Friday, the 13th

Well, it’s Friday the 13th and as we peek out at the world from under our desk, a few observations about this dreaded date:

1. Wikipedia says fear of the number 13 has a name — triskaidekaphobia — and the pairing of that with Fridays is called paraskevidekatriaphobia (in Greek, Paraskevi is Friday and dekatreis is 13).

2. Mother didn’t trust any Fridays — we couldn’t even get a haircut on a Friday, much less have surgery or start on a journey.

3. The pairing of Friday and the number 13 as an unlucky date is a bit murky — live science.com says that Christians may have brought the two together because Christ was crucified on a Friday and his betrayer (Judas) was the 13th guest at the Last Supper.

4. “Friday, the Thirteenth,” a novel about an unscrupulous broker who caused a panic on Wall Street, may have helped popularize the superstition, Wikipedia says. It was written by Thomas W. Lowson and published in 1907. The broker uses the superstition to start the panic on that feared date.

5. Wiki also reports that the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., says between 17 million and 21 million Americans fear Friday the 13th. The institute says that makes it the most feared day and date in history.

Finally, there are 13 golf clubs in our bag since we inadvertently broke our putter last Friday after missing a 13-inch putt the opponents wisely decided not to concede.

Surely that foozled stroke is a striking example of bad luck and not incompetence.

(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News. )

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

COMMENTS