Friday, May 13, 2005


Woe to those who take this day lightly. Those who scoff at the significance of this apocalyptic day face forces far more powerful than they can possibly imagine. The ill-fated, and there will be many, will be those who fail to heed and indeed are remiss to take precautions.
~ To those uninformed, it is Friday the 13th! For most of us it is just another day, another Friday not unlike any other. To some, however, it is a day of foreboding. There might not be ominous clouds of doom and gloom gathering above, but that fact does not ease the presence of evil and misfortune that await them.
~ Those who dare to venture from their homes bear the regalia of protection. With horseshoes and rabbit feet as talismans of good luck, they cannot take enough actions to protect themselves. Whenever possible they have avoided mirrors, lest they are broken to unleash seven years of bad luck. Salt has been tossed over many a shoulder. The sign of the cross has been acted out, cracks in sidewalks are not stepped upon, and wary eyes watch for stray black cats.
~ Triskadekaphobia, a fear of the number 13 or anything to do with thirteen, is considered even more daunting when the calendar plays the dirty trick of of placing the thirteenth of the month on a Friday. I suspect that some of these people are the same ones who dread full moons. They probably also lay low on March 17, the Ides of March. After all if it wasn't kind to Julius Caesar, why should they think they will be spared?
~ My laminated four-leaf clover is in my wallet. My lucky coin is always on my person. Myself, I am not the least bit superstitious! Friday the 13th is just another day and another Friday. Perhaps just to have some fun at the expense of the Triskadekaphobes, I have on occasion walked without hesitation under a ladder. I have made it a point to step on as many cracks in a sidewalk as possible. I patted a black cat that has crossed my path. I refused to pick up a penny on the street or sidewalk should I see one. Once a lady even confronted me after I had passed beneath a ladder. "Don't you know it is bad luck to walk under a ladder?" she asked of me. "Oh, no," I answered with a sly leer, "It has always been very lucky for me." She almost ran away from me as if I were a pariah. "Lady!" I yelled after her. "You are missing the cracks!" I watched her stop a little ways up the street to pick up one the pennies I had ignored. She lost her balance while kneeling and bumped her head on a parking meter pole. "Never pick up a penny," I said to her with a laugh in my throat.
~ You must think it cruel of me to taunt her convictions. Nah, I forgot to tell her that I break a mirror purposely every day for good luck. After she bumped her head, I'm sure she felt very lucky to have found that penny. She probably justified the bump into the meter pole in that it stopped her from falling into the street in front of a car.
~ Today, however, hasn't been very lucky for me. All day long, not once did I see a ladder for me to navigate. I saw no pennies to walk by. Not once did I get back 13 cents change from a purchase. I played the daily number for tonight's lottery, submitting 1313, but alas it wasn't close to hitting. I saw no cats, black or otherwise. I ate lunch at one o'clock, which by the way is the thirteenth hour of the day. Guess what? I have experienced no bad luck, triskadekaphobes!

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