Etiquette & superstition: spectator sport car crashes

In doing some additional research for today’s post, I came across a cute story from about twenty years ago about a couple of high school sweethearts in Racine, WI who were finally getting married on Friday the 13th in order to break their bad luck. Their two previous attempts at marriage had been thwarted by bad circumstances, but this time they were attempting some sort of superstition overload in order to make things work: the ceremony started at the 13th hour, the wedding party was wearing black (13 bridesmaids, 13 groomsmen) and the guests all had to walk under a ladder to get into the reception. It was a cute story.

It was hard to tell, however, if they were just cherry-picking their bad luck in order to seem more dramatic. The bride admitted that she could make good things happen when she wiggled her nose, like make the cars start crashing at a boring demolition derby, and she had won a prize in a contest by playing her lucky number which included 13 in it. Perhaps most luckily, the future groom had been in a car accident ten years previous to the story, in which his steering wheel suddenly fell off and caused him to roll into a ditch and flip over several times, but he walked away from the crash. Also, he had convinced his pregnant bride-to-be not to get into the car at the last minute.

The story was so cute that I decided to see how the happy couple was doing twenty years on. It seems they are now divorced and their oldest child died at a rather young age. I don’t feel like posting a link to that part of the story because the whole thing was so dang sad. Here’s hoping things go better for the both of them, and let’s think about a nicer time when the bride could make cars crash with her nose.

ETIQUETTE: Demolition derby drivers are supposed to crash into their fellow drivers’ cars, but it is extremely poor form to ram into the driver side door. This is supposed to be fun and games, folks, not a source of injuries.

SUPERSTITION: Red cars don’t get in as many crashes as cars of other colors, and green cars get in the most crashes. Peanuts in the shell are not to be sold, brought to or eaten at car races (other than demolition derbies) because they cause terrible crashes. Shelled peanuts are fine.


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