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100 Ways to Avoid Dying

How to avoid dying -- All without giving up any of the stuff you really like to do . . . or eat.

"Don't let a lizard count your teeth."

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Doctors and scientists are always telling us ways to live longer. Usually they involve a healthier diet or lifestyle: that is, eating less fat and more vegetables, getting more exercise, or giving up smoking.

We wholeheartedly endorse these rigorous and unpleasant methods of extending life, but our research into centuries of American folk wisdom has turned up 100 EASY ways of avoiding death by observing a few simple rules in everyday situations. These beliefs come from all over this country and were actually collected by students of folklore and anthropology.

None of them were made up. Just remember: if you fail to observe these rules, we won't be responsible for the consequences!

Housekeeping Hints

1. Don't take ashes out of the fireplace or wood stove between Christmas and New Year's Day.
2. Never place a broom on a bed.
3. Close umbrellas before bringing them into a house.
4. Avoid sweeping after sundown.
5. You mustn't wash clothes on New Year Day.
6. Don't shake out a tablecloth after dark.
7. Never wash a flag.
8. Don't turn a chair on one leg.
9. Keep cats off piano keys.
10. Don't hang a dishcloth on a doorknob.
11. Sweeping under a sick person's bed will kill him or her.
12. Don't ever, ever rock an empty rocking chair.

Credit: Carolyn Dougherty

Renovation and Decorating

13. Never add-on to the back of your house.
14. You mustn't cut a new window in an old house; the only way to avoid fatal consequences is to toss your apron through the new window, and then jump through it yourself.
15. Never drive a nail after sunset.
16. Don't move into an unfinished house.
17. Avoid carrying axes, shovels, and other sharp-edged tools through a house; if you must take one inside, always take it out by the same door.
18. If you move out of a house, don't move back into it for a year.
19. Don't hang your sweetheart's picture upside-down.
20. If a picture falls from the wall, don't pick it up.
21. Never carry a peacock's feather into a house.
22. Keep cut flowers out of bedrooms overnight.
23. Don't ever carry a bouquet of wildflowers indoors before May 1.

Sewing and Fashion

24. If you cut out a new dress on Friday, you must finish it that same day.
25. Don't make new clothes between Christmas and New Year's Day.
26. Never hold a stick in your mouth while sewing.
27. Always sew cross-stitching on your underwear.
28. Don't walk around in one shoe.
29. If you see a will-o'-wisp while out walking at night, turn your coat inside-out.
30. Never wear another's new clothes before they have worn them.
31. A woman who makes her own wedding dress will not live to wear it.

Cooking and Table Manners

32. Never set three lamps on a table at the same time.
33. Don't set the table backwards.
34. Never serve 13 at a table.
35. Avoid drinking coffee at 5 o'clock.
36. You mustn't write on the back of a dish.
37. Never return borrowed salt.
38. Don't ever cross knives while setting the table.
39. Be sure that someone else cooks your birthday dinner.
40. Don't put two forks at one place setting.
41. Never, never turn a loaf of bread upside down.


42. Sleeping with your head at the foot of the bed is surely fatal.
43. Don't sing in bed.
44. If you hear a dog howl at night, reach under the bed and turn over a shoe.
45. Don't count stars.
46. A man should never dream of a naked woman; a woman should never dream of a naked man. (You know who you are...)

Personal Hygiene

47. Never rub soap on your skin on a Friday.
48. Don't look into a mirror over another's shoulder.
49. Avoid combing your hair after dark.
50. Absolutely no haircuts in March.
51. Let a baby's hair and fingernails grow until their 1st birthday.
52. Don't let two people comb your hair at once.
53. Never shave at night.
54. NEVER, EVER share a razor used by a dead man.

Funeral Etiquette

55. Never hold a funeral on a Friday.
56. When a person dies in a house, you must immediately cover all mirrors and stop all clocks.
57. Children should not pretend to have funerals.
58. Don't ever try on a mourning veil.
59. Always remove a dead body from a house feet first.
60. Never ride in a hearse, unless you are the driver.
61. Don't count the cars in a funeral motorcade.
62. Avoid wearing new clothes to a funeral, especially new shoes.
63. Pull the shades in a room where a funeral service is taking place; if the sun hits a mourner's face, he is the next to die.
64. When walking in a funeral procession, don't look backwards.
65. Never point at a grave.
66. Try not to step across a grave.
67. Never leave a grave open overnight.
68. Don't ever be the first to leave the graveyard after a funeral.
69. If a corpse lies unburied on Sunday, another in town will surely die soon.
70. Wait a year before putting up a tombstone for a family member; if you don't, another family member will go before the year has ended.

