Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Stupid Human Trick

Stupid human tricks, we all have one. Some odd, peculiar talent that we either acquired over time or were born with and discovered accidently. Like being double-jointed in the thumb or being able to mimic a certain animal call. Quirks that separate us from others but serve no plausible purpose whatsoever in our lives other than to impress our school mates momentarily on the schoolyard or wow 'em at the frat kegger. (like my B.I.L., who can glug down a bottle of beer whilst standing on his head-yeah...that'll brand you a chick magnet, f'sure.)

Spring is exploding around here in the hills and with the new flush of brilliant green grass and clovers cropping up all around, I'm once again getting fixated on my one lone God given talent: I can spot a 4 leaf clover in a patch of clover in seconds. (Yes, seconds-sometimes all I got to do is look down at a patch and boom-there it is.)
I wonder why I can do that...alot. What brain processes are involved, just why in a, say, 2x2 patch of white clover I can glance down and immediately spot the "odd duck" in the bunch. It's really quite easy...well, for me anyway. There has to be something going on there in my noggin twixt the eye and brain that allows me to spot the "flaw" in a sea of sameness immediately.

But it only works on clovers.I can look at those "spot the difference" type picture puzzles and be stumped sometimes for quite awhile. Well, maybe no more than the average person or 8 yr. old. For fun I have done those so called 'intelligence' tests online and they usually include a section on patterns and spotting the differences or choosing the next pattern in a series and I only do so-so on those. But show me a patch of clover and bingo-bango, I'll find 2, 3, maybe even a half dozen of them in a minute or 2. It really bugs me. It does.

Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of 4 leaf clovers. Yes, I do go ahead and pick them when I spot them and then press them in a thick volumn of our Collier's Encyclopedia. ( Vol. 23, USA to Zwingli is my favorite-good n stout.) I have no idea of how many. The sad thing is is that I don't do anything with them. They just stay pressed in the books. One of the younguns or myself will go and look up something in the encyclopedia and a shower of dry, flat 4 leaf clovers will tumble out. We got gobs of them. And unfortunately, the myth about the alledged "luckiness" of them is way over exaggerated. At least in our case it's pure bunk. My entire adult life has been a random series of mishaps, bad decisions and what some would call just plain bad luck. If there was anything to the myth I should have been a major Powerball winner at this point in my life.

This has to be a genetic quirk rather than learned because many years ago my eldest showed the same ability at the tender age of 5. We were out for a walk and as usual I had to take a look at some clovers clinging to the roadside and plucked out the 4 leaf. She, in turn, followed my lead and instantly she found her own as well. "Mommy...look!" and she held up her clover leaf. It wasn't perfect, a bug had nibbled on a leaf and the 4th leaf was alittle smaller than the others, but it was clearly a 4 leaf, nevertheless. Now she gathers them by the dozens, just as I do. Much to the annoyment of my youngest who will always exclaim when either of us spot one, "Gawd guys! How do you DO that?!" Poor thing, she'll squat down and stare dumbly at a patch for minutes and come up empty handed. Either me or my eldest will wander over, squat down and pluck one out. Ticks her off to no end.

Not all clover patches have an elusive 4 leaf. But some have 5's, and even 6's. I found a 6 leaf just yesterday. Not too sure about the mythical mojo connected to those, however. I wonder why on earth God gave me this ability. It serves no real purpose, it doesn't enhance my life or my bank account. It's just something I can do.
I recently read an article about some genetic engineering that some seed company was doing to develope clover that produces nothing but 4 leafs. That saddened me. That takes the fun right out of it. And maybe really that was the only reason God gave me this talent...just for fun.


Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I've never even seen one four-leaf clover. Do you have leprechaun blood running in your veins?

3/29/2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger The Pagan Temple said...

I have a first cousin from Cleveland who used to be the same way. Every time they were down for a visit we would not be out in the yard any time at all before she would suddenly say "four leaf clover", and pick one right up. She's the only person I knew who ever found one there, and it was my yard.

3/29/2007 11:56 AM  
Blogger Lemuel Calhoon said...

To get the luck you have to eat the clover.

4/01/2007 6:36 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Lem- that don't work either.

Pag, thanks for letting me know I ain't the only freak in the universe. I'd sure like to know just why folks like your cousin and I can do that...other than just dumb luck.

4/02/2007 9:12 AM  

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