Be Afraid! According to the founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, “It’s beenestimated that $800 or $900 is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do. “ Some people are apparently so fearful that they won’t even get out of bed. I guess it’s Friday 13th for me every day because I never want to get out of bed. People won’t buy a house or even buy stocks. They claim that Friday 13th phobia affects some 20 million Americans. They’ll probably get a bailout from the “stimulus bill.” How do you know if you have the phobia? Symptoms are described as ranging from mild panic attacks to huge panic attacks that render the victim pretty useless to the point that they don’t go to work. If I had a job, I wonder if that would qualify as an excused sick day from work. An English psychologist interviewed about 2100 people in 2003 and found that about one fourth associated the number 13 with bad luck. Apparently, people who think of themselves as unlucky are most likely to believe in superstitions.
Apparently, this obsession with the number 13 goes back a ways, as most of these type of things seem to do. This one is blamed on the Norseman that involves a story of 12 gods having a party at Valhalla. Presumably they aren’t talking about the golf course in Louisville. In walked an uninvited guest…a party crasher named Loki. Loki went and got Hoder, the blind god of darkness to fire a mistletow dipped arrow at Balder the Beautiful, the joy and gladness god. I suppose that mistletoe isn’t too good for you because Balder died. With the god of joy and gladness gone, the earth turned dark. Everyone was sad and it has been associated as a bad, unlucky day ever since.
They also try to drag Christianity into it by pointing out that Judas was the 13th person to show up at the Last Supper and then was the one who betrayed Jesus of Nazareth. If that’s not enough, then there is the Roman story of how 12 witches who routinely would gather together with the 13th who showed up being considered the devil.
A mathematician blames it all on the number 13 suffering the fate of following 12. This guy says that numerologists consider 12 a complete number as there are 12 months in a year, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Jesus and 12 signs of the zodiac. If you exceed 12 by one, then you get a little beyond completeness and “the number becomes restless and squirmy, which suggests that numbers are alive. This fear of the number 13 has worked its way into modern culture as the claim is that 80% of all high rises lack a 13th floor.
What does that mean for me? I lived on the 13th floor of Jester Hall at the University of Texas. I was a cursed freshman and didn’t know it.
Many airports apparently do not have a gate 13, Hospitals and hotels often do not have a room 13, in Florence, Italy houses between 12 and 14 get an address of 12 and a half instead of 13. French socialites are known as quatorziens or fourteeners so as to make sure they have 14 dinner guests. Wonder what happens if someone gets sick? Do they cancel the party?
Want proof of the evils of the number 13? Why just look at Apollo 13, the ill fated trip to the moon. It departed on April 11, 1970 at 1:13 pm Houston time. Never mind they launched on east coast time. Anyway, 1:13 pm is 13:13 in 24 hour clock time. April 11, 1970 can also be written as 4/11/70. Four plus One plus One plus Seven plus Zero equals 13. Or you can say 4+11+70 + 85 and 8+5 =13. Their last television broadcast was on April 13. They entered the moon’s gravitational field on April 13 and were scheduled to land on the moon on April 13. The failure of the number 2 oxygen tank occurred on Apirl 13th at 3:08:53.555 UTC which in the eastern time zone would be 9:08:53:555. 9+8+53+555=625 and 6+2+5 =13. If the explosion that caused the damage had occured on earth, it was supposedly estimated to cost $13 million to repair the damage. Seems like someone had a lot of time on their hands.
Now, Friday seems to get suckered into this by going back to Christianity and pointing out that Jesus died on a Friday. What they fail to mention is that Christians ironically call this “Good Friday.” Supposedly, some biblical scholars claim that Cain killed Able on Friday the 13th and that Adam was tempted by Eve on a Friday. How they can know this is beyond me.
If you find yourself believing in all of this and have a fear of Friday 13th, then you should consider yourself a
triskaidekaphobe. But, there is hope for you. Modern psychology says that all you need to do is focus your mind on pleasant thoughts. You haven’t lost your mind, you’ve just lost control of your mind. You should realize that you have the ability to create your own luck and its up to you to decide if that is good or bad.
I don’t like those ideas. Since most of this is folklore, I like the old remedies. One is to climb a mountain or the top of a skyscraper…kinda like King Kong. Once you get there, burn all of the socks you own that have holes in them. What if you don’t have any holey socks. Then you can stand on your head and eat a piece of gristle. If you can’t stand on your head, don’t know what gristle is and don’t have holes in your socks, then I guess you’re just out of luck.
Weather Bottom Line: Nothing exciting. If you liked Thursday you’ll love Friday, unless you’re at home with the covers pulled over your head because its Friday the 13th. Weekend doesn’t look all that great. Saturday has showers with temps in the 40′s. Sunday cloudy and the 40′s with a few showers. Sunday night…maybe some light showers with a few flakes sifted in but it should be largely significant in that it would be a mix, not much of it and the ground is too warm. In other words…worthless. Rest of the week looks rather pedestrian with a spotty chance of a shower or two with temperatures lurking around seasonal conditions.