July 16th, 2024

Friday the 13th nothing to fear


By Lethbridge Herald on October 13, 2023.

LEAVE IT TO BEEBER
Al Beeber – Managing Editor

Today is Friday the 13th. Yes, the dreaded day upon which supposedly bad luck can befall us. Sorry but in my experience, that’s every day that ends in “y” regardless of the number beside it.

I’ve read that the superstition behind it came from Christianity and the idea that the 13th person at the Last Supper just happened to be Judas. In some countries, the day to dread is different – Tuesday the 13th in Spain and the 17th day of every month in Italy.

We’ve all heard or read of the the things to avoid on Friday the 13th, among them breaking a mirror, walking under a ladder or past a black cat, spilling salt or opening an umbrella inside, the latter which I assume is unnecessary unless an overhead sprinkler suddenly bursts.

I’ve also come across a couple of others this week, one being not to let an owl look at you. Who came up with that one? I’ve been searching with my camera to get a shot of an owl for months and I’d be thrilled to see one today. Or any other day.

Being afraid of Friday the 13th is apparently a thing – according to Wikipedia as many as 21 million people in the U.S. fear it. Because of that fear, Wikipedia says the U.S. economy loses as much as $900 million on this day.

Of all the mishaps I’ve suffered over the years – many self-inflicted, I might add – I don’t recall any special one happening on Friday the 13th. In fact, I’m heading to my favourite convenience store this morning down the street in hopes Sarah at Circle K will sell me a winning 649 ticket. And I’m sure she’ll co-operate for the man she calls “loser” when I stroll through her door, a name I consider a compliment because it’s sort of our own little in-joke. Sarah and Jessie Parmar are among the nicest people I’ve ever met and along with Sayed at the Circle K in Sunridge, I try to patronize their store often. That’s because good people deserve support and I’m honoured to consider all three of them friends.

If I trip over a shoelace and crack my skull on the sidewalk after I get that winning ticket, I won’t blame Friday the 13th because I tend to live life dangerously when it comes to shoelaces. If it happens next to Avail, maybe one of their extremely helpful and friendly accountants can offer me some advice while I wait for an ambulance.

 In fact, I may leave my laces untied this morning and take a leisurely stroll just to challenge the day. Bring it on, Friday the 13th! Trip up me and my disbelief in you. I’m ready.

Luck – good or lousy – happens and I sincerely doubt any particular day is responsible. And some of what we consider bad luck can be due to our own personal actions – such as getting a photo radar ticket. We know the speed limit so is it bad luck when the camera happens to be parked on the street when we drive past? No, we got the ticket because of what we did, not because of any luck. And I have the $156 receipt from last week to prove it. And I fully expect at least one more in the mail soon thanks to my lead foot on the 11th! And nowhere have I read that the 11th day of the month is bad luck. The ticket I expect won’t be due to bad luck – I might have been speeding a bit because I know Ben dog missed me. And Izzy was probably destroying something.

We know the consequences of our actions so blaming luck for misfortune can simply be a way of denying personal responsibility. And when it comes to photo radar tickets, the only person to blame is ourselves.

For those who do believe in the curse of Friday the 13th, today is the last of two this year so you’re safe starting tomorrow. Next year also only has two of them, one in September and the other in December. 

Scaredy cats – black cats or otherwise – might want to mark those days on the calendar to stay home and not move because as I know also from personal experiences, houses can be dangerous – and I have the scar on my leg from a hedge trimmer last year to prove it.

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