June 13, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Friday the 13th

Why is Friday the 13th considered to be such an unlucky day? Nothing particularly bad happened to me today. In fact, I had a pretty good day, capped off by dinner and a movie (finally got to see "The Matrix Reloaded," which I quite enjoyed despite earlier predictions). In truth, the day is probably as lucky or unlucky as any other day, the fortunes of which are determined by much more concrete factors than the day and date.

The origins of most superstitions lie in history and folklore, and this one's no different. Since I was curious, I did a quick Google search and found some interesting possibilities for the origin of Friday the 13th as a day of ill omens. On Friday, October 13, 1307, the Pope and the King of France rounded up all the Knights Templars and sentenced them all to death. Ever since then, the day has been a symbol of bad luck. One could also speculate on Biblical origins. Thirteen people attended the Last Supper, and the day that followed—Good Friday—brought woeful tidings indeed.

If I broke a mirror while walking under a ladder in an unsuccessful attempt to keep a black cat from crossing my path on Friday the 13th, the net effect would likely be the same as if I sat on the beach sipping a piña colada. Unlike Morpheus in "The Matrix," I don't believe in destiny. I believe we make our own luck with the choices we make. As the old adage goes, "luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation." The only way Friday the 13th might be unlucky is if opportunity knocked on that day and you weren't prepared.

Perhaps the best response to Friday the 13th is one suggested by one of my coworkers this morning. He clued me in on a tradition that I had no idea existed: one is apparently supposed to go out and drink a Bloody Mary on Friday the 13th. Perhaps not the best way to prepare for your opportunity, but it sounds like fun nonetheless.

 

©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

NEW: 'Froadin'!

I finally got around to posting a video clip from my off-roading excursion to Joshua Tree National Park. Broadband users (it's nearly 15 MB), check it out here.

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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June Columns:

6/30: Halfway There
6/27: 28 Days Later
6/26: I Am a Racist
6/24: America the Obese
6/23: Reality TV Sells
6/20: June Gloom
6/18: Hatch's Hollywood Hacking
6/16: Qualcomm Stadium
6/15: Happy Father's Day
6/14: Flag Day
6/13: Friday the 13th
6/12: Extreme
6/9: Spammed
6/8: Lack of PLANning
6/7: When Grass Attacks
6/4: Culture Shock
6/1: The Baja 500
Previous months in The Archive

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