There comes a time in every man’s life where desperation takes control over your mind. It is usually at a time when things look the darkest that you begin to assess what you thought was reality and what was really just a delusion. These are the times when you learn the most about yourself. Are you the kind of person who will shun these calls to action and cower in a corner or will you be the type of person who will take the situation by its horns and wrestle it to the ground and come out victorious?
I like to think of myself as a rational educated man. Notice I didn’t say I was a rational educated man just that I like to think of myself as being one. That’s kind of a big distinction especially as this story plays out.
As a logical thinking rational person who has graduated from college and attended graduate school I have been taught that the concepts of luck and superstitions do not hold bearing in the real world. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that would substantiate the notion that wearing a specific number, putting your socks on in a specific order, eating at a particular restaurant will equate to success regardless of the activity. In school I totally bought into those conclusions. After all, a person’s success is directly related to hard work and putting yourself in a position to take advantage of the external stimuli to coax the desired outcome.
The problem is that all of that logic and knowledge has never played baseball. If those scientists that came up with all of that had actually played the game they would know it is never that simple. I can guarantee that the first time one of those psychologists went 0-20 in their diagnosis or blew a save situation they would be trying to find absolutely anything that would help them out of their slump.
Having been a player I can attest that these superstitions are very real. I remember going 5-5 at the plate one time after eating pancakes. For the rest of the season I had to have a pancake before the game or I would go hitless. Or the time when I stole 3 bases in one game after I tied my shoes left foot, right foot, left foot (untied and retied). I nearly wore out a set of shoelaces with that ritual.
Being a player is one thing, I later realized that what I was doing was trying to equate simple tasks to something where I had confidence. Most of the game is mental and if I could get my mind in the right place I might focus on what I did to make myself successful.
As a fan this stuff has very little meaning. After all, I really can’t control any aspect of the game and therefore it is just silly to get wrapped up in superstitions. Still, I cannot even begin to explain the Lucky Hat and the mojo it contained. So when the Diamondbacks began this losing streak I somehow felt like I needed to find a way to help the team. Since there was no way that Trina was going to let me go to San Francisco it wasn’t like I could do a Glenn Close in The Natural and stand up in a white dress so Robert Redford would hit a home run. First Robert Redford doesn’t play for the Diamondbacks and secondly I look like crap in a white dress.
I needed to find something though. I can barely stand to see the team struggle like they are. I looked back at my life and tried to think if there was anything I was doing that was somehow different than it was before Los Angeles. I racked my brain for two days trying to come up with something, anything. About the only thing I could think of was that I had changed razor blades during that time period. Of course, that had to be it. I got a bad razor blade, one that was full of bad luck.
I went into the master bathroom and threw away the blade. Trina questioned why I was throwing away a blade that had only been used 5 times. I explained that I was sure that the razor was jinxed and that not only did this blade need to be thrown away but it must be destroyed beyond recognition. I asked her where my old razor blade was. She looked puzzled and explained that it was thrown away. I ran over to the garbage can and began rummaging through it looking for my old blade. Trina explained that the garbage had been taken out. She went on to say something about how that was my job but that she got tired of waiting or something like that. I quit listening about part way through the first sentence. I really should have listened because then I might have heard her say that the garbage man had come the day before and emptied our garbage can. That might have been good information to have before I dumped garbage all over our front yard.
When I finally realized that the lucky razor blade was gone and cleaned up the garbage on our driveway, I started to panic a little. What if that razor blade causes the team to miss the playoffs? I started to get a large pit in my stomach like I always do when I can’t fix something. I had lost the lucky razor; that was bad. But I threw away the jinxed razor so that was good. Still the Diamondbacks were losing that’s definitely not good. I had no way of knowing whether it was just one razor blade that was jinxed or if I got a whole package of jinxed blades. I definitely could not take any chances. I decided right then that I would not shave any more until the Diamondbacks win a game. At least then I’ll know whether the jinxed blade was singular or if the whole package was possessed.
The Diamondbacks lost again today even though I didn’t shave so I am now wondering what I need to do. Tonight I took the jinxed razor blade out of the house and put it in the trash can outside. Maybe it was just too close. This is definitely not good. I am starting to stress out a little bit. I think it is affecting the family too. They are looking at me different this week than they did before. I can’t tell whether they can sense something is wrong or if it is just the fact that I haven’t shaved in 6 days.