We put the cold comfort that fecal encounters bring good fortune to the test.

From time immemorial, in Japan poo has been associated with luck, in no small part because the Japanese word for crap “unko” contains the word “un” which means “luck.” Superstitions abound, such as a lucky streak following a misstep into dog droppings, and university entrance exam takers have been known to visit the gorilla enclosures at zoos just to catch a glimpse of some flying luck.

And it was sheer luck that brought us an opportunity to put this superstition to the test one morning a few weeks ago. It was early in the day, and the only people in the office were Momo Momura, P.K. Sanjun, and Yoshio.

Upon hearing a blood-curdling “GYAAAAAAAHHH!” P.K. and Yoshio rushed to the source of the commotion and found a none-too-happy Momo standing at the restroom door.

“UGGGGGHHHHHH!!! It’s someone’s unflushed turds!!! This is the third freaking time in this office! Totally unbelievable!”

P.K. and Yoshio stared at each other dumbfounded. Neither of them had used the toilet that morning, suggesting it may have been someone working late who left without remembering to dispose of their evidence.

The three could have sat there and deduced who the phantom poo belonged to, but rather than dwell on what a terrible workplace this was, they decided to instead to put this disgusting encounter to good use.

P.K. postulated that if stepping in dog droppings is considered good luck, then coming across human poop must be extremely auspicious. When you think about it, a dog craps on the street where anyone can stumble across it, but people do it in the sanctity of closed stalls, far removed from the misguided steps of others.

P.K. couldn’t recall ever coming across another person’s dump in a toilet, and for Momo to have witnessed it three times recently – all in this office no less – must mean only one thing: She is blessed with the golden touch.

But there was only one way to be sure. P.K. and Yoshio each handed Momo 3,000 and 2,000 yen (US$27 and $18) respectively with instructions to go buy lottery tickets. This way we could know definitively if finding another person’s waste matter is lucky or not.

Momo hurried to the nearest lotto hut before her shit luck wore off and purchased ten 200-yen scratch tickets with Yoshio’s money, and a high-stakes Valentine Jumbo ticket with the money P.K. gave her.

Back in the office, Yoshio scratched off the tickets Momo bought for him and was delighted to find that he ended up with 2,300 yen ($21). Three hundred yen might not seem like a huge gain, but considering that using money to buy a lottery ticket is statistically similar to throwing it out the window, it’s pretty lucky.

For example, a while back Yoshio himself had purchased 1 million yen ($9,000) in scratch tickets only to come up with 350,000 yen ($3,100) back. Fellow editor Go Hatori tried the same thing and fared only a little better, getting about half back.

This means that Momo must have been abnormally lucky to have won anything at all. It bode well for the Valentine Jumbo ticket that had a jackpot of 200 million yen ($1.8M). However, they would have to wait a few weeks for the results to that one.

When the big day came, P.K. took the ticket that Momo purchased and hurried down to the lotto hut to get its numbers checked.

He handed the woman at the counter his ticket, giddy with anticipation.

He thought about what he would do with the money. Of course a few million would go to his parents. Then he would probably travel around the world and, what the heck, he would even give some to his beloved co-workers.

▼ “Come on 200 mil!”

“300 yen.” ($2.69)

Three coins clanked onto the counter, a cold cacophony that echoed in our writer’s ears.

P.K. was left to assume that the idea that poo is a source of good luck was pure, unadulterated crap. Also, to remove all doubt, Momo later revealed that she had secretly bought a Valentine Jumbo ticket for herself at the same time and also only won 300 yen.

This caused the disillusioned P.K. to turn his attention back to whoever the filthy animal was that left their feces to stew in a shared toilet bowl.

Could Yoshio’s win suggest that luck transference occurred with only him because the poop Momo found was actually his? Was Mr. Sato so accustomed to his own cardboard toilet that he forgot how a real one worked? Or perhaps the reason P.K. had never seen another person’s poop in a bowl was because he was the one leaving it behind.

And so, we’re pretty sure leaving human excrement in a toilet does not result in a bout of good luck. However, we now know for a fact that it breeds a lot of suspicion and contempt among people in a shared environment, so we’d advise against it.

Images: SoraNews24
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