By Claire Gaus

Expecting seven years’ bad luck after breaking a mirror can be thought of as a superstitious myth, but after breaking a full-length mirror three weeks ago, I’m giving some credence to the validity of the myth.

If breaking a small pocket mirror is supposedly a jinx, think of how much more bad luck one might have from breaking a big mirror. I figure it might be enough bad luck to spread over the whole neighborhood, which did happen, according to my neighbor Susan Harper’s accounts of her own bad luck streak. She wrote in last week’s Commerce News of her very recent bad fortune with yellow jackets, her car, her back, her appliances and her sleep number bed. Poor, innocent Susan didn’t know about the broken mirror just a few hundred feet away from her in my home. Neither she nor I thought of looking up to see if there might be a black cloud hanging over our patch of woods surrounding our houses. Someone, or something, certainly sent a pox on both our houses.

Lest it be thought this combined list of unfortunate happenings is just coincidence, let me try to prove otherwise. The long arm of coincidence in this case is just too long. Since breaking the mirror, my house was struck by lightning; the “mother board” on my computer got fried (according to the technician who did the autopsy); every wall socket in my kitchen did not work or sizzled when approached by a plug; my dogs have become paranoid about any noise louder than a slight cough; my family now fears for my life because I sleep on an antique iron bed; and my friends avoid me if the sun goes behind a cloud, calling me “the lightning magnet.” All of this just because of an instant of a big boom.

Still within the three week time period, my left foot developed a problem which put me in an orthopedic boot I’m still wearing. My right calf has a spot determined after a biopsy to be a basal cell (skin cancer). I’ve had a headache for days because I can’t make my replacement computer behave the way the old one did. In addition, I’ve had three weeks of bad hair days, caused, no doubt, from all that electricity bouncing around my house. Even the political sign I had in my yard was affected. I cannot imagine that a vandal would want to take it away. It must have been vaporized at the time of the big boom.

When speaking to Ms. Harper about our combined misfortunes, she told me that a mirror had been broken at the library as well. City of Commerce, beware. There are now enough broken mirrors to jinx the whole town. After a Google search, I have learned the only way to remedy this threat is to bury the pieces in the earth during and under a full moon. This solution gives me a great idea for a party. At the next full moon, anyone with a broken mirror is invited to join me to dig up a burial place for mirror fragments. The jinx will be broken - or at least we might have a good time.

Claire Gaus is a retired educator and volunteers in the community in a number of capacities. She lives in Commerce.

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