Well, it's Friday the Thirteenth - The first of the two Friday the Thirteenths of 2013
Have we all been lucky so far? I've been OK, got to work without too much traffic, my office building wasn't on fire, or flooded (which would have had to have been fairly deep, because I'm on the first floor, or second if you're a colonial) no plagues of locusts, and the rain, i'm reliable assured, is water not blood - Sorry to all the Slayer fans out there.
Does anyone out there know why Friday the Thirteenth is unlucky? No? Me either, let's ask the Internet...
OK, it says here (here being Wikipedia, the fount of all knowledge) that the reason Friday the Thirteenth is unlucky is because Friday is unlucky and the number 13 is unlucky.
Well, that doesn't tell us a huge amount does it? Just let me read ahead a bit...
That's a bit flimsy...
It seems that it's all a bit made up really, there's no basis in truth for it - Just like most superstitions... Well, all except not walking under a ladder, that's great advice, often the people at the tops of ladders are carrying paint or buckets of hot rivets, although, in fairness, that may only be in wartime Bugs Bunny cartoons.
We have Geoffrey Chaucer to blame, at least in England, for popularising the Friday part in a book he wrote seven hundred years ago called 'The Canterbury Tales' - It's written in Middle English which can make it difficult to read, unless you are monumentally drunk, when it becomes as easy as going downhill in a shopping trolley - I enclose an example, below:
'We didest, thene decite to goeth forth to Birming-hamme, our merrie bande of yeoman (accompan'd by ourest faire-buxom laydies forsooth) But Barrye didst decry; 'Buggar thatte for a larke, yonne M6 wilt be chokker at thisse tyme of the nyte most definiately on a Fry-Day. Let us decamp to the pubbe where we canst regaile the local peasantry with stories of The United Man-Chester's footeballe prowesse.'
So you can see how easy it would be to mistranslate, or at least misunderstand something like that, I pretty much copied that out from The Miller's Tale word-for-word and I only gotte.. I mean, got, about half of itte.
And what about the Thirteenth I hear you say? - Well, as far as I can work out, the number 13 is unlucky, purely because the number 12 is supposed to be lucky. Which makes about as much sense to me as saying beavers have been declared fish by the Catholic Church so Canadians can still have things to eat on a Friday.
(You know all those jokes you thought of then? - keep them to yourselves, this is a family Blog)
There are the other stories about Friday the Thirteenth that everyone 'knows' are true, Jesus being crucified on a Friday for instance, The Knights Templars getting arrested on Friday 13th October 1307 (And with so many things Templar / Freemason / Opus Dei - You can thank Dan 'Explain everything to the Nth degree' Brown for making that one popular) - But on the whole, it's what you make it.
The Italians, don't think that Friday the 13th is particularly unlucky, their unlucky day is Friday the 17th - I'm guessing that they were actually aiming for the 13th, but, well, you know what Italians are like. They realised that their 'unlucky' project timescale was slipping, shrugged and went 'Ah Never mind-a Luigi, we make-a itte for da next-a Friday'
The Greeks and the Spaniards miss it slightly too, instead plumping for Tuesday 13th, and helping to cause a glut of general unluckiness in central Europe, around the middle of the month.
There are people, people in this case should be taken to mean, swivel-eyed loonies who write in crayon and eat with a rubber spork, that refuse to leave their house, bed, or in some cases, their own craniums on Friday 13th. This syndrome (because everything's a syndrome nowadays isn't it?) is so prevalent in some countries *cough* America *cough* that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost every year in business revenue because of people staying in bed and crossing themselves repeatedly to ward off the 'bad juju'
The flip side of this of course is that it's actually become the safest day to drive anywhere, because all of the nutters have encased themselves in bubble-wrap and are busily locking themselves in an unplugged chest-freezer that they've scrawled a load of Harry-Potteresqe sigils all over in monkey blood to protect them from evil spirits. So the roads are clearer and those people who still drive are paying more attention.
Although, saying that, there was a guy stopped by the side of the motorway this morning in a white van... And his propshaft had fell off.
And it's someone's birthday at work today, and the choice of cakes that he brought in for us all to share were, frankly, sub-par and that left me upset and confused.
And I've just snagged my foot on a network cable...
So, scratch everything I've said above, buy yourself a stout hat, arm yourself with a voluminous moustache and a healthy disregard for your fellow man and shout loudly and clearly into the aether...
'Leave me alone Friday the Thirteenth! Go and bother someone else!'
Then encase yourself in bubble-wrap, make sure the freezer's unplugged, and jump right in.
Oh, and try to remember to remove the monkey corpse first - You don't want to accidentally be fingering that in the dark when the lid's slammed shut.