Superstition – Fullerton, California

There is a statue on the campus of California State University Fullerton. There was a gigantic earthquake some years ago and the damage was extensive. Among the things damaged in the earthquake was the statue. It was broken during an earthquake and they decided to leave it broken instead of repairing it. The belief is that there is good luck in the butt cheek of the statue. The good luck only resides in the left butt cheek. The right butt cheek contains no luck whatsoever. The left butt-cheek must be rubbed. It has to be the left butt-cheek or it will not work.  If a person were to rub the magical left butt cheek of the broken statue that person will perform well on their tests. This ritual must be performed prior to the test or I will not work.

My informant forgets the name of the statue at the moment. Not only does he not remember the name of the statue but he does not even know what the statue is supposed to be of. He tells me that he heard about this belief from a friend of his who currently attends school at Cal State Fullerton. He also says that the butt-cheek itself is considerably worn down from constant good luck rubbing. I was not able to see the statue in person but was considerably interested in seeing just how worn down the butt cheek was.

The statue was most likely left unrepaired because the students began to idolize the butt cheek of the broken statue more and more. I asked Andrew why he felt that the statue was so important to the students and what he believed it meant. He says that he believes that the earthquake was so powerful and traumatic to the students that the statue became a sort of symbol of the positive that came from the earthquake. He added that prior to the earthquake no one rubbed the statue’s left butt cheek at all, much less expecting good luck on test as a result.

I think the connection to the earthquake was an important one. Without the earthquake damage the statue was completely normal and had no special properties. After the earthquake its importance grew and it gained symbolic value. Whether or not anyone actually performed better on tests as a result of rubbing the left butt cheek remains a mystery.

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