September 13, 2013
Five stars on Yelp almost invariably means that the menu includes some sort of fluffy pancake with a berry compote.
Five stars on Yelp almost invariably means that the menu includes some sort of fluffy pancake with a berry compote.

13. Umbrellas: Opening umbrellas in the house actually does nothing. Correct superstitions include: If you actually remember to bring an umbrella, it won’t rain. The instant you comment on the fact that you haven’t lost an umbrella in a while, your umbrella is bound to vanish.
12. If it’s landed on red the last six times and you bet on black, you will lose money! Also, you should stop gambling because you don’t understand how probability works.
10. Every time you buy a pair of Toms, someone far away is given a pair of unsightly fabric shoes.
10. If you break your smartphone screen, you will have anywhere from a week to several months of bad luck, depending on your update plan, and sometimes to compound the injury people will write trend pieces about you.
9. Four-leaf clovers still bring good fortune, but only if you wait at least three minutes before Instagramming your encounter with them. Other rarities that bring good fortune include: graffiti of unfortunate nicknames (“Stink”) or highly unthreatening phrases (“IKEA”), tasteful, subtle lower-back tattoos.
8. Mirrors still steal your soul, but if you don’t have a mirror handy, just send someone a picture of yourself without underwear. This gives that person power over you for life. Unless you send it on Snapchat.
7. If a black cat crosses your path, you are lucky because you got to interact with a cat! Maybe you can take it home! Mm, cats are the best. Did you know that fewer black cats are adopted than cats of other hues? People can be terrible.
6. Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue no longer cut it for your wedding. You need something vintage, something ironic, something quirky to show that you are still individuals even though you’re partaking in this antiquated ritual and, apparently, an engagement album. I don’t know why you actually need an engagement album, but it seems that you do. Also, something from Pinterest.
5. Every time you try to write a piece in the format of a numbered list, the number of items either exceeds or falls short of your initial estimate, or you forget to include 11.
4. If you eat catfish before a blind date the odds are rendered much much slimmer that the person in question is actually a creepy obese basement-dweller.
4. Every time someone proposes marriage or gets married in a manner that becomes a heartwarming viral dance video, someone else is forced to have the most awkward conversation of his or her life in front of a group of confused and disappointed dancers.
3. Every time you leave a comment on someone’s writing online branding her a “lousy smut-peddler” or calling him “someone who needs a good dentist, but whom I would think twice before recommending a good dentist to,” you make it less likely that the person in question would be reading the comments in the first place.
2. Every time you use the word “twerk” something beautiful and joyous that has lasted thousands of years* gets a little bit destroyed.
1. Every time you dress up as Sexy [Thing That Isn't Really A Profession] for Halloween, somebody** sets back the feminist movement a little bit.

*Specifically, the English language.
**You

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.