Ahh, the wonderful, fresh smell of cut grass and the lovely sound of lawn mowers and those delightful leaf blowers filling the bedroom. There is nothing better than waking up on a spring morning with the sun shining and the birds chirping. Especially if it’s opening day of MLB season.
I jumped out of bed with a little extra skip in my step as I began to freshen up, brush my teeth and get my uniform on to start the day. I have a daily dressing routine. I always put the left sock on first before the right. Measuring tape hooked on my right hip, then phone in back right pocket, followed by my wallet in my back left. Next, I put one red sharpie marker into my shirt pocket, followed by my pen. Lastly, that trusty, old, reliable, pencil in my left ear. Now, you must be wondering, why am I sharing with you how I get dressed in the morning? Right? Well, I'm not going to tell you just quite yet, but you’ll soon figure it out.
I continued the routine. I made the coffee, eggs and my lunch for the day and was out the door. I always like to take a half-day on New York Yankees’ Opening Day and try to meet up with my father-in-law, Rich and his clan. However, right around 1:00, when I was supposed to cut out from work, a leaking water heater call came in, and I found myself dancing with a 50-gallon heater for a few hours instead.
I took my time, as I always try to do, ensuring all of my solder joints were clean and pipe work straight and beautiful. I was tempted to wrap up my tools and torch before introducing water into the new tank, as I was getting eager to meet up for the second half of the Yankees’ game. However, in the back of mind were my co-workers saying, “Never wrap up that torch before ensuring all joints are holding, because if you do, you will jinx yourself, and you will have at least one leaky solder joint!”
So, with those words ringing in my ears and wanting to wrap up and watch some baseball, I chose to fill the water heater and fire her up before bugging out. End result? No leaks. Would there have been a leak if I wrapped up the torch early? Maybe, but I wasn’t willing to put the jinx to the test that afternoon.
After wrapping up the job, I jumped into the truck, hit the road and began making my way to the pub to watch the second half of the game. I turned on the radio to check the score and inning.
“Well, here we go to the top of the seventh. Michael Pineda of the New York Yankees has a no-hitter going,” said, John Sterling on NY 101.9FM-The Fan.
“What, a no-hitter?!” I said out loud. “I’ve got to get over there to see this on television.”
I finally showed up to the pub, walked through the doors and began to scan the bar for my father-in-law and his clan. Everyone was sitting at the corner of the bar as they waived me over.
“Hi guys. Some game we got here, huh?” I asked.
They all responded with a quick, disinterested, “Yeah so far it’s been a decent game.”
I thought to myself, “Hmm, why are they acting so weird? Are they angry I was late?” I then turned to the bartender and ordered myself a beer. I turned to the group and said, “Cheers, guys! What’s with the long faces? The Yankees have a no-hitter going through seven innings!”
Well, you would have thought I said the most inappropriate thing ever. Their eyes grew wide, and their jaws dropped, as the bar became silent.
“I can't believe you just said that!” they yelled. “That’s it. You just jinxed the no-hitter.”
I shrugged my shoulders, laughed and said, “Come on. You don’t honestly believe that, do you?”
“Watch and see now. They will definitely get a hit right here,” they said. I turned to the T.V., and began to secretly pray that he would strike out the batter. Three pitches later, the hitter slapped the ball to right field, and the no-hitter was broken up.
“I can’t believe that just happened,” I thought to myself as the entire bar booed me and threw rolled up bar napkins towards my direction. Let’s just say it ended up being an expensive afternoon, as I was buying rounds for the terrible mistake.
We all have our silly and crazy superstitions. We feel that if we do or don’t do something, that we may or may not jinx ourselves.
Just a few weeks ago on a late Friday evening, I was wrapping up an indirect water heater installation. I was just about to introduce water into the system, but I decided to clean up, wrap up my tools, and yes, dare I say it, put away my soldering materials and torch. I figured I’d get a head start on wrapping everything up and only have to worry about eliminating the air from the coil. That voice inside my head kept saying: “Don’t put away your torch and soldering tools until you’re certain there are no leaks. Don’t jinx yourself.” Well, I ignored those thoughts this time and began to clean up. Sure enough, I bet you can guess what happened. Yup, there was a leak on the supply-side piping feeding the tank coil.
Did I jinx myself? Maybe. But I’m not quite sure if I want to find out the hard way again. I know many of you reading this article right now can think of a few superstitions you may have when it comes to our industry. If so, please share with me, as I would love to know what they are! Email me!