11.13.2009

Friday the 13th

What makes the number 13 so unlucky? I've never understood this. Of course, I consider myself a superstitious man to an extent and in my youth, the 13th was to be respected as a potentially very unlucky number. Black cats never bothered me more than any other cat. I spill the salt all the time, but I spill everything. Ask my wife. I really should invest in bibs. Ladders? Eh? I guess I see how they're dangerous, but only when I climb on them, not when I walk under them. Step on a crack and break your mother's back? Okay, I don't believe this one, but to this day I still subconsciously practice this law. I've even pulled a hamstring trying to avoid stepping on a crack. But 13. Some hotels don't have 13 floors. Why not? Well, okay that's kind of stupid. Just because they don't call it the 13th floor doesn't make it not so. It all goes back to that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods and no one's around to hear it does it make a sound? This is gibberish.

Why is Friday the 13th so revered as an unlucky and spooky date? Is it because it doesn't happen too often? February 29th doesn't either. Hmmm. That makes sense though. Anyone born on the 29th of February would technically not celebrate their birthday for four years. Unlucky if you ask me. Do they age differently? Is it kind of like Jack (played by Robin Williams) or Benjamin Button? Weird.

Let's explore this further shall we?

A mathematical approach - 13... 1+3=4. There are 4 corners of the earth... which is round. That can be problematic for someone. Unlucky. The figure FOUR deathlock? Wrestling fans should know that this move was unlucky for many. Earth is 4 planets away from Uranus which is kind of an unlucky name for a planet if you ask me. We won't go there. Uranus has 27 moons which I just found out on Google. Neither here nor there, but thought I would share (hey that rhymed!). Uranus is also close to Saturn which has lots of rings. The Ring was a freaky movie where you died in 7 days. 7!!! What number are we talking about again? Oh right, 13 not 7. Back to the drawing board.

Math hurts my head. Let's research this differently from a more scientific approach. The 13th element on a periodic chart is.... Oh boo! I stink at science! I don't want to talk about this and you can't make me! FYI... the answer is Aluminum which really hurts when you bite on it with your fillings. If that's not unlucky I don't know what is.

History - Aha! There were 13 original colonies. Where are they now? Huh? Yeah, you're right, that's not really unlucky. Apollo 13? Unlucky than it turned out all right. Rats!!! I conclude there is no historical evidence out there that helps to prove why the number 13 is unlucky. I gave up after 2 pages on Google.

Baking - 13 equals a baker's dozen. Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors (which is 13 backwards.) There are 13 known reasons as to why you should never eat more than one Double Quarter Pounder from McDonalds. I will share those with you one day when I've recovered completely. Baking shouldn't even be a category on my list. On we go...

English - There are 26 letters in the alphabet, divide that by two and you get 13 (head's starting to hurt again.) The 13th letter of the alphabet is M. M is the first letter in Mandarin Oranges. I once cut my finger on the metal lid of a Mandarin orange container. So unlucky!!! Thirteen rhymes with... Hurt Spleen!! No one wants a hurt spleen. No one.

Wow! That was some extensive research. And now I've come to a conclusion about the number 13 that I think you'll agree with. Friday the 13th is unlucky, because you've been forced to read this entire post and now you want your life back. The entire 13 minutes of your life back. Duh, duh, duuuuuh!!!

4 comments:

Melissa said...

I was born on Friday the 13th, so I think it's a fabulous day.

I'm grateful you do not use mind altering substances, because you don't NEED to - it's all natural :)

Amy said...

I always understood Friday the 13th to be unlucky because Christ was crucified on a Friday and 12 is considered "the number of completeness." Think about it: 12 months in a year, 12 Apostles, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 hours in a clock ... so 13 is unlucky.

But I don't abide by it. Just passing on my random, useless knowledge for your enjoyment/betterment.

P.S. The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia. (That I looked up.) ;)

Nichole Giles said...

Hey Frank. Next time you really, really want to know about the history of Friday the 13th, google the Knights Templar. (They were all slaughtered on Friday the 13th.)

Or you could read The Da Vinci Code and learn all your history via fiction, like me. =)

But that's just depressing. I like your version much better!

C.L. (Cindy) Beck, author said...

HA! This was a hoot, Frank. Thanks for sharing your superstitious thoughts with us! :)