I was tapping the lid of my soda can when someone asked me “Does that really do anything?”
“No,” I replied, “I don’t think it really does. I just can’t open a lid of soda without tapping on it first.”
It was at this moment that I realized that I believed in scientific superstition.
It’s not a traditional type of superstition. When I think traditional superstition I think of someone who would throw a handful of excess salt over their shoulder. This is done to retain whatever “good luck” they might have, and ward off any “bad luck” that might come their way. Of course those of us less fortunate, without this little tidbit of information, might be foolish enough to throw that salt in the trash, sink or someplace equally unthinkable.
When I tap on the lid of the soda can I’m willing it to not be carbonated. I believe that by tapping four or five times, all excess bubbles will disappear. I don’t think it will happen by magic, but have this bizarre faith in science as my magic. I believe that by tapping science will make the carbonation vanish. I don’t believe in good luck or back luck, unless you count being covered in soda pop. This brings us to the superstition. All said and done I have no real faith that tapping on the lid is doing anything at all, besides making a slightly pleasant sound. Even with this knowledge, I can no more open a soda without tapping than I can cross the street without looking. That is all out superstition.
This reminds me of a previous post about Coke, in which I told you about people putting their fingers in the soda to reduce the amount it fizzes up. This is yet another example of scientific superstition. They could stay dry, but they are blinded by their finger poking ways. They don't see that the fizz would receed on its own, and canot see the ridiculousness of the whole idea. I suppose as long as I’m a ‘tapper’ I have little room to criticize other soda fizz reducer notions.
I was trying to think of other scientific superstitions and one came to me while driving. Have you ever been at a stop light when someone starts to flash their lights? This is scientific superstition at its best. The reasoning in this; some traffic lights have sensors that pickup emergency vehicle lights. So if a fire truck, ambulance, or police cruiser come barreling down the road, the light will change in the favor of that direction. These people armed with that scrap of knowledge begin flashing their headlights like a Morse Code signal. If for some unknown bit of coincidence the light does change, this emboldens their theory and gives credence to their absurd habit.
Anyway for those of us who hold to some unreasonable scientific superstition, I can offer little help. I know that I have no plans of cutting out my soda tapping ways regardless of how absurd of an activity. So for the scientific superstitious among us, throw away your rabbits foot, because we're armed with science.