I have never been a superstitious person. I will open an umbrella inside, walk under a ladder, etc. I do have a quirk or two that I picked up from my mother. If I see a penny I pick it up. It is almost a reflex at this point. I always hear her voice in my head saying, “See a penny pick it up, all day long have good luck”.

I can remember my friends would invite me to go to the convenience store with them to buy candy and I would go into my mother's closet and look through her shoes for loose change she had collected and stuffed into her loafers.

I did my best to avoid my parents on New Years day because they always ate black eyed peas and cabbage. It smelled like hot garbage and did not want any part of that. They would make cabbage biscuits, the odor would linger for days.

But the most horrifying thing they cooked was polk salad. They would walk into the house with a trash bag full of the stuff they found, God knows where, head to the kitchen and start cooking it. I always imagined them on the side of the road pulling weeds out of the ground their mouths watering with anticipation.

One odd thing that I have seen recently is people that hang bags of water over their doorways to keep flies away. After some research it seems that the jury is out as to whether or not this works. Apparently the water is supposed to refract the light in a way that is unpleasant to the insects.

When my wife and I were married I received a whole new list of modern superstitions such as hot water freezes faster than cold water and cold water boils faster than warm water. Also I was informed by my bride that a spoon left in a bowl of food will turn the food poisonous.

I will admit that I was wrong about the water freezing faster. It goes against everything I was taught about the freezing temperature. Apparently there is something called the Mpemba effect, named after a Tanzanian student who discovered that a hot ice cream mix freezes faster than a cold mix in cookery classes in the early 1960s.

Aristotle was also privy to this in the 320’s B.C. stating "The fact that the water has previously been warmed contributes to its freezing quickly: for so it cools sooner. Hence many people, when they want to cool water quickly, begin by putting it in the sun.”

Who knew? Well apparently Aristotle and my wife.