Five Reasons You Should Never, Ever Step on a Crack
If you have ever seen the movie As Good As It Gets, you will recall that the main male character, Melvin Udall, is a dedicated obsessive-compulsive individual. One of his many obsessive quirks is avoiding cracks in the sidewalk at all costs. There are literally millions of people throughout the world who avoid the dreaded sidewalk crack. There are millions of us! This is not nearly as irrational a thing as you might think. Here are five profoundly good reasons to never, ever step on cracks:
1. You will break your mother’s back. The saying about the unluckiness of stepping on a crack went through a couple of versions before doctors landed on the undeniable fact that stepping on a crack will indeed break your mother’s back. Unlike many other “truths” in the medical community that seemingly change every other day, this fact was discovered in the late 19th century and has remained a medically accepted truth unto this very day. Therefore, my friends, it will behoove you to take care to heed the wisdom of this saying.
2. Your siblings and their descendants will never speak to you again. Can you really blame them? For crying out loud, you’ve willfully broken the back of their beloved matriarch. This is something that will affect more than just you and your siblings. There will be adverse effects for years to come down to their children, ye, to their children’s children and on down the line. It will be the same with your own children. You are also risking estrangement from your spouse. If you are single, don’t expect to marry. No one is going to want to marry a person who heartlessly broke his or her mother’s back.
3. You will plummet into a slimy, dangerous netherworld. The sides of most sidewalk cracks are easily widened. When stepping on a crack there is always, always, always the very real danger of the two sides separating and you falling into the dank, deep, dark cavern that so commonly yawns beneath this opening. Have you ever seen King Kong (2005 version) where the rescue crew falls into a foreboding chasm which has all sorts of flesh-eating giant insects at the bottom? That’s what it’s like down there. I’ve never seen it myself, but I’ve heard tell that this is the case.
4. All joy, happiness, and human spirit will be sucked from the abyss of your soul. Even if you do manage to escape the aforementioned netherworld, your life will never be the same. Think about it. You’ve severely injured your own mother, your entire family has abandoned you, and you’ve barely escaped alive from hell on earth. There is no doubt that these three things combined will ensure that you are emotionally scarred for the rest of your life. There’s a chance your emotionally wrecked state might be reversed if some kind individual or individuals shows grace upon your mommy-back-breaking soul. There is no guarantee of that, though.
5. You will end up like Mr. Potter (of It’s A Wonderful Life fame). Even if somewhere along your traumatized life you do encounter a loving soul or souls, there is no guarantee that their graceful ways and patient counsel are going to undo all the trauma caused by crack-stepping. In all probability you will end up like Mr. Potter, a warped, frustrated old man (or woman in which case you’ll be a Mrs. Potter). Is that what you want? Sure you’ll be rich and have a town named after you in an alternate reality, but it will be a life devoid of any love and true contentment. Plus you’ll be fat and ugly.
So yeah, just don’t do cracks. Cracks kill.
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13 thoughts on “Five Reasons You Should Never, Ever Step on a Crack”
Does the curse of breaking my Mother’s back apply only to natural cracks that have formed, or do lines that were part of the original design also apply? I’ve been an avid avoider of both, but sometimes it’s almost impossible to avoid the lines if the bricks are small and there are many lines. I need some counsel on how to navigate these dangerous areas.
Very good question and I have wondered this myself. To be safe it is probably best to avoid both kinds. As you say, sometimes this is almost impossible. When it was necessary, I have risked it. My suggestion for such cases would be to do so very gingerly–maybe even tippy-toeing–so as not to upset the wrath of the crack.
Laughing so hard right now.
Any advice for mothers who are constantly at risk for back-breaking? Is there a strategy to combat the curse? A way to make ourselves immune?
The fate of your backbone is in their hands. That is why you must foster a good relationship with your younglings. You must literally guide their footsteps well. This is your burden, to raise up the next generation of anticrackists.
I was just about to follow my doctor’s advice and go for a walk and then I read this. You have showed me the light. I can’t believe I was about to follow that hack’s advice in order to deal with “health concerns,” and in the process risk a much worse fate. God bless you Ben for this sage wisdom.
Walking is good, sometimes. Just watch out for them fierce and fighten cracks, ya hear?
My mother broke her back in the early nineties. I blamed my sister, but secretly wonder if I was the one that unknowingly stepped on the crack. Is there any way to be sure who the crack stepper was? So many lives ruined. . .
Thanks for the post! I needed the laugh today.
Good morning, April. Have you or your sister experienced or exhibited any of the last four symptoms? Have either of you been excommunicated from the rest of the family? Have you spent time in the netherworld I described? Do you have joy in your soul? Are either of you starting to resemble a Mrs. Potter? If not, it is probable that your mom broke her back by means natural to all human beings.
If you happen to meet any desolate, ne’er-do-well, you can be pretty certain that all of his or her problems proceeded from some crack in his or her youth.
This is still one of my favorite things on REO.
Me too. The use of “netherworld” seals the deal.
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Only Ben. What a creative mind, coupled with insight and compassion.