Friday, July 13, 2007

Seven Thirteen Oh Seven

I am heartened by the observation that every year there is less and less hysterical commentary on not only Halloween but also what is the traditional bad luck day, Friday the Thirteenth.

Once upon a time, the news stations used to devote multiple segments to this day by getting an opinion/warning from a Church spokesman, some smelly hippie in a crystal shop selling protective amulets and interviewing a few foot soldiers from the Legion of Stupids about what they were going to do to survive this deadly day. Thankfully, the most I heard today about this awful, evilly magical period is some news anchors laughing about the myth and poking fun as they play a clip from Stevie Wonder's Superstition in the background.

I've known people who re-arrange their lives based on Friday the Thirteenth, as if the universe itself was mean-spirited and was out to get them. Makes me wonder how effective they really believe their God is if breaking a mirror can defeat His Plan. One person I was a friend with refused to leave the house on Friday the Thirteenth out of worry that something bad would happen to them if they ventured outside. Being me, I had to set this person straight. While my usual weapons of choice against a soldier of the Legion of Stupids is scorn, humiliation, logic and disgust, I was surprised to see that friendship kind of got in the way and I was far kinder than I usually am in practice. Our conversation went something like this:

Hot Chick: Ohhhhhhhmigawwwwwwwwd. I am so totally not going anywhere today. It's Friday the Thirteenth. I just know something awful will totally do it to me if I leave.

Me: Really. Well, let me play Reality's Advocate here. For the sake of argument, let's say that you are having your bad luck moment
right this second.

Hot Chick: Huh?

Me: Let's suppose that you really are fated by the Universe to have a bad, horrible unlucky day full of tragedy. But...what if...Just imagine, if you will...That by going to the mall today on Friday the Thirteenth you were destined to meet the Man of Your Dreams and fall in love. Then right after that you find a dollar on the sidewalk and use it to buy a lottery ticket and win 150 million dollars.

Hot Chick: How is that unlucky? I don't get it.

Me: I know you don't. That is so cute, by the way. See, by staying home out of fear of Friday the Thirteenth, you missed out on all those great opportunities. Because you are scared and staying home, you may be having the unluckiest moment of your life right now, this very second.

Hot Chick: Wow! I
have been remarkably stupid. I'm so ashamed! You must despise the ground I stain by walking on it.

Me: Yes, I do. But don't worry your pretty little head about it. Now, go shopping and hit on strange men as God intended for you to do!
That's how I remember it, anyway.


Good Girl photo credit: Bad Luck from The Official Jeanne Carmen Website.


  1. I am the least superstitious person you are ever likely to meet but .. . funny story -

    My dad cut off half of his hand in a snowblower accident on a Friday the 13th. I don't give any credence to the date, just that the universe is full of funny coincidences, you know?

  2. Exactly. It would be equally weird if nothing bad ever happened on a Friday the 13th. (And Sleestak, as a fellow skeptic and proponent of critical thinking I really appreciate these types of posts.)

  3. I dislike the term 'skeptic' actually. It is too polite to the wacky beliefs of the woo-woo's.


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