Sunday, May 31, 2009

Invoking the Sal

I'm a pretty logical person. Maybe it's because I work in a public health setting and in a lab, but over the years I've become a bit of a skeptic. I've been thinking a bit lately about the logic behind the choice not to vaccinate one's children, for example.

That's serious business, and although I support a parent's right to choose what's best for their kid, I have to disagree with that choice, as the science doesn't back up any link between autism and vaccines. The recent rise in Pertussis (whooping cough) cases (reported here by NPR) is evidence of how vaccinations protect not just the person being vaccinated, but the people around them for whom vaccinations aren't as effective, namely very young infants.

This issue ties in nicely with something I feel strongly about , which is scientific literacy for people who aren't scientists. I'll be the first to admit I don't have the answer for this. It's has to be a combination of the information being accessible, as well as people feeling it's important to know it.

ANYWAY, and this post has veered off into more serious territory than I intended, I wanted to write about a funny incident that happened that defied logic in a fun way.

My sister in law, M, has a wonderful mom named Sally. Yes, my dog is also named Sally, and Mary's mom was one of a couple of Sallys that I thought, "yeah, it's a great name!" about when Mr W suggested the name. Sally lives in northern Minnesota, and I admire her immensely for surviving those brutal winters. Sally is also a pretty lucky person. Yes, this defies logic, stay with me. One of Sally's talents is winning at the casino, and apparently these vibes occasionally rub off on people who are with her.

Another of Sally's talents is finding parking spaces. Yup, as strange as it seems, Sal's got an innate talent for finding parking spots when seemingly none exist. This talent also is apparently transferable, and one can "invoke the Sal" in order to find a decent parking spot. It doesn't seem to matter whether one is late for a doctor's appointment or just trying to get a good spot for dinner, when you invoke the Sal, you sometimes get a good parking spot.

I don't pretend to understand why, and it's probably something along the lines of, say, chance, but it's fun to do and noteworthy when it works. CB and I went to a baseball game yesterday, and there were a lot of people there. We pulled up to a parking attendant, who said we should go back this way and if we couldn't find something, he'd direct us elsewhere.

Well, I invoked the Sal and lo and behold, we got a really good spot. Just like that. See? It works. CB was impressed indeed, and who can say whether that spot would be open? Some things are beyond our power to understand, you know?


  1. Sally and "M" would love to hear that story!

  2. I would caution not to overly use the Sal invokation as others in the family also call upon this from time to time.

    I have found that at times the invokation either does not work altogether or will just cause someone to back halfway out of their parking spot is likely due to overuse by other family members. The Sal is trickle charging as we speak and coming to a parking lot near you. RTK

  3. To the first part of your post, I say, "Amen, sista!" Get those kids vaccinated and build herd immunity!

  4. RTK (aka F.M.) you make me laugh. I wasn't aware that there were these sorts of limitations to the power...


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.