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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thirteen J.B.Hunt Trucks
The Birth of a Superstition

On one of our junkets to Florida anime conventions, Riatsila and I got behind a truck with a dreadful yellow faux-Spencerian logo as we exited to fill up with gas. I commented on how not-fond-at-all I was of the artwork. It seemed like someone's nephew got a-hold of a graphics program and said "Look, Unkie! Look what I can do!"

Of course, once noticed, the ubiquity of J.B.Hunt became a terrible reality. Yellow logos everywhere!

Somewhen over time, we started counting Hunt trucks. They were all over the place. Then, self-consciously, we began to relate the number of trucks we saw to how well we did at the cons we attended, and a superstition was born!

We recognised that we were establishing a superstitious mindset, and were doing so purposely to explore the dynamics of the thing. My thoughts on the horrors of superstitious thinking may be found here.

We began to notice a 10-to-1 ratio of sales to trucks ($100 per each truck). This fell down when we saw 78 of them on the way to G-Fest in Chicago. Of course we had the need to rationalise the drop in the ratio (much as the ancients would try to suss out the why of drought or plague).
Then, from rationalising to the rational, I would suppose that a preponderance of Hunt trucks indicated an upturn in the economy (bless Ben!) so of course our sales would improve!

Bottom line, it appeared that the more J.B.Hunt trucks we saw on the way to the con, the better we did. The nature of a superstition looks for reasons and repeatability. Not reasonable reasons, necessarily, but reasons nonetheless. The Canaanites figured out that if they had sex with consecrated prossies, the gods would be titillated by the theo-porn and get busy themselves, fertilising the land.

Understand, this was undertaken as an intellectual exercise to examine the formation of superstitious thoughts and attitudes. We are firm believers in God's provision, and realise that every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

It just makes me mad when I see a bunch of J.B.Hunt trucks on the way home from the con!

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