|The Fortune Teller by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio|
Who was the first stranger you met today? Do you remember?
Aside from people in cars (don't make eye contact!), the first stranger I saw was the school crossing guard. Unfortunately, he raised his left hand and used it to wave me on.
Xenomancy is an ancient method of divination, based on the actions of the first stranger you meet. In my case, bad luck was foretold by the raised left hand. The word sinister derives from the Latin sinistra for on the left side, unlucky or meaning harm. (Left derives from the Anglo-Saxon lyft or weak.) As humans are socialized (herd?) animals, anything strange, unusual or different is often feared and/or discriminated against. And so, anything on the left was often considered malignant.
At any rate, my day wasn't any unluckier than usual. You can always fit the circumstances to the prediction. I dropped one of my hotdogs at lunch. Didn't win the lottery. Couldn't remember the fabulous story for X that I thought of weeks ago but forgot to write down.
I blame it all on the crossing guard, and I'm writing down his badge number tomorrow.