Talismans – Go Yankees!

Last night, I heard news of the first nine innings of the Yankees game only intermittently as various men in my family returned periodically to the dinner table to report, conversationally, “one-all”, or terribly, “down three to one,” or amazingly, “A-Rod tied it in the Ninth!”

I missed Mariano.  (Dishes.)  But sat through some of Aceves’ inning.  (He was the second Yankee closer, who also did an admirable, if nail-biting job.)

I am sometimes concerned that I’m not good luck for the Yankees.  This is probably just grandiosity on my part.  But I worry, when they are down and when I am watching, that my own insecurities pass in a reverse osmosis through the television screen, and endanger their efforts.

So after a few minutes  in which nothing good was happening, I left the TV room and helped the Yankees in the only way I could think of, that is, putting up a “Go Yankees” post, with a repeat elephant baseball picture, hoping for luck.

Silly, sure.  Except that a few minutes later (even with me watching), Teixera hit his wall-scraper home run!


I’m not taking any credit.   But I’m reminded of the man in South India who put salt around his porch to ward away tigers.  When told that no tigers had ever been sited in that part of India, he nodded at the salt, “effective, isn’t it?”

Few people know that I have protected New York City from further terrorist attack by wearing a certain silver-balled necklace every single day since 9/11.

My mother wards off car accidents among family members by wearing the color blue.   (This can be quite difficult when it is too hot in Florida for a certain favorite periwinkle jacket, and her cerulean short sleeve shirt is dirty.)

My husband keeps loved ones safe through three knocks on the vehicle that holds them.   (He sometime has to do this on the trunk of the cab to the airport since it’s pretty hard to get close enough to airplanes to knock on them these days.)

I can’t really speak for my mother and husband.  I can only say that I don’t just adopt any object or action—the talisman has to proven to work.   This means that I don’t pick a lucky object, rather the object presents itself to my notice after the magic has already started working.  In the case of my silver necklace, for example, I conveniently realized, after several weeks of just happening to wear it, that no further terrorist act had happened in NYC.   (In this sense, I am quite different from Charlie Chaplin, who seemed, at least in City Lights, to adopt talismans in a rather desperate ad hoc way that proved comically inefficient.   I’m thinking here of the scene before his boxing match, in which he sneaks a rabbit’s foot from a very brawny professional-looking boxer and rubs it all over himself only to see the boxer carried out on a stretcher.  Then Chaplin tries frantically to rub the rabbit aura off .)

Oddly, one reason that I like the Yankees is that their success does not seem to depend on luck.   (Yes, they have good luck, and their own little talismanic rituals to keep hold of it.)    But, of course what the Yankees really rely on (aside from Mariano) is skill.   (Yes, this skill was bought with multi-digit figures I don’t want to think of.)   But what impresses me even more than the Yankees’ skill, is their endurance–the way they just keep going– beyond bad luck, beyond bad odds, beyond even those times when their skills have failed them and their prior innings’ performances have been embarrassingly bad (especially considering their pay).  They just keep trying until the very last out.

Probably even without silver necklaces.

If you liked elephant baseball, check out 1 Mississippi by Karin Gustafson at link above.

Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized, Yankees

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