The stars were out that night and love was in the air. OK that may not exactly be the case, but I thought that sentence would make a nice start for a story. I had never heard of that expression about kissing the clock when it turned eleven minutes past eleven in order to get lucky, but I was a firm believer that if you were able to bend the stirrer in half to the point where both of the stirrer tips were touching each other, that this would happen. Let me start with the clock first, and contrary to what you may have heard, this has nothing to do with being a doorway into the spiritual world.
Did you ever notice people that start glancing at the clock just before it turns 11:11? This can be done in the AM or PM for 11:11, as it has become the time where people make their wish to obtain good luck. It’s just a superstition, but many people actually ‘kiss the clock’ when it shows 4 ones or double digit elevens, to acquire good luck. People have the ability to see patterns everywhere and this is a good thing as without this I would never have been able to pass calculus. I heard that someone once sold a slice of pizza for a million dollars, because it looked like it showed a picture of the Virgin Mary. The German neurologist, Klaus Conrad coined the term apophenia to describe the experience of seeing patterns or making connections within random or meaningless data. Many people have this apophenia and although they may see a significance in the pattern revealed when the digital clock says 11:11, I do not put too much stock in this meaningless fallacy.
Way back in the day, well I guess MADD Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has just begun their existence, but it did not universally catch on yet, well at this time in my life I was a drinker. I drank a lot, every night sometimes to the point of collapsing anywhere. I had a job, not a great paying one, but since I still lived with my parents, I had pocket money. I enjoyed going to the clubs and I had just graduated from beer to mixed drinks, because I deemed them to be more sophisticated. Now on to the tiny straw that is shrouded in mystery. I guess mixed drinks are sometimes referred to as cocktails, but my drink was either Tangere and tonic or sometimes I might switch off to Smirnoff vodka with Coke. All these drinks featured stirrers.
My grandmother was Irish, which also makes me Irish and the Irish are renown for drinking, gambling, fighting and superstitions among other things. I have no idea where this stirrer superstition came from, but all of my friends, who might also be classified as drunks practiced this. I imagine that the stirrers are included in all the drinks to keep them mixed as the ice melts. My drinks never lasted long enough for the ice to melt, so the stirrers were sort of useless to me. That is until I heard about deriving good luck from them.
The trick is to remove your stirrer from your drink and then position it between your thumb and your fore finger, where you apply pressure till the stirrer bends. If after the stirrer is bent and both tips touch each other, meaning that you had bent it exactly in half, then this was the sign that you would get lucky that night. I bent a whole lot of stirrers back in the day and then it happened, and I was to get lucky. I guess that even a blind pig finds an apple every now and then, but I was elated that this was to be my night.
The way I viewed getting lucky was that it meant that I would meet someone and it actually had nothing to do with actually having sex, but being a guy I always tried to get to first base and it would have been even better if I could manage to touch all the bases and arrive at home plate. I had gone to the club with a buddy of mine, but we had split up and we were mingling with different people at this point. I looked for him in the crowd to show him my lucky stirrer, but since I was not able to locate him, I just stuffed the stirrer in my shirt pocket.
I remember meeting these two girls, when one of them asked me what time it was, no it was not 11:11, and I told them the time and I showed them my lucky stirrer. They each told me that they had boyfriends, but they were both kind of cute, so I stuck around to keep chatting with them. I remember rambling on about a satellite system that I was designing, which would beam the correct time into everyone’s watch and all the clocks for that matter. I explained how nice this would be if everyone had the exact same time and then I went on to enlighten about how much time this would save when you had to set all the clocks forward or backwards each year. These girls thought that I was brilliant and then one of them said that since I was able to express myself so well, why was it that I didn’t have a girl friend? Cute is one thing, but cute and annoying is something else and I did not need that, so I told her that she made a good point and then I left them to find love.
My drink was empty, what a lush I was, so I went to the bar to get another, however the club was crowded and with all the thirsty people there, I could see that it would take a while before I was able to get the bartenders attention. I knew all about tipping and I knew that if I could edge my way close enough that the bartender would recognize me as a preferred patron. While I was waiting and watching the band, someone behind me tapped me on the shoulder. When I turned around this girl held up this belt and asked me if it belonged to me. I have no idea why I grabbed it, but I told that girl that it would never fit me and my best guess was that it belonged to some chick.
Now I am still several people deep, before I actually can get to the bar and besides having my empty glass in my hand, I now also had this stupid belt. I was determined to get rid of it, so I asked a girl standing nearby me if it was her belt. She was real cute and she had a pink feather in her hair. She put both of her hands on her hips and swiveled from side to side and then she announced that it was not her belt, because she was wearing her belt. I thought that she looked so cute sashaying there right in front of me, so I reached through a crowd of people to place my empty glass on the bar, it is always good to have long arms and then I dropped that stupid belt and it emerged into an abyss of oblivion, never to be seen again. Well the sweeper probably got it the next day and then I smiled at her and I grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s dance.” If it was not for that stupid belt we would never have met and it just goes to show that you never know when you will get lucky.