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Occasionally my three-year-old Geeklet will suddenly break into song:

“I like to move it, move it!

I like to move it, move it!

I like to move it, move it!

I like to . . . ”

Captain rockin out

And then everyone within hearing distance has to shout “MOVE IT!!” or we’ll jinx ourselves and the rest of the day will be a mess.

Funny how jinxes work. As a kid, they were just pretend. You said something at the same time as your best friend, and you had to hook your pinkie fingers together and say, “Jinx!” or you’d be jinxed. It was just for fun. A way to make childhood less annoying. But as an adult, through many and sordid experiences, I’ve finally had to reluctantly admit that jinxes, rather than being pretend, are all too real.

You know those times when you’re driving along, flipping between your two favorite radio stations, and with no warning at all, both stations are inexplicably playing the same song at the same time? Jinx.

What about those times you’re sitting at a stop sign waiting for your turn to go, and when it’s finally your turn the other guy to your right thinks it’s his turn, too?  You both hit the gas . . . and both hit the brakes. You think he has learned his lesson, so you hit the gas again, but so does he. Brakes again. Gas . . . brakes. Gas . . . brakes. This happens three or four times until you just decide to sit there and wave the other guy on, even though it’s not really his turn. You’ve been jinxed.

How about when you’re shopping, minding your own business, and you and some other shopper who wasn’t there two seconds ago decide to reach for the same pair of jeans at the same time? Whether you keep the jeans because, after all, you were there first, or you generously give them up to the other shopper, the result is the same: you’re jinxed.

So, what is a jinx, anyway? Well, the basic idea is that your day will deteriorate until you’ve been reduced to a frazzled mass of exposed nerve endings huddled in a trembling heap on your bedroom floor at the end of the evening. This sad fate can only be avoided by one thing: getting un-jinxed, duh (as my 6-year-old self would say).

Un-jinxing can happen in two ways, and only two. The first option is simply the Double-Jinx, where your second jinx of the day cancels out the first one; the second option involves fortune cookies. Since the Double-Jinx option is pretty self-explanatory, I’ll only elaborate on option number two.

Method for Getting Un-Jinxed via Fortune Cookie Fortunes:

1) Take yourself out to lunch. (Chinese food, obviously.)

2) Stuff your face with yummy horrible-for-you American-stye Chinese food until you’re floating comfortably in a carb-induced serotonin cloud; then reach for the fortune cookies.

3) Break one cookie at a time until you find a fortune that “clicks” for you. If you don’t know what I mean by “clicks” this method won’t work. Sorry.

4) Proverbs don’t count. They are fortune cookies, not proverb cookies. If you don’t know the difference between a fortune and a proverb, this method won’t work. Sorry.

5) Eat every cookie you’ve broken. If you don’t eat every single broken cookie, this method won’t work. Sorry.

6) After finding your lucky fortune, memorize it and put it in your pocket. Keep it there for the rest of the day. At this point, your jinx will be lifted. Congratulations! If you don’t have any pockets today, this method won’t work. Sorry.

7) Essential last step: at the end of the day, leave the lucky fortune in your pocket. Put your clothes through the wash with the fortune still in the pocket. If you neglect this critical last step, all that yummy horrible-for-you Chinese food you gorged on earlier will come back to haunt you and you won’t get any sleep all night. Sorry.

Of course, it would be really nice if you could just avoid the whole un-jinxing issue by not getting jinxed to begin with . . . but that’s a story for a whole other blog post. 😉

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