Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, were granted a divorce (1996)
THEATRICAL BAD LUCK #1
Actors and stagehands alike believe whistling or clapping backstage to be bad luck. This may derive from the time when sailors operated the scenery, since they were handy with knots. The sailors communicated with one another by a system of whistles and claps that, if inadvertently used by an actor, might result in scenery falling on their head.
Wishing an actor good luck is unlucky, since folklore tells that to fool evil spirits, actors should request the very opposite of what they want--hence the phrase "Break a leg."
Wearing green is considered unwise in any theater, since green is the fairies' favorite color, and to wear it will provoke their jealousy and ire.
The lunches of fifty-seven years had caused his chest to slip down to the mezzanine floor. P.G. Wodehouse (1881-1975)
Chop suey was invented in New York for the visiting Chinese ambassador (1896)
THEATRICAL BAD LUCK #2
Never say "Macbeth" in a theater, sinc ethe play is associated with many tragedies and mishaps; instead call it the Scottish play. If you do happen to utter "Macbeth" in a theater, there are several ways to counteract the curse: Turn around three times; spit over your left shoulder; say the rudest word you can imagine (yes, that one); or speak a line from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Using a mirror on stage is considered taboo--possibly due to the technical difficulty of lightin mirrors, but also because of the age-old belief that mirrors can open one's soul to the devil.
Some theater hands believe in leaving a ghost light lit when the stage is not in use. It is said that such lights keep alive the spirit of theaters.
First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)
The word greenback was first used for the demand notes of 1861, the backs of which were printed (wait for it) in green. While the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BOEP) explains that no "definite explanation can be made for the original choice" of color, one theory posits that green was especially difficult for early cameras to capture and was thus chosen to outfox counterfeiters. The BOEP says green continued to be used because the pigment proved readily available and was resistant to chemical changes; the public had also developed a psychological link between green and the stability of the country's credit.
Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven't committed. Anthony Powell (1905-2000)
Three-card monte--otherwise known as find the lady or bonneteau--is one of the oldest scams. Three cards, usually two black cards and a red queen, are placed (by the tosser) on a table and shuffled before your eyes. You (the punter) have to find the lady. Although to most players it seems that only the tosser is involved, all such scams employ ropers who crowd the table, shills who pretend to be winning punters, and scouts who keep a lookout for the law. Sometimes the shills or ropers will "help" a punter by covertly turning down the corner of the queen when the tosser is not looking--only for the tosser to sneakily straighten that card and bend the corner of another. Clearly, the only reliable way to win this game is never to play. However, if you are tempted, the best advice is this: Follow the dealer's hands very closely until you are absolutely certain beyond any doubt that you have identified the queen. Then, bet on one of the other two cards, thus increasing your chance of winning from 0 to 50 percent. That said, if by chance you do win, there is a high probability that a scout will raise the alarm and the game will be abandoned before you have collected your money, or that you will be pursued and "relieved" of your winnings.
MODULAMINOUS--having a pleasing melody "50 Cent? Hardly modulaminous."
"Ball of Confusion (U.S. Mix)" by Love and Rockets