A woman lost her eye in an unfortunate accident. She didn’t have a lot of money to buy a glass eye replacement, so she opted for the less expensive wooden eye. She was very insecure about her wooden eye and all of her friends tried to help her believe that no one would notice.
Finally her friends managed to get her to agree to go to a Sadie Hawkins-style dance. After standing alone against the wall for half the night she noticed a man standing on the opposite side of the room looking rather dejected. She noticed that he had a cleft palate – a “harelip.”
Sensing that he had his own insecurity to deal with, she decided to walk up to him. “Would you like to dance?” she asked.
He excitedly replied, “Would I?! Would I?!”
And they danced, and then later they had some punch.
ETIQUETTE: Unless you are going by some crazy newfangled system, the traditional gift for a fifth wedding anniversary is something made of wood. Millicent Fenwick of Vogue’s Book of Etiquette likes a good unvarnished wooden salad bowl, and perhaps some wooden serving utensils to go with it. When presented with the question “Where does the salad bowl go?”, Judith Martin in Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior advises “Directly under the salad.”
SUPERSTITION: The origin of touching or knocking on wood is often thought to relate to asking for protection from “The Cross,” but it actually pre-dates the Christian church and has its origins in the worship of trees. Depending on where and when you lived you might be a worshipper of ash trees, a worshipper of sycamores, or even of yews (yews – can you imagine? Oh boy. Yews). Eventually, however, the cult to be in was the cult of the oak tree. Out of all the trees, oaks seemed to be hit by lightning the most, so it was deduced that oaks were the home of the Sky God, who would punish a boasting person by striking him with lightning. So… I guess I need a witch to explain the whole part about why touching a tree that is most frequently hit by lightning is going to protect you from being hit by lightning, but that’s supposed to be the thinking behind knocking on wood. Let’s talk about something easier.
If you have a toothache, go find an oak tree. You can either slice a bit into the bark, put a bit of your hair into the cut and tell the oak tree that you are giving your toothache to it, or you can take an iron nail and rub it around your tooth until your gum starts bleeding, and then hammer the nail into the tree. If you have warts, you are going to need to find an ash tree. Yew trees don’t cure anything.