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- Find a penny, pick it up, and all day long you’ll have good luck.
- —Children’s saying
Sally was a schoolyard scamp, and superstitious despite her young age. Her mother had inadvertently passed on her notions; most notably the notion that picking up a penny tails-up was bad luck.
That particular notion came about one day when her mother got into a spot of bad luck and blamed a penny.
“You leave that alone, John Michael!” she shouted at a poor kid going to pick up a coin on the ground one stormy recess.
She was a unique character in that she—like her mother—believed that only her ideals were the truth. The only real difference is that her mother had religious ideals and her ‘superstitions’ were little more than excuses that Sally happened to take as truth.
“I told you not to pick it up! Don’t you know what you’re doing?” she yelled as she slapped the penny out of John Michael’s hand.
When it landed, the coin was face-up. Sally saw this and leapt at the chance to prove her point about coins and luck.
She seized the coin and held it up high. “See?” she shouted at the children around her. “It’s like I say. Tails, bad! Heads, good! This was face-up. This is lucky!”
She was promptly struck by a bolt of irony.