WANT TO GET FIT? The first step is to go to your local sports shop and purchase essential health equipment, such as a dead goat.
Huh? Your sports bag is smelly enough without deceased livestock? Consider instead adopting a divine fast food salesman or an enchanted bald man.
Why do you need this stuff? Because you can't be a sports star without the right lucky charms.
Tennis champ Serena Williams attributes her success to her lucky sandals.
World Cup footballer Laurent Blanc kisses the top of a bald man's head before each game.
Cricketer Mark Ramprakash chews a single piece of chewing gum throughout his innings. He once played an innings that lasted three days, so his lucky habit became an ordeal as agonizing as, say, being boiled alive or watching High School Musical with the sound on.
If you don't respect the Good Luck Gods, disaster follows.
Japan’s Hanshin Tigers celebrated a 1985 baseball win by jumping into the river. They dragged into the water their team idol, a statue of KFC founder Colonel Sanders, forgetting that statues are, by and large, poor swimmers. The Colonel sank to the bottom. The Tigers never won the Japanese series again.
Last month, government riverbed cleaners (they clean and polish everything in Japan, including rubbish dumps) found the statue. The 24-year-curse is lifted, declared former Tiger leader Yoshio Yoshida. The bad news is that he's now 75, and it's hard to hit a homerun with a Zimmer frame.
Then there's the Billy Goat Curse. In 1945, Billy Sianis brought his goat a ticket for a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field, Chicago, US. The goat was asked to leave because audience members complained that "it smelled like a goat". Billy and his goat stormed out, cursing.
The team suffered bad luck for decades, until goats were invited to parade on the grounds to kill the curse. But just last month, people broke into Wrigley Field and hung a dead goat from a statue, perhaps hoping to bring negativity back to the stadium (as if having a dead goat hanging up wasn't negative enough).
Choose your good luck charm carefully. My school friend Luke had a lucky wall. This was a poor choice. He looked stupid rubbing it for luck, and he could not take it with him on away matches. Carrying around a picture of it in his bag made people think he was a sick weirdo, which unfortunately was true.
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea once urinated on the pitch ahead of a difficult penalty shoot-out. He made a spectacular save. Sergio got the idea that he would have to wee on the grass in every match to ensure good luck. He did it regularly after that, even if there were 80,000 fans watching. Selecting a revolting, illegal activity as a source of luck is also a bad idea.
As for ensuring good fortune for myself, I have a lucky star. It is called "the sun". If it rises in the morning, I know I am going to have a good day.
But I respect the beliefs of athletes like Laurent Blanc above. Ladies, I am at your service if you want to kiss a baldie and see if you start living a charmed life. (But please note. It hasn’t worked for my wife.)