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Friday the 13th, ‘the most widespread superstition’

When you wake up today, it will be one of the worst day’s of the year for you.

There will be three occurrences in 2012, exactly 13 weeks apart of Friday 13th.

Friday the 13th is considered unlucky due to the combination of two ancient beliefs, that both the number 13 and Friday are unlucky. Paraskevidekatriaphobics people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th will be pricking up their ears about now, bouyed by seeming evidence that the source of their unholy terror might not be so irrational after all. It’s unwise to take solace in a single scientific study, however, especially one so peculiar. I suspect these statistics have more to teach us about human psychology than the ill-fatedness of any particular date on the calendar.

The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have foreboding reputations said to date from ancient times.  According to some sources it’s the most widespread superstition in the United States today, and very similar in the UK.
Some people refuse to go to work on Friday the 13th; some won’t eat in restaurants; many wouldn’t think of setting a wedding on that date.
I know of people who book the day off from work and won’t even get out of their beds -they even plan their day by having all they need by their bedside. They are ever so careful when they go to the bathroom.

How many Americans at the beginning of the 21st century suffer from this condition? According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias (and coiner of the term “paraskevidekatriaphobia”, also spelled “paraskavedekatriaphobia“), the figure may be as high as 21 million. If he’s right, no fewer than eight percent of Americans remain in the grips of a very old superstition.

Sometimes, everything you know is wrong. No, you’re not stupid, you are the victim of urban legends – modern folklore tales that have the ring of truth but are almost always false. The use of the word “urban” is not meant to suggest these myths are relegated solely to cities, but rather that these are modern tales that spread by word of mouth or the equivalent in our age, the Internet. The original story can get distorted with the repeated retelling. That’s how a kernel of truth turns into a whopper. But then again there are plenty of contemporary legends that never had any basis in fact, even though attested to by a “friend of a friend”.

“When an urban legend goes viral, it is shared on the Internet and through email by thousands or millions of individuals who believe in the veracity of the legend – or say they do”, said Fred Hurst from “Because these legends often have elements of horror or humor, they are fun to talk about and spread”. There is also a certain paranoid strain within any population that is willing to believe those stories that feed their paranoia. What passes for political discourse in the 21st century is often filled with urban legends, like “health care wants to kill grandma” or “the moon landing was faked”. Some urban legends are repeated again and again on television shows, such as the Kidney Heist legend: being knocked out and waking up with a kidney missing. What a load of crap!!!. Law and Order had a field day with that one. “MythBusters” is a cable TV show dedicated to debunking urban legends and tales.

Before I end my blog, here is a joke based on American humour (not humor).

How to Get Out of A Speeding Ticket on Friday the 13th

A man bought a new Mercedes to celebrate his wife leaving him and was out on the interstate for a nice evening drive.

The top was down, (that wouldn’t always be possible in the UK), the breeze was blowing through what was left of his hair, (not me, my ego again), and he decided to open her up. As the needle jumped up to 80 mph, he suddenly saw flashing red and blue lights behind him.

“There’s no way they can catch a Mercedes”, he thought to himself and opened her up further. The needle hit 90, 100…..Then the reality of the situation hit him. “What am I doing?” he thought, and pulled over.

The cop came up to him, took his license without a word and examined it and the car.

“It’s been a long hard day, this is the end of my shift and it’s Friday the 13th. I don’t feel like more paperwork, I don’t need the frustration or the overtime, so if you can give me a really good excuse for your driving that I haven’t heard before, you can go”.

The guy thinks about it for a second and says, “a couple of days ago my nagging wife ran off with a cop. I was afraid you were trying to give her back!”

“Have a nice weekend”, said the officer.

Take care, stay healthy and have a safe and accident free FRIDAY 13th

‘Old Git’ Jimbo