Superstition and Incense

A Baker’s Dozen

Today is Friday the 13th. Does that bother you? Do you think about it? Schedule around it?

“Hey Sweetie, let’s not fly to Texas on Friday the 13th.” You know, stuff like that?

When I was riding, I could be a little superstitious about Friday the 13th. “Should I really ride that one today? I’ve been cruisin’ for a bruisin’ on that one for a while. Maybe I should skip him.” Which, of course, is delaying the inevitable, but as long as it doesn’t occur on Friday the 13th, then it’s completely random and just life….

Where’s the logic in that?

Of course, I know there isn’t any. I gave myself a hard time back then for having these thoughts, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit they still cross my mind even now. This date invites an internal dialogue where reason argues with folklore, just the same as it would if I might be forced to walk under a ladder to get where I’m going.

But has anyone else noticed that airplanes don’t have a row #13? Or that buildings don’t have a 13th floor? The elevator somehow magically goes from #12 to #14.

It just begs the question…..

Just because it’s not called Row 13, or the 13th floor, doesn’t mean it isn’t, does it??

I want to know. What committee decides these things??

Now is a good time to remind everyone of “the baker’s dozen.”

Thirteen is not always a bad number.

The Emerald Man Cave

I opened the door the other afternoon, walking into our apartment. A got a big whiff of something…

I asked Russ, “Oh my God, what is that smell?!”

He said, “What? Don’t you like it?”

Opening his arms with a big grin, he said, “Welcome to Ireland, Baby!!”

I rolled my eyes. “Seriously? Tell me how this smells like Ireland.”

Walking into the kitchen, I noticed a thin stream of smoke rising from the counter.

Flicking my head at it as I set my bags down, I asked him, “So what’s that?”

Slightly exasperated, like I should have known, he said, “It’s a peat moss bog!”

I gave myself a moment to take this all in. Russ and I have been together four and a half years and not once has he pulled incense out of his stacks of supplies. It was only two days ago that he fished out the incense sticks my sister had sent to me in a care package after my surgery. Those smelled nice. The peat moss bog?

Ok, I’m going to throw him a bone. I’ll admit that if “Man Cave” could have an ideal odor, this would be it.

Our apartment now smelled like a Man Cave.

He asked, “Don’t you like it?”

I started shaking my head slowly. “Russ, seriously? A peat moss bog? Is that what you equate Ireland with? Ireland to me smells like Guinness, fish and chips…and horses! That’s it!”

I added, “Besides, who wants to smell a bog?”

Before he could answer, I asked, “I wanna know, who decided they should make peat bog incense and sell it? And that people would buy it?”

In all fairness, it gave off a “homey” smell. In my best Irish brogue I said, “All’s we need now is a fire and a pot of stew!”

Now Russ was the one rolling his eyes.

This, of course, elicited a whole evening of my best Irish accent, which completely cracked me up, knowing it only annoyed him at best.

Flatly, he said, “Ok, Daphne. Pipe down over there.”

I knew this was in reference to the character Daphne on the television show, Frasier.

I was incensed. “She’s not Irish, she’s British!!”

Looking me square in the eye, he said, “Yeah. I know.”


I asked Russ where he got it. I mean, this was a serious set-up after all. The miniature peat bog  brick sat like royalty in its square soapstone dish. Like Cinderella’s shoe, it was made to fit perfectly. Russ said he’d had it a few years. I thought to myself, “This isn’t 100-year old scotch. Do you really save incense for a perfect occasion down the road?”

Then I remembered.

It was just the other day that he pulled out a pocket-sized notebook in the car. Leaning over he said, “See this?” He was pointing to a word written in a foreign language on the back cover. I didn’t ask, waiting for him to continue and wondering where he was going with it.

He said, “I got this notebook in Germany.”

Ahhh, it was written in German.

“I’ve had this notebook since 2001.”

Ahhh, now I get it….

Incredulous, I shrieked, “But you haven’t written anything in it!!! The pages are all empty! What’s the point of buying a notebook and keeping it for eighteen years if you’re not going to write anything in it?!?!”

At which point, he tapped me on the top of the head with it.

I said, “You know all of this points to you being a hoarder, right??”

“It does not!!” he cried out.

“Ummm…yes it does! What about the 40 bars of soap under the bathroom sink??”

And just like that, leading the charge, I set my own trap.

“Oh yeah?? What about all of your books? All over the place…busting out of every bookcase…all over the floor… under the bed…EVERYWHERE?!?!”


I didn’t say another word.




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