A to Z listing of some “Superstitions, Old Wives Tales, Beliefs and Misconceptions” ( Some I have heard, in one variety or another, and others are totally new; most, however, have something to do with luck — bad luck, mostly, and its prevention.
A: Seeing an ambulance is unlucky — unless you pinch your nose or hold your breath until you see a brown or black dog. (An extra A: You know about the apple stem twist from your elementary school days; call out the names of several people you might marry and the person whose name you say as the stem breaks free is the one you’ll wed. Actually, I remember twisting the stem to the letters of the alphabet, but that provided pretty limited options - you’d surely marry someone whose name started with a B or maybe a C.)
B: It’s bad luck to put a hat on a bed. (Ever see the movie Drugstore Cowboy?) ...Also, a broom leaned against a bed will cast an evil spell on that bed.
C: To drop a comb while combing your hair is a sign of a coming disappointment.
D: It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one you used to come in.
E: If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you; if the left itches, someone is speaking ill of you.
F: It’s bad luck to cut your fingernails on a Friday or Sunday.
G: To dream of gloves means you will have a lawsuit or business troubles, but you will settle them in a way that satisfies you.
H: If the palm of your right hand itches, you will soon be getting money; if the left itches, you will soon be paying out money. (I’m sensing “left” as a bad luck pattern.)
I: “If your nose itches, your mouth is in danger. You’ll kiss a fool and meet a stranger. Rub an itch to wood, it will come to good.” I always heard your nose itching meant company is coming....see N.
J: If you dream of jam you will suffer embarrassment at the hands of a woman through no fault of your own.
K:It will cause a quarrel if knives are crossed on a table.
L: Catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn and you will not catch a cold all winter.
M: To break a mirror means seven years of bad luck; it is also unlucky to see your face in a mirror by candlelight.
N: If your nose itches, someone is coming to see you. If the right nostril itches, your visitor will be female; left nostril, your visitor will be male.
O: Unless you were born in October, it is unlucky to wear opals.
P: If you use the same pencil to take a test that you used to study for that test, the pencil will remember the answers.
Q: No superstitions listed involving Q, so I’ll give two for R: A wish made upon seeing the first robin of spring will come true, if you complete the wish before the bird flies away. Also, if you leave a rocking chair rocking while it is empty, you are inviting bad spirits to come into the house and have a seat.
S: Remember the scene with Huckleberry Finn? Bad luck will follow the spilling of salt unless a pinch is thrown over the left shoulder into the face of a devil. Likewise, with salt considered a pure element... put salt on the doorstep of a new house so no evil can enter.
T: If you bite your tongue while eating, it’s because you recently told a lie. Continuing that theme, if you dream that your teeth are rotten or crooked or falling out, it’s because you’ve been telling a lie or using your smooth words to get your own way.
U: In addition to the bad luck brought about by opening an umbrella indoors...dropping an umbrella on the floor means there will be a murder in the house (that one seems unusually specific).
V: A bride’s veil protects her from evil spirits that are jealous of happy people.
W: Knock three times on wood after mentioning good fortune so evil spirits won’t ruin it.
X: The number of Xs in the palm of your right hand is the number of children you will have.
Y: A yawn is a sign that danger is near....Cover your mouth so your soul doesn’t leave your body with the yawn.
Z: No Z superstions on the here’s dream superstition for good luck. If you dream of dancing, that means that some good fortune will come to you.
Jana Adams is features editor of The Jackson Herald and a reporter for MainStreet Newspapers.

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By: Ralph Hudgens
The Banks County News
February 26, 2003

Hudgens’ legislative update
The General Assembly was in session on Monday and Tuesday of this week and in recess for the balance of the week.
We will also be in recess for Monday and Tuesday of the week of the 24th. When we resume on Wednesday the 26th, that will be our 20th day of the allotted 40 days for the 2003 legislative session. Very little has been accomplished so far this legislative session.
The House and the Senate have each passed a bill dealing with predatory lending, but they are different bills so the issue will probably be decided by a conference committee.
I feel that the problems which were caused by HB 1361 last year will be worked out this year and our mortgage industry will once again be free to operate here in Georgia.
The same situation exists with water issues in the state. HB 237 and SB 180 both deal with inter-basin water transfers but in a different way.
One bill is more “farmer friendly” and the other is more “environmentalist friendly”. A compromise will have to be worked out before either of these bills move forward.
This week we did pass, in the Senate, a bill which reduces the salary of the members of the General Assembly and the lieutenant governor by 10 percent.
This was a show of good faith by the members that they were serious about cutting state spending.
There are several major issues still being considered by both the Senate and the House. Civil justice reform, education reform, ethics legislation, the state flag and redistricting are all being considered by one body or the other but are being dealt with in a very deliberate manner.
The situation in Atlanta reminds of what happens when you place two new bulls in a pasture. They size each other up for quite some time before they get on to doing their business.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity of serving as your state senator. If I can be of assistance to you, don’t hesitate to contact me at: Sen Ralph Hudgens, 304-B LOB, Atlanta, GA 30334 or call me at (404) 463-1361, FAX, (404) 463-1381, District Office (706) 783-2405 or E-Mail
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056

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