Month: June 2008

Lucky Q&A: The Elephant in the Room

Every so often, we receive questions from readers regarding different aspects of luck.  We welcome these questions and make every effort to answer all the queries that come our way.

Q: I read through your very enjoyable LUCK guide last Thursday and was inspired to purchase an elephant statuette for the home. Question: Where to place the elephant for optimal luck? Okay to put it on the porch facing away from the front door? If you could supply any guidance I’d appreciate it. –D. Simon

 A: There are several different schools of thought regarding lucky elephant placement:

 –It can be placed outside the entrance of a home (facing the doorway) to protect the home.

 –Some believe that the elephant should be placed inside the house, preferably in the front hall with the trunk facing inward to direct good luck into the home.

 –Others believe that the elephant should be placed in the front hall with its trunk toward the front door to “welcome in” good luck.

 Our advice is to try out all the options over several weeks and pay attention to which orientation works best for you.

–Kevin

(Photo by Echoforsberg)

Gnome, Gnome on the Range

It appears someone in France has taken that movie Amélie a little bit too seriously Remember how, in that movie, the impish Audrey Tautou kidnaps her father’s garden gnome and has an airline hostess friend bring it along on her trips and photograph it at tourist sights around the world in order to inspire her father to get off his butt and travel? Cute, right?

Well, it’s not so cute when the garden gnome is instead kidnapped, forcibly repainted, and made to live in a garden measuring a modest 215 square feet along with 169 other gnomes (think 6 train heading to Grand Central at 5:30 on a Thursday night). And that’s exactly what happened in France this spring.

When the gnomes first started disappearing, accusing eyes turned to the Garden Gnome Liberation Front (FLNJ), an organization devoted to the emancipation of “nains de jardin.” But is appears they weren’t responsible. Rather, 53-year-old man has now been arrested in the town of Mauron in connection to the crime after 170 gnomes were discovered on his lawn. Although police believe they have the right perpetrator in custody and are prepared to repatriate the stolen gnomes, returning them to their rightful owners (given the repainting) has proven tricky.

So, you’re probably asking yourself, why on earth would anyone kidnap 170 gnomes? Our hypothesis: luck.

The name “gnome” is derived from the Ancient Germanic word Kuba-Walda, which means “home administrator” or “home spirit.” So not only are gnomes kitschy and fun, they’ll bring good luck to any outdoor endeavors. So, this guy must have been thinking, “If one gnome will bring good luck, 170 will bring REALLY good luck” (but in French).

If you have other theories, we’d be glad to entertain them.

Read the full story HERE.

–Deb

(Photo by DPA)

Lucky Road to the White House

Barack Obama displays his lucky charms

John McCain shows off his lucky penny

We here at the Luck Guide have known for quite some time that John McCain and Barack Obama are big believers in luck, but it’s good to see that the news is getting around. Back in May, we highlighted the good luck superstitions of Barack Obama and John McCain in a piece entitled “Hoop Dreams” (read it HERE). This week, citing a number of other media sources, New York Magazine ran a story on their 2008 Electopedia blog that delves even deeper into each of the candidate’s lucky practices. Here are some of the juicier details we’ve learned:

—Obama carries “a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny monkey god and a tiny Madonna and child.”

—Obama tucked into a big plate of black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day 2008 when communications director Robert Gibbs explained that it would bring good luck.

—There was widespread panic in McCain’s camp when his lucky feather and lucky compass disappeared (at different times). Things calmed down only when they were recovered.

—One of McCain’s primary-day rituals includes making sure that “lucky friend” Steve Dart is always close by.

It’s hard to assess at this point which of the presidential candidates has a better handle on their mojo bag. I suppose we’ll all find out on Election Day. To read the full New York Magazine article, click HERE.

–Kevin

(Photos by Brooks Croft for Time magazine. To see the full photos, click HERE.)

Stay Lucky this Friday the 13th

Stay Lucky this Friday the 13th

Stay Lucky this Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is here, and it’s (luckily) the only one we’ll have this year.

How did this day become known as a perfect storm of bad luck? Fridays have been considered unlucky ever since Jesus Christ (made famous by The Bible) was supposedly crucified on that day and the Knights Templar (made famous by The Da Vinci Code) were said to have been arrested on Friday, October 13, 1307.

The number thirteen itself has been unlucky since the time of the ancient Hindis, and in Norse mythology, the god Loki was the thirteenth guest who crashed a dinner party uninvited and had another guest killed. Perhaps a more famous unlucky dinner guest was Judas Iscariot, the thirteenth invitee to the Last Supper.

All of these events, coupled with Hollywood doing such a bloody good job of marketing their Friday the 13th movie franchise, has made for a day that’s dreaded by most of us. If you feel a touch of paraskavedekatriaphobia (the fear of Friday the 13th) setting on, fear not, because we’ve got a whole host of things you can do to ensure that this day goes smoothly:

–Start the day off on the right foot, literally, by getting out of the bed on the right side and making sure that the first step you take outside is with your right foot. (If your bed is against a wall and you can’t get out on the right side, you’ve got other problems best solved by consulting the Lucky Bedroom section of Luck: The Essential Guide.)

–Wear red underwear. It’s the color that’s most fortuitous on days like today. And don’t put on anything that’s green, the unluckiest color. (The only exceptions to this rule are if green has always brought you luck, or you’re Irish.)

–Carry your favorite lucky charm in your pocket. If you don’t have one, try an acorn, a four leaf clover, or grab the first heads up penny you come across.

–Avoid the temptation to tidy up today: brooms should not be handled under any circumstances; don’t do the laundry; and you shouldn’t flip the mattress or change the sheets.

–It’s best not to begin anything new today—a new job, a new project, a new haircut, or even a new box of cereal. Likewise, we wouldn’t recommend job interviews, getting on a plane, or going for surgery today.

–Eat a big meal with lots of garlic. It’s been known as the luckiest herb since ancient Egyptian times, and of course, it’ll also keep away those pale men with slicked-back hair, satin capes, and preposterous accents.

–If you live in anywhere near New York City, you might want to pay a visit to one of the lucky spots outlined in the latest Time Out New York. Click HERE to read the article.

–Kevin

Photography by Denny Yuniarta (left) and Claudecf (right).