Will Washing a Lucky Race Shirt Remove Its Luck?

 iStockphoto.com

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Dear Dumb Runner,
Please tell my husband that there's no such thing as a lucky race shirt. And even if such a thing could exist, how could a washing machine possibly wash the luck out of it?—Arlene, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey


Dear Arlene,

Yes, Arlene, there is such a thing as a lucky race shirt. They exist as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no lucky race shirts. It would be as dreary as if there were no Arlenes. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in lucky race shirts! You might as well not believe in fairies!* 

So, yeah. Your husband is correct on both counts. Lucky race shirts do exist, and a washing machine can and will wash the luck out of them. I'm not sure how, exactly. I believe it has something to do with the agitator.

Lucky race shirts may be hand washed, however, or dry cleaned.

Yours,
Mark

* Apologies to Francis Pharcellus Church and New York's The Sun for the first half of today's response.


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