June 25th, 2024

Friday the 13th nothing anyone should worry about

By Lethbridge Herald on January 14, 2023.

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald

If you noticed, yesterday was Friday the 13th. Yes, the dreaded day when bad luck is supposed to befall us if a black cat walks in front of us, a mirror cracks – which pretty much happens whenever I look at one – or if we walk under a ladder, spill salt – ya, I do that every day, too, or walk alone in a dark alley – ditto.

Other things we were supposed to avoid yesterday include letting an owl look at you, which I’d be happy to do since I seldom see one; cross your eyes – which I can’t; and we’re not supposed to wear new shoes or kill a spider either. And none of us were supposed to open an umbrella indoors yesterday – not that there’s much use for one in winter anyway. 

With the bad luck I’ve been having lately, I doubt one day is going to make matters much worse. That luck soured yet again this week when I learned a cataract in my good eye is now growing faster and my vision in it is suddenly weaker than the theoretically bad one.

I also fell again, this time when Ben dog pulled the leash one way and I landed on my back on ice right across from my own house, slamming hard on a shoulder blade and collar bone. Ben didn’t predict that, I’ll tell you. But I could have.

I was so disheartened after the latest tumble, I just laid there on the sidewalk, staring at the sky hoping Ben wouldn’t lift his leg on my face. Instead, he briefly looked down at me then gleefully rolled in snow. I was flat for a good two minutes, afraid to get up and frustrated beyond words before a neighbour drove by in his truck and asked if I was OK. Nope, I wasn’t but I stood up and while cradling my left arm in my right, took Ben for a half kilometre hike since he wanted to go so badly. Yes, it hurt but the way things have gone lately, I thought the only thing else that could possibly happen afterwards was to get hit by a bus and there isn’t a bus route near my house anymore. 

So Friday the 13th was the least of my worries – unless something occurred after this page was sent to press last night. And it’s possible, I won’t kid you.

But by the time you read this, it’s too late to edit this column. My misfortune was also shared by Rio this week. On Wednesday morning, in the space of a few minutes, I stepped on a paw and whacked him in the ribs with the camera bag. And I wonder why he growls when I come close these days – he’s protecting himself.

So where did the fear of 13 come from? According to website history.com, it’s been considered bad luck for eons. The Code of Hammurabi, which History says was “one of the earliest and most complete written legal codes and was proclaimed by the Babylonian king Hammurabi, who reigned from 1792 to 1750 BC,” omitted a 13th law from its list of rules. Oh darn. There’s probably an app for that now.

One story we’ve probably all heard is that it could stem from there being 13 guests at the Last Supper.

Also according to History, in the late 1800s an organization called the Thirteen Club was started in New York for the purpose of ending the stigma associated with the number. The group had 13 people who would meet on the 13th day of the month in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage and they would eat a 13-course meal.

Obviously, that club never fulfilled its intended mission because Friday the 13th still has people talking, like in this column. 

Some bad things have indeed happened on Friday the 13th, says History, including the murder of Tupac Shakur and the bombing of Buckingham Palace in 1940. The stock market crash of 1989 also happened on this date, I read elsewhere.

But for me, Friday or 13 are the least of my concerns – the other numbers from 1 to 31 and any day that ends with “y” aren’t so great either.

Anybody know where I can buy bulk bubble wrap?

Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter.

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