But there was one hot trend in the early 80s that made its way onto belt loops, purse zippers and keychains everywhere – both boys and girls enjoyed this fashionable item: the rabbit’s foot. Ah, yes. Where to begin with this weird wonder? The rabbit’s foot was supposedly a symbol of good luck—though not for the rabbit. Owning one supposedly ensured good things were a’comin. Or not? I dunno, let’s focus again on how weird they were:
First of all, they were genuine rabbits’ feet. I LOVED rabbits. Why would I ever want to carry their foot around on a little metal ball link key chain? I’m not sure. Secondly, the feet were dyed very unnatural colors like turquoise, purple, emerald green and blood . . . I mean, bright red. Third, when you reached down to stroke your lucky foot to give you some of that good luck, you could feel the poor, dead rabbit’s toenails.
I mostly remember these old school treasures on display at gas stations, mini marts, card shops and pharmacies. See? All around weird, right?
I did a little bit of research and it seems the history of carrying around a cute little bunny’s foot in your pocket for luck dates back to waaaay before the 80s, we’re talking 600 BC among Celtic people. There’s also all sorts of weird rules as to making the foot lucky. For example, it must be the left hind foot to be considered lucky; the rabbit must have been shot or captured while hopping around IN A CEMETERY; and, the rabbit must have been offed either during a full moon or a new moon.
Also, with their plentiful availability in the 80s, I’m guessing that they did not strictly adhere to the old ways in making these puppies. Now, if the new moon falls on a Monday, do you do a fire dance through the night? And are you extra lucky? Sorry . . . I had to do that.
Check out this still from the 1981 Brian De Palma thriller, Blow Out, featuring John Travolta and Nancy Allen. What’s that hanging around her neck? That’s right – a lucky, albeit creepy, rabbit’s foot.
You can still buy these symbols of luck, real or fake, online, and I’m sure in remote gas stations and mini marts today. Although honestly, I’m not quite sure why you’d want to, because, eeew.
But back in the day, when you couldn’t readily come across a four leaf clover, whether you rubbed a Buddha statue’s belly, ran your fingers through the hair of your good luck troll doll, or gave your rabbit’s foot a little rub before the big algebra test or hot date, here’s hoping you got lucky.