When I was a young lad but knee-high to a pederast I had this fantasy that there were a number of phrases and gestures that, when uttered or performed, would cause small magical things to happen. It was just difficult to figure out what the phrase and/or gesture should be, because there are a very large number of combinations of English words (not an infinite number, but near as dammit), and you would have to say "spooooge mudflap" or something to make the magic occur. You would also have to pronounce it exactly right. To make it even worse, the magical act that resulted might be so trivial as to be unnoticible to the casual observer. "Spoooooge mudflap" might simply make the pants unsnap on that cute girl over there.
Needless to say, I am often to be seen wandering around muttering "spoooooge mudflap."
So the reason that most people don't know that magic can potentially occur on a daily basis is that having exactly the right circumstances come about to invoke the magic would be extremely unlikely, and even if it did, the triggering phrase or gesture probably would not be associated with the little magical event at all. Thus probably none of you believe in magic.
I do, though. For example, I have discovered through years of research that some phrases act as incantations that cause people to appear. I usually come across these incantations by accident but, astute observer that I am, I notice the cause and effect relationship and I feel pretty damn smug about it, I don't mind telling you.
As an example, when I say the following phrase, my friend Molly (who I have mentioned here and here) shows up. The phrase is "Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres", the first phrase in Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico. Basically it translates as "Gaul is divided into three parts" if your Latin is rusty. I don't recall how I first stumbled across this, but since I really like Molly I am pretty happy to have this incantation stuck up my arsenal. I haven't yet mentioned to Molly that I can control her life because telling her about it might screw it up and make it not work. You never know how fragile these things really are.
Another incantation I discovered that I am less thrilled about is "cheesecake." Whenever I say that word, which is not often because I am not a big fan of cheesecake, this very large unkempt white woman with a faint mustache shows up. I've never spoken to her and don't intend to, but up she pops whenever I say that word. I just discovered that it's okay to type it, which is something of a relief. She creeps me out a little bit.
A much more useful incantation I learned is that when I am at a bar and carefully pronounce the word "endometriosis" someone buys me a drink. This has helped out a lot through the lean times I've had lately, believe me. The only downside is that people have started thinking that I'm an amateur OB/Gyn. Now that I think about it though I suppose I am. By the way, if you try this incantation yourself, be prepared to find that you don't like the person that buys you the drink. The incantation doesn't seem to cover that part of the equation. You were warned.
The last magical phrase I've stumbled upon that I'm going to share with you is that every time I say the word "the" whoever I happen to be hitting on at the moment becomes mentally enfeebled and defective. This sucks. I hope this one quits working soon.
Apropos of the last one, I've been searching and searching for the ultimate anti-incantation: one that makes somebody immediately go away and not come back. So far no luck, but if I find it I'll let you know.