What is "luck"? Can the innate forces of the universe be bent to our will? Are certain people born lucky, or do they acquire luck through artificial or supernatural means? Will the mere possession of a rabbit's foot or a bowl of shamrock-festooned cereal cause good fortune to flow one's way? Let's let an Archie comic from 1958 examine this proposition!
Jughead returns from the carnival bearing a "piece of junk" lucky piece he got at the carnival. And just HOW did he come to have this lucky piece? Why, he must have won it in a game of chance. Hence, Jughead was already lucky, indeed almost pretnaturally so, judging by how amazingly rigged those carnival games are.
Glad to see some of the old traditions, like making a sucker out of Reggie, still hold true in Riverdale.
Science has shown that the Not Being Kissed By Betty And Veronica test of gullibility has about a fifty-fifty chance of seeing results. Let's watch!
Here we learn that a Reggie swindle is already in progress and has been so since before the story started! An annoyed Reggie promises to take Jughead and... and... I think Reggie's going to kiss him, since it's already been established that this is an activity Jughead dislikes.
Getting your target, or "mark," interested in the item of supposed value sometimes requires a confederate (or "shill"), but here Jughead is capable of whipping up mystery and intrique about the object all on his own.
Ew! Girls! Jughead hates girls and kissing! At least here he does. Your mileage may vary depending on decade and medium.
How terrible for Jughead that girls are always throwing themselves at him, and how wonderful that suckers are never in short supply.
Sadly there's always some dopey, red-headed bystander around to "spill the beans" and "queer the deal" and "enrage Reggie."
Jughead planned the whole thing - the lucky piece, the horrified distaste for kisses, the reverse psychology on Reggie - all for the sake of Lucky Charm Jazz, the latest LP from Lucky The Leprechaun. It's "magically delicious," says the latest issue of DownBeat!
Is the usually athletic Moose, typically able to avoid smashing his head into immobile objects, merely one more victim of the seemingly bad luck of this lucky piece?
I've always said that some people make their own luck, just by taking advantage of the opportunities life sometimes gives us. Us in this case being Jughead.
Reggie has a moment of clarity and realizes his place in this particular world - look around, and if you can't spot the Reggie, it's YOU.
What's weird about this story? Well, a lot of things. But one thing that sticks out is the very specific kind of lucky charm our attention is called to on numerous occasions. It's almost as if Archie Comics Inc. was trying to specifically generate buzz around cheap novelty horseshoe-penny lucky charms. Now why would they do that? There must be a reason. Oh well, I guess we'll never know. Or will we?
Why, just look at this amazing premium you'll get when you "join the Archie Comic Book Club" - aka, subscribe to Pep or Archie's Joke Book - why, it's that very familiar-looking lucky piece. But this isn't just ANY lucky piece, this is the Keewanee Lucky Piece, revered by the "Keewanee tribe of Indians" who believed "the lucky piece had mystical qualities which brought them luck and enabled them to defeat the enemy" which is why the country is called the United States Of Keewanee, right? Wrong. Actually, "keewanee" is the Winnebago Indian word for prairie chicken. The only person this lucky piece is going to be lucky for is Jughead. And you, because you get ten issues of peak Jughead for only a buck. Sign me up.
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