General and Miscellaneous

71. Drink May rainwater.
72. When sick, don't look in mirrors.
73. Don't give a person a peony.
74. Never measure your own height.
75. Try not to imagine it's Saturday when it's not.
76. Don't count cars on a passenger train.
77. Never whistle in a coal mine.
78. Avoid measuring a person who is lying down.
79. Don't walk backwards.
80. You mustn't allow a candle to burn itself out.
81. Never sell a dog.
82. Try not to kill a crow; but if you do, be sure to bury it while wearing black.
83. If you transplant a cedar tree, you will die by the time it is big enough to shade a grave.
84. The same is true of a willow tree (as in 83)
85. Don't ever hang your hoe on a tree branch.
86. Don't skip a row when planting corn or beans.
87. If you watch a person out of sight, you'll never see them again.
88. Avoid stepping over a person who is lying down.
89. When your name is called, don't answer the first time-it may be the Devil calling you.
90. Never shake hands through a window or over a fence.
91. Try not to sit with your back to the fire.
92. Don't burn sassafras wood.
93. If you walk with your hands locked behind your head, it will kill your mother.
94. Don't even THINK of mocking an owl.
95. Don't store your shoes above your head.
96. Never kill a locust.
97. Never kill a lizard.
98. If you hear a hen crow, you must kill the hen.
99. If you are on a train when a woman boards, dressed in black, get off.
100.Whatever you do, don't let a lizard count your teeth.


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Great read! Black seed oil is

By Jonothan

Great read! Black seed oil is another thing that i use to stay healthy and age well.


Herd alot of those quotes,

By Nikkilove

Herd alot of those quotes, How about this one if a butter knife falls off the table ,that means your going to have company over.

I'm originally from New

By Rita Gee

I'm originally from New Orleans, and a lot of these sound familiar. Scary, they were'nt making them up!

Me too! I'm on borrowed time.

By Wendy C

Me too! I'm on borrowed time. Lol

If I break the first one, I

By Robert Orlando

If I break the first one, I will never live to break the rest!

Oh my Lord, I am doomed!

By Johnraymar

Oh my Lord, I am doomed!

Oh no! I let a lizard count

By Anonymousss

Oh no! I let a lizard count my teeth last week. What should I do

54. NEVER, EVER share a razor

By l trekkie

54. NEVER, EVER share a razor used by a dead man.

I didn't know dead men could shave.

These are hilarious! Thanks!

By Thomas @ Stitch and Frog

These are hilarious! Thanks!

I remember some of these and

By Carolyn F Peterson

I remember some of these and some I had not heard. Very interesting and unbelievable.

68. Don't ever be the first

By Judith Ashley

68. Don't ever be the first to leave the graveyard after a funeral. ??????

I can see it now... Poor John has been buried for a week, and there are all the mourners, camped around his grave, just waiting for that first brave person to leave.

Lol. I thought that too!!

By Wendy C

Lol. I thought that too!!

Actually, since i'm getting

By PNut67

Actually, since i'm getting older, and older means attending a lot more funerals, I abide by this one, and didn't know why till today. The last funeral my wife & I were at, she wanted to hurry & leave, I grabbed her arm, and said,"No, we can't let someone else leave first" Maybe this was engrained in me in my youth, and my sub-conscience just held onto it forever.

These are a stitch. Really

By Helene Clark

These are a stitch. Really tickled my funny bone. Thanks.

This was very interesting, I

By pine tree 123

This was very interesting, I enjoyed it a lot.

OH to funny, good to laugh

By sadiemae9

OH to funny,
good to laugh

I have heard some of these

By vickiebufford

I have heard some of these all my life, I love'em.

Don't step on a crack or

By L R 7

Don't step on a crack
or you'll break your mother's back.

So glad I found out about

By Brenda Adams

So glad I found out about these and could share them before it's too late ~ thanks!
I love lists... :)

This is pretty awesome. I

By Aleesee

This is pretty awesome. I should of listen to my grandy when I was growing up cause she always went by the old farmer's almanac and she was right.

What about never say come

By Dawn Heskett

What about never say come when a door blows open. Your inviting something.

I have tons more wanna hear?

By Dawn Heskett

I have tons more wanna hear?

Yes,please, that would be

By Brenda Adams

Yes,please, that would be terrific. Don't know why these float my boat but they do...

Yes,more please. I love this

By Bernadine Harmon

Yes,more please. I love this stuff.

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