Luck, Omens and Portents

I went out-of-town for a wedding this weekend.  Standing in the elevator (already running late for the wedding, of course), mentally counting the bing of the elevator as it passed each floor (doesn’t everyone do this?), my thoughts ran something like this:

Hurry up.  Hurry hurry hurry. 

Bing.  Bing.  3.  4.  Bing…

Huh, the bings wouldn’t work to tell a blind person which floor it is, because it only binged 13 times for my floor. 

Oh, never mind, the elevator computer voice is telling me the floor number.  Makes more sense than making people count constantly. 

Hurry, hurry hurry hurry hurry.

Room 1401 – no, not room – a suite!  With a king sized bed I could sleep on any which way, arms overhead, and never touch the edge.  Not only did it have a living room and kitchenette, but the washroom was divided into the toilet-and-shower room, and the mirror-filled sink-room.

I don’t stay in hotels very often, and it’s usually with the whole family packed two to a “queen” (why do they lie so much about sizes?  How is your queen sized bed narrower than my double?), with one on cushions on the floor.  A king sized (actually!) bed, and only one roommate for the night is mind-blowing.

The wedding was… giant.  6’10”, and 6”3, to be specific.  The new Mr. And Mrs. make me look like a small child, standing next to them.  Their wedding colours were orange and blue, which makes me love them all the more.  Congrats to my dear friends, may you live happily ever after, and may your future children not get taller than me until at least the age of 8.

Outside after the wedding and before it rained, a man just happened to be walking his giant blue macaw parrot.  Oddly not the first (or even the second) time in my visits to London in which I have encountered people out and about with their avian buddies.  The only reason I bring it up this time is that this bird matched the wedding party.  I’m sure it’s a sign that the marriage was meant to be, not that there was any doubt.  Or proof that birds of a feather flock together.

Calling it 14 is good luck

like this!

Back in the elevator after the wedding, I realised why there were only 13 bings.  The elevator pad has the Lobby, floor 1, 2, 3… 11, 12, 14.

I have to wonder whether people who have Triskaidekaphobia feel safer on the 13th floor, if it’s called the 14th floor instead?  Does the bad luck really come up to the floor, pause, baffled, and move along?  Perhaps casting a suspicious glare over its shoulder as it goes about its business?  Should I feel luckier that I’m in room 1301 (now that sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel!), disguised as room 1401?  I think they should maybe have added an additional bing in there, just to ensure the bad luck is thoroughly bamboozled.  I’ll leave out the fact that some cultures have a serious hang-up about anything containing the number Four.  Perhaps that bad luck is wilier, and realises that it’s actually the 13th floor.

black cat

“A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” – Groucho Marx
… a great quote the photographer of this particular shot included in the description!

Apparently some hotels simply choose to leave the 13th floor numbered as is, and fill it with maintenance facilities instead of guests.  Seems like a bad idea to fill a bad-luck cursed floor with ladders and brooms and heavy machinery.  Maybe a better idea than putting a black cat sanctuary in, I suppose.  I slept like a babe, on my full-bed-sized half of the most comfortable bed ever, in room 1301.

Don’t worry about the black cat crossing your path.  He isn’t black.  I’ve decided he’s ombre. Or perhaps, dusky grey. 

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  1. So you’re actually in London? And the Olympics are in London? Coincidence?

    • Oh… that sounds much more exciting. London, Ontario. Smaller, with a smaller Thames River, and a number of similar (but smaller) street names. And not in England.

  2. Doodled93

     /  August 2, 2012

    The number 4 thing is because in (I think it’s) mandarin 4 sounds a lot like ”die”
    So in a lot of places in Asia there’s no floor 4 🙂
    Glad the wedding went well

    • Interesting… and grim. I don’t think any numbers in english sound particularly threatening. Like, if I’m telling you I’d like 4 coffees, if it were in mandarin, it might sound more like I was a bit ‘off’, and said, “Hi, I’d like DIE!!!! coffee” 😛

  3. I’m going to say right away how I enjoyed this post. I don’t want to be the 13th person to comment.

  4. Stories like these always remind me of a very superstituous friend I had in university. We once stayed in a hotel together on the “14th” floor and I teased her the whole time about it being actually the 13th. She was horrified and claimed it was my fault every time something bad happened. We’re not friends any more, sadly. It’s too bad.

    • I’m torn between irritated and entertained when people treat superstitions as so very real… this girl sounds like more the entertaining, as long as not too many terrible things happened while you guys were staying on the ’14th’ floor.

  5. Lexy, this was the most fabulous read! It gave the the widest smile with my morning cup of tea. Lets hope the happy couple have many years of luck.

    • Thanks! I’m sure they will – They’ve already survived nearly a year of renovations at their house, which really is a good way of proofing whether a relationship is going to last, even better than just living together for the first time!

  6. LOL I always have to laugh at buildings that try to fool the bad luck.

    • I agree… I hadn’t really thought they would go to that extent to reassure people

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