(thanks to DCveR, who brought up the topic; i got to thinking. i happen to be very superstitious, but it's definitely a cultural thing. i know it's crazy, but at the end of the day, i need as much luck as i can get.)
When I was younger, I remember my ethnic parents arguing and my father warning my mother not to c urse him with her tongue. It sounds ridiculous, but it fits the bill of most superstitions. Somewhere up the line in the motherland it is believed that people who have what looks like freckles on their tongues are capable of cursing people.
Mom doesn't put much stock in it, but she admits to predicting things in the heat of annoyance. Like when my Dad was overly babying his new car, she said, 'Just watch, you're going to get a big dent in that thing.' And soon enough, a runaway grocery cart hit its mark.
I have a spotted tongue, too, as did my grandmother. Once a doctor told me it's a discoloration of tastebuds and completely harmless. I never thought much about it after that until a vacation with friends to a sleepy island off the coast of Italy.
It was a dream trip come true; a friend had hooked us up with a gorgeous villa on the beach and the latest Jaguar to roll around the island in for an obscene deal. On our last night we went to a club to celebrate in style. Only I felt like a pack mule because person number four had asked me to hold gum/cigarettes/wallet/keys in my purse -- the burden that came with taking the wheel of such a fancy car. But by then the ride was over and I was irritated about hauling around all that stuff. I said, 'You'll see. You'll regret making me carry all this crap when someone takes this bag!'
I guess the thieves kept a better eye on it than I did, because that's exactly what happened. who knew that someone could reach under the table you were dancing on and completely gank your stuff?
We spent the entire night scouring the edge of the weedy roadside for possible discarded items, breaking the Jag's window to get our passports from the glovebox, having it towed away because the spare key was on the mainland and spending the night on the curb because we had no key to the villa. I went home with no money, no camera, few souvenirs (most were in the trunk, which we couldn't open without the high-tech key), and a little voice in my head that kept saying, 'you did this to yourself.'
Moral of the story? Don't scoff at superstition. And don't cross me.