Friday the 13th, You’re So Not Raven

Today is Friday the 13th, the mother of all bad luck days according to superstition. This seems very arbitrary to me, even more so than your average, ironclad harbinger of disaster.

Take walking under a ladder, for instance. I’m sure countless times throughout human history, people have tried to do this, only to bump the ladder and make it rain Uncle Wally, who was just minding his business painting the house (and maybe ogling the sunbathing Mrs. Smith next door).

What about breaking a mirror? If you’re uncoordinated enough to do that, who knows what other shenanigans you’ll get yourself into over the course of the next seven years.

But Friday the 13th? It combines the fear of a NUMBER—known in this case as triskaidekaphobia, which, fun fact, was the theme of my story idea that got turned into a piece on SportsCenter when I was absolutely loving my life and totally not cursing the day I first heard “Booyah!” as an ESPN production assistant—with arguably the best day of the week.

If we grant that you can have an actual, honest-to-goodness fear of a NUMBER, wouldn’t Monday or Tuesday the 13th be far scarier? Monday and Tuesday suck to begin with, no matter what the date. Throw in some good ol’ triskaidekaphobia, and it’s Drive Angry bad.

Just ask people in Romania, Greece, and some areas of Spain and Latin America, who, according to the ultimate sign of our impending doom, Wikipedia, actually do fear Tuesday the 13ths.

To paraphrase the immortal Walter Sobchak: “Say what you like about the tenets of fearing Tuesday the 13th, dude—at least it’s an ethos.”

However, as I don’t plan on moving to Romania, Greece, or some areas of Spain and Latin America anytime soon, I suppose I’m stuck with our cultural aversion to dates like this.

Incidentally, the fear of Friday the 13th specifically has a name, too; it’s called, again according to Wikipedia, paraskevidekatriaphobia.

And I checked: Even the dictionary is calling bullshit on that one.

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