Readers, don't panic. But today is Friday the 13th.
What's that you say? You say you already know it's Friday the 13th, and are already planning to take extra care today, bad luck-wise? You won't be walking under any ladders or opening any umbrellas indoors, things like that?
Well, not so fast, Smarty Pants. Because there's a whole bunch of stuff to avoid today that are specific to runners—and we bet they're things you've never heard about.
Here are a few of the most common things that can spell bad luck for folks like us.
1. Seeing a Cat of Any Color...
...if the cat in question is behind the wheel of a car. It might look cute at first. But you will almost certainly be hit.
2. Hearing Someone Say "Well, at Least It's Not Raining"
Guaranteed to bring rain.
3. Spilling Salted Caramel Gu
This is considered very bad luck, going back to Biblical times, when Jesus went for a long run with Judas before the Last Supper and Judas accidentally smeared a bit of salted fig paste on his running buddy's tunic.
To counteract the effects, throw the remaining Salted Caramel Gu over your left shoulder immediately.
4. Hitting the Person Behind You With a Gu Packet
This has been known to result in bruises and facial abrasions.
5. Complaining About a Headwind
Doing so could anger Gusti, the mischievous god of air, causing him to manipulate the wind's force and direction to ensure you'll be running into the wind for the duration of your run—regardless of the direction you go. Or, if Gusti is in a particularly foul mood, causing him to give you a sexually transmitted disease. Sometimes Gusti can be a real asshole.
6. Farting an Odd Number of Times
We all need to pass gas now and then while we're running. That's fine, as long as it's done discreetly. Or loudly, if you're with fellow runners who laugh at that sort of thing. But did you know that it's considered bad luck to toot just once, or any odd number of times?
Historians trace this legend's origins to the 1896 Olympics, when, moments before the start of the 1500 meters, American Arthur Blake let one rip, drawing titters from the crowd and from fellow competitors. Edwin Flack of Australia, in a show of one-upmanship, responded with two forceful farts of his own. Blake would go on to lose the Gold Medal to Flack—by less than 1 second.
Ever since, it's been considered bad luck for a runner to fart an odd number of times.
7. Killing an Albatross
Doing so is said to bring bad luck to you and everyone else on your ship.
Note that this applies only to runners on ships.
8. Mispronouncing "Nike" to Rhyme With "Like"
Legend has it, this can cause the actual Nike—the Greek goddess of victory—to appear on Earth to smite you with a long 2x4, which she calls her "Victory Stick." She will tell you what she's about to do, except she'll pronounce "smite" to rhyme with "mighty," out of spite, which she will also pronounce to rhyme with "mighty."
9. Signing Up for a Marathon
Spooky but true—this can cause your toenails to blacken and even fall off. Even more sinister, this may not happen till months later.
Be careful out there, runners.