If you open an umbrella inside, I will yell at you. I will. It’s just an instinct. Once, when I was younger, I opened an umbrella inside, and my mom screamed at me, and told me that I was gonna have bad luck for a week. Soon after that, I broke a mirror, which means bad luck for seven years. That expires in a month, so I’m being a little bit more cautious than usual.

“Ben, can you get the paper?”

Hell no, Mom! This is my final stretch of bad luck! For crying out loud, I could get hit by a car, or eaten by a raccoon!”

Maybe a little too cautious. But what can I say, I was raised superstitious, and I take it pretty seriously. A few weeks ago at school, someone opened an umbrella inside, and I had to fight the urge to tackle them. Then, last week, at a school a cappella concert, a group used umbrellas in one of their numbers, and half of the auditorium turned and stared at me. I mean, I guess it’s justified, but there are a few exceptions to the umbrella superstition:

  • The umbrella is open for theatrical purposes.
  • The umbrella is not an umbrella, but a parasol.
  • Someone pulled a fire alarm, and there are sprinklers on the ceiling.

But honestly, if you open an umbrella inside for the hell of it, or to dry it off, you just ruined everyone’s week for no reason. So thanks a lot. And also, don’t go to the hardware store on my block. They have open umbrellas in the windows. What a good way to eliminate an entire group of customers.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go knock on wood, throw salt over my left shoulder, get up, spin three times, and take out the trash.

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