E.J. Gold: Dancing Between the Raindrops
In today's 6-minute talk, E.J. Gold tells the story of what happened after his mother won fifteen million dollars on The Big Spin, which was the California Lottery's first television game show.
From that starting point, E.J. goes on to entertain and instruct us about touch and luckiness and why it isn't a good idea to anger water gnomes and dancing between the raindrops. I won't spoil the surprises by saying more.
Enjoy the talk.
“People would see my mother on television on the Big Spin, because it was televised and they saw her win $15,220,000. So they would come up and say, ‘Can I touch you?’
“Honest, this happened. ‘Can I touch you?’ And she'd say, ‘Yeah, sure, I mean, within reason, yeah.’ And they would usually touch her on the shoulder, for luck.
“Now you say, ‘Well, nobody does things like that for luck.’ Have you ever seen anybody either kiss dice or blow on dice before they threw them? What do you think that's for? I'm in love with the dice? No, they want that luck. They're blowing luck onto the dice, hopefully.
“And touch is used, oh gosh, I mean, every religious group has touch in its sights for, you know, manipulation of energy, for transmission of knowledge, for healing powers, all that stuff is all through touch.
“So, yeah. Dancing between the raindrops. My dad wrote a science fiction fantasy story, it actually was a science-driven fantasy story, about a guy who insults a water gnome, and the water gnome makes it so that the guy can not touch water. Water won't touch him.
“He says, “I don't want to touch water.” And the water gnome says, “Oh yeah? OK, you got your wish. No, water won't touch you.” I forget why he says this, what prompts him to say it, but it's something horrible about water.
“And he then gets into all kinds of trouble because he has a hot dog stand on the beach. First of all, all he can drink is beer, so he's sloshed all the time. He's too drunk to know what he's doing. And it's hot, scorching July weather. He's just out there drinking and drinking and drinking. And he hates beer, but it's all he can have. It's a tortured existence without water, he finds, he soon discovers.
“Well, the whole point of this story actually comes to something quite different, which is … one of the songs that was around at the time that he wrote the story was a Bing Crosby tune, ‘Dancing Between the Raindrops.’ That's what inspired the story.
“He heard that on the radio, and it was raining, and he thought, ‘Well, it would be nice to be able to dance between the raindrops. I'd like to emerge from the storm unwet, please.’
“A New Yorker, you know, can dance between the raindrops. What an idea. Because in New York, it rains a lot. Did. Used to.
“Well, that song inspired that story. If you think about it, dancing between the raindrops, that's sort of what you want to do with luck, is kind of avoid the accidents, avoid the messes, avoid the spills.
“You know, just for some reason or another, you're not the droids they're looking for. You just don't happen to be the droids they're looking for. That's just luck. You're using luck when you…
“You can prompt the luck a little bit. ‘These are not the droids you're looking for.’ ‘Oh, OK.’ You know.
“But it isn't, it's just by pure luck that that works out. And you think, ‘Oh, it's mental control.’ It isn't. It's luck.
“The Force is luck. It's not mental control. It's not control. It's luck.
“If you levitate something, it's because it just happens to be lucky that it isn't pushed down by gravity right now. So it's anti-gravity, just right this very moment. Hey, lucky. Floating. Lucky floating.
“Lucky. Luck. Luckiness. Very important to understand that the function of luck in this universe is very profound. It's very, very powerful.”