Bob's Lucky Tush

A mirthful life? I'm dedicated to making one.

I have a few little side projects, but one is I've been trying to start some happy, good-fortune, eensy-tiny urban legends around my city for well over a decade now.

The one most people in my sphere know about regards the iconic statue outside Bob's Big Boy in the city of Burbank. (My non-U.S. ladies, Laura, Chiara, Kelly, Ulrika, Kirsti -- Bob's Big Boy is a famous old-school diner chain.) Burbank is home to the oldest Bob's, by the by, all neon and Motel Fairwil-like cheer.

The Bob statue's urban legend? Give his little tush a pat -- or touch his nose, if you prefer -- for good luck.

I did so the other night and felt lucky! Aside: Can you feel lucky when you know you're the one who started the luck-making legend?

Answer: Yes.

I have two other very tiny local legends-in-the-making, but I won't reveal them. I just repeatedly do something every time I'm somewhere specific, and make sure other people see.

Have I then seen people repeat what I just did, for luck's sake? Indeed I have.

Here's my thinking: People want more joy and fun and fortune in their lives. Everyone. As a mirthful passing stranger, I don't mind playing a little part in that.

Plus? So many urban legends can be negative. My thinking has always been that we need more sunnier rumors flowing in the world. Positive, everyone-wins high jinks tend to be in very short supply.

Plus? Should we wait on others to start legends? No way. All of us should be the legend-makers. My life brims with wee legends and happy hearsay because I actively pursue those things, to balance out the slogginess that our days can often take on.

Oof. Revealing all of this is NOT going to help Wilfair's rep as a quirky and whimsical world! Ha ha.

So, there it is. Let me say I'm not a prank person at all -- nope -- and I don't celebrate April Fools. I've actually revealed to some strangers what I'm up to, even as I'm doing it, which might defeat my sunny-but-stealthy purpose (they usually laugh, thank goodness).

But I do believe in everyday magic and the aspirational ripples it can create. And I believe we have an obligation to each other, all of us, to make the journey better.

I haven't even gotten to the part about eating at Bob's and how I wrote out all of "Fairwil," the next Wilfair book, on four napkins, for fun. Maybe I was feeling lucky, after touching the statue's little button nose? Definitely in higher spirits, for sure.

I'll post "Fairwil" on four napkins next time, with pictures.


Amanda W said...

I love it!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the non-U.S. folk explanation, because I've never heard of Bob's Big Boy, and old-school diner was definitely not my first guess on reading that name!

Also, maybe it's just me, but the picture of that statue is all kinds of creepy.

I love your dedication to introducing more happy urban legends to the world. My favourite one here is that it's supposed to be lucky if a bird poos on your head. (Is that an everywhere thing, or just UK?). I love the idea of someone creating that legend by trying to cheer up a recently pooed upon person by claiming that it would bring them good fortune.

Wilfair Book said...

Ha ha ha, what? No, I did not know about bird poo but I'll never forget it now!

I hear that breaking something at a party is lucky. Again, is that to cheer up the embarrassed breaker-of-the-thing? Either way, I'm for it.

Bob's Big Boy is definitely a California icon. The secret sauce on the burgers is DELICIOUS and yet another condiment I'd drink straight from the cup if allowed.

Heck, or not allowed. I'd do it anyway.

jilbyforever said...

This brings back memories. When I was really little, my hometown had a Bob's Big Boy. When I was about 7 or 8 it closed. The owner decided to have a funeral for the statue before they removed it. And my parents took us to the funeral. I can't remember much about it (I think there was popcorn and discussion about how we'd miss seeing the statue when driving by).
Also, I love that you're trying to start urban legends in LA.

Wilfair Book said...

Jill: Wow! I mean. That is fantastic, and props to your parents for taking you to the statue's memorial. Quirky times, indeed.

The Bob's Big Boy statue is definitely part of whatever town it inhabits, for sure.

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