Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday, May 13th, 2007:
Magpies in Helsingborg -
One for sorrow, two for joy...

What I think:

One for sorrow
Two for joy...

But what does it mean? What does it mean to see one magpie? Or two?

Is it all a personal thing, based upon superstitions we've heard since we were very young, like 27 years old (or younger, if you're going on 26, for example)?


But I covered this rhyme, along with its implications for me personally, on March 5th last year. Read about it here ->

In a nutshell, I wrote about how here in Helsingborg I always ever see just a single magpie.

As the superstition goes, to protect yourself from imminent sorrow, you're supposed to say something like "Say hello to your brother", implying that the particular magpie you see is not an only child (or not an "only chick"?), and that he/she usually hangs out with his/her brother (he/she never has a sister), but the brother in question has a touch of the old bird flu. Or something.

Well, strangely, I've noticed something a bit different over the past recent months. I still only ever see a single magpie when I'm out and about by myself, but when I'm out with my girlfriend (of 29 weeks and one day - but who's counting?), I always see two.

Isn't that just so romantically nice that it makes you want to puke everywhere? Personally, it just freaks me out.

In any case, the other day, while I was on my way - by myself - to do my second report on pub toilets (US/CAN: bathrooms, wahsrooms, restrooms, etc.) in Helsingborg, I was terrified to see this:
Yes, it was a single magpie.

And it was on the lawn of Helsingborg's city cemetary.

I mean, there I was, just walking along happily, going out for a beer or two and having the joy of taking magnificent photos of glorious public conveniences at the same time - it felt like the world was such a happy and joyous place; nothing could get me down.

But when I saw that, my world suddenly totally, absolutely crumbled, and I just froze with terror.

Me freezing with terror looks something like this:
OK, perhaps it doesn't look lke I'm freezing with terror, but this was the least pornographic image I could find of myself on such short notice, and besides, different people deal with terror in different ways, alright? I just happen to deal with it in this way. That's all.

I think it's just ignorant of so many people to expect everyone's reactions to terror to look the same, and it's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.

7 Comments:

Blogger carrie said...

funny ending!

last time i saw a magpie there were at least two. whew.

3:23 am  
Blogger hexacontium said...

Funny story.
*looking out of the window in my Dutch exile*
Ah, at least 7 magpies around. Could it be the Swedish government shipped them to us?

7:01 pm  
Anonymous tina oiticica harris said...

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9:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to know that the collective noun for magpies is "A tidings" - perhaps that should be bad tidings???

Here is another version...

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil's own sel'.

Moozey xxx

2:56 pm  
Blogger Serena Joy said...

Hmm. I think it looks like a perfectly appropriate look of terror. I might look much the same if I were to happen across a solitary magpie. I should learn the verses, just in case.:)

4:19 pm  
Blogger Swedish_Bikini_Team said...

That's funny because I see single magpies *all the time* and there certainly isn't an overabundance of sorrow in my life. Maybe you have to have been brought up with these superstitions in order for them to apply to you.

1:39 pm  
Blogger Suray said...

You look great bro... (the photo)

11:23 am  

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