Don’t Step on a Crack

Editor’s Note: Today is Veteran’s Day here in the US, a day we take the time to thank those brave soldiers who have served in our nation’s fine military and done their parts to preserve our freedom. My father served briefly, and today I take this moment to thank him for his years of service. In the blogging community, I’m aware of two bloggers who have served. Please take a moment to visit BrainRants and Gabriel and thank them for their service and dedication to our great nation. They are both great men, and have seen and done things that would probably have broken me. For that I admire them and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them both for their service. I know my paltry words do no justice to the great deeds they have done, but I don’t know that any words can.


A majority of the most important things we learn in life we learn by the time we’re in kindergarten. Most everything we do from day to day is imbedded into us during those precious early years. How to walk. How to talk. How to feed ourselves. How to dress ourselves. How to tie our shoes. How to treat people. How to use the potty. Manners. I’m sure there are a lot of things that could be added to this list, but they’re things we do on a daily basis without paying much attention to them.

It’s funny how ingrained certain things become from our childhood. Certain things become inherent in us without making any conscious effort to do so. Habitual. Most of these things are important. Some of them are not.

I’ve recently discovered one of those habitual things that is of no importance whatsoever.

Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your momma’s back.

I’m sure we all remember that game from our childhood. We’d waltz up and down our driveways and sidewalks as children chanting that particular line to ourselves while actively avoiding every single crack in the pavement. Of course, nothing ever happened if we did accidentally step on one of those dangerous cracks, at least to my knowledge. My mom is still alive and isn’t paralyzed so I can only surmise that this game was some sadistic trick played on us unsuspecting and naïve children.

It’s a five-minute walk from the parking lot at work to my office. During these lonesome strolls I find myself staring at the ground as a saunter along half-awake. And I’ve noticed recently that, without any deliberate decision to do so, I deftly sidestep every crack along my path. I’ll shorten my stride. I’ll lengthen it. I’ll angle my foot so the tip of my shoe doesn’t cross paths with one of those malevolent cracks. When I get about halfway to my office I notice I’m doing it, but still cannot make myself stop. The rest of my walk in is then spent pondering why I still avert these cracks and debating whether or not I should write a post about it.

I think the post debate can finally be laid to rest.

It’s amazing sometimes what my mind will hold on to. It puzzles me how I habitually fall into the childhood habit of lithely dodging cracks in the pavement with no mental effort made at all, yet I can often walk into a room and totally forget what the hell I went in there for. Or I’ll get home from the grocery store and realize I forgot to buy milk, something I buy every frickin’ week. Or worse, I’ll remember to buy the milk but leave it in the trunk. The mind is a mysterious enigma. At least, my mind is. I can’t attest to anyone else’s, but some of you guys make me wonder.

It’s all good, though. At least I know no matter how awful my memory becomes that I’ll avoid those dreaded cracks at all costs. Your back is safe, mom.

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About Twindaddy (332 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

84 Comments on Don’t Step on a Crack

  1. I’ve always been a contrarian (I guess I learned that in childhood), so I’d always make purposeful efforts to step on cracks as I walked, and sometimes still do. It irritates the heck out of me when I see baseball pitchers intentionally avoid stepping on the foul line as they walk back to the dugout…

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  2. Thanks for the shout out, Twindaddy. That’s awesome.

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  3. I see you worked “mommeh” into the photo caption. You weren’t kidding in your post the other day.

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  4. I still do that sometimes (It’s my mom’s back on the line here!).

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  5. I don’t step on cracks either! Until I notice I’m not stepping on them, then i make a conscious effort to step on as many cracks as I possibly can. It feels weird, though.

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  6. I like the old saying “keep saying Mom over and over again and she’ll blow a gasket” – this one is true!

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  7. I, for one, patently refused to learn one single motherfuckin’ after kindergarten!

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  8. Won’t laugh at this one. I am the queen of stupidstition, as my brother in law would call it. For better or worse, my memory is still pretty decent.

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  9. Thanks TD, you are awesome 🙂

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  10. It’s Remembrance Day in Canada, and I still avoid stepping on cracks, just because…

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  11. Graceful, are you?

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  12. Yay! I’m not the onleh weirdo!

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  13. That’s a fun game, avoiding cracks. Don’t feel stupid^^

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  14. I think there is. I tend to be anal about some things…

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  15. I avoid sidewalk cracks, and I count my steps, and just to make you feel better – I occasionally dump milk or orange juice in the coffeh maker instead of water. Who can function properly at 6am?

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  16. I count stairs, and avoid cracks to this day. I kind of blame Sesame Street for the counting thing. Or a touch of OCD.

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  17. I don’t step on cracks, either. And my mom died in 1997. Her back was fine, which proves that I took good care of her, to infinity and beyond.

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  18. Isn’t it amazing how these things become ingrained in us? You can draw so many more analogies to other things in life

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  19. That is tattooed on my brain, but please don’t ask me to do long division. Clearly the threat of maiming my mother is what it takes to get me to remember shit.

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