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Wednesday 1st July 2015

4598/17257
We’re selling our house and we had an early morning viewing at 8.30 today, which wasn’t entirely ideal given I’d got in at 2.30am, but nowadays sleep is a luxury I can’t afford anyway. I quickly tried to tidy up a bit, moved the free standing bedroom mirror and it collapsed and the glass smashed. I was less annoyed by the imaginary seven years bad luck than I was at the fact that I would now have to attempt to clear this up and hide the broken mirror in five minutes. Because even though the mirror is not part of the sale and says nothing about the house, I think it would scare away a prospective buyer more effectively than a Scooby Doo ghost. There’s no reason why it should, but it would. I think even if we said, “Sorry, we just broke that” the potential vendor would be spooked, without being able to say why, like there was something going on that they couldn’t put their finger on. And if they believed in the curse of smashing reflective glass they might not want to live in a house which would be cursed until 2022. Not that the house should get the curse, surely me the smashee was the one who was now burdened by ill fortune. But this is the problem with such an ill-defined system with dubious origins. I doubt there has even been a serious scientific investigation into the effects of breaking mirrors over the next 7/10ths of a decade. If I was a scientist I’d be right on to that. You’d need a group of people who you’d make break mirrors, another group who didn’t and a group who were unclear as to whether what they had broken in a dark room was a mirror or a pane of non-reflective glass. Get on it science.
I hid the broken mirror under the bed for now. Where it will probably give me bad luck when I forget its there and cut my hand on it. The woman who came round seemed to like the house though, so the curse was taking its time booting up. I then had an appointment with a doctor for some test results (could I have chosen a worse day to smash a mirror), but luckily he told me that everything was essentially OK (I am approaching 50 so the days when everything was completely OK are now gone) and that I was not going to die imminently. So again the mirror hex was probably just waiting in a queue of similar broken mirror accidents and once it was at the front I’d be well and truly fucked, but only for a seven year period. That’s not an arbitrary amount. I am going to have to wait till 2nd July 2022 before my luck turns.
Then I moved on to the Apple Store where I picked up the computer that I had broken by trying to clean it when it was on, and then spilling some cleaning fluid on to it. I don’t want you thinking I am clumsy like a real-life Frank Spencer. I am just very unlucky and/or my life is written by a bad sitcom writer.  By all rights I should have had to pay for the repair that I had totally caused, but I found out that as they had not detected any liquid inside the machine and it was still under warranty the £300 replacement keyboard and battery were free of charge. Then I found out the person who had seen our house wanted to come round for a second viewing. Has whoever is in charge of mirror curses accidentally filed my incident in the genie three wishes department. Or maybe they just looked at the luck I'd had over the weekend and decided that I'd paid out my 7 years in full.
Or was the truth that my mirror was cursed and I had broken its spell as well as its glass. Thinking about it I bought that mirror in about 1998 and the next year my TV career was over and I entered a period of personal confusion. I haven’t had a jot of good luck since that time - apart from managing to make a decent living, getting loads of work, meeting my wife and having a baby, but I hardly think any of those things add up to much.
I am a scientist and one person experiencing relatively good luck immediately after smashing a mirror does not prove that the mirror smashing thing is rubbish and these apparent bits of good fortune might all be the prelude to some ironic shitstorm of disaster. But my strong suspicion is that smashing a mirror is not really bad luck at all and is in fact pretty good luck for mirror salesmen, who must be furious that people are so careful around their mirrors for fear of misfortune. I am going to help them by positing that by smashing your mirror you free yourself from your past mistakes, destroy those old versions of yourself that are trapped within and give yourself a fresh start. There is no guarantee that the fresh start will be lucky or unlucky, but it will not be haunted by the old ghosts of you (and in my case any of the many, many people who have been in my bedroom over the last 17 years) and you can move onwards without fear.
I was so tired this afternoon and regretting having agreed to go to the British Museum with the inlaws on the hottest day of year. But I was glad I went in the end. We saw an exhibition about Greek standards of beauty, which was interesting, but what I most enjoyed was hearing my daughter’s laughter from across the room as she guffawed at her granny. It was inappropriate for her to be enjoying herself so much as we were in a museum and there is no place for happiness here, but I love the fact she’s so happy and that her laugh is so distinctive and infectious. Later she would attempt to eat a napkin in a cafe and we had to fish bits of wet paper out of her mouth (was the curse taking effect at last), but even after that she was smiling again in minutes and she came to no harm.
Smash your mirrors folks. You have nothing to lose but the faded images of your former lives.
RHLSTP with Romesh Ranganathan is now up on video on youtube,
vimeo and iTunes. And it's on audio at the British Comedy Guide and iTunes.
I have started work on drawing round my hand for the kickstarter reward. I have done 6 so far. I am one hundredth of the way to the total (and still have 20 T shirts to do).


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