At Mitla, the City of the Dead in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, our guide, Eduardo, told us that there was a legend about the column holding up the roof. The column had been built by archaeologists, and Eduardo said if you hugged your arms around it, you could measure how many years you have left to live by the fingerwidths of space left between your hands. One of the Canadians had 10 years left. One of the Germans "should have been dead 5 years ago." I was the only one who didn't try it. Eduardo came over to me and asked whether I was superstitious. I said I was, and he smiled and said, "The Zapotec didn't put that column there." I told him I knew that--I was just more scared of the prophecies of the archaeologists.