It’s the 21st Century. We throw ourselves around the world in great iron birds. We can communicate with someone on the other side of the globe in an instant by bouncing our voices off the myriad satellites that orbit our planet. We’re beginning to unravel the secrets of DNA. Our understanding of the quantum world is beginning to hasten in a new era of human enlightenment.
And yet we’re totally unable to rid ourselves of the most stupid of suspicions.
All week I have watched people grimace and convulse with the kind of facial tics that, a century ago, would have seen them thrown into a Victorian freak show at the merest mention of Friday 13th.
What? You are going to the dentist on Friday 13th? Are you mad? You’ll end up with a root canal and your tongue harpooned on the dentist drill? Or, worse still, stunned with Novocain while Dr Drillgood manhandles your boobs / moobs and etches his name across your pantie-line in teeth whitener!
You’re never flying on the 13th? Internal flight, be damned! You’ll be blown out of the sky by a shoe bomb or worse still find yourself bumped onto a Ryan Air flight with only Gary Glitter for company!
Are you crazy? You’re planning to tightrope walk across the top of the Clifton Suspension Bridge on Friday 13th wearing nothing but a pink peephole bra and bright red galoshes... etc, etc.
You get the picture.
What’s the big deal? It’s just another Goddamned day and just another Goddamned number. It doesn’t mean a damned thing. Why do people get so knicker-twisted over it? It’s like people enjoy the prospect of disaster or bad luck. Behind all the grimacing and gurning that Friday 13th provokes is a definite sunburst of joy that somebody just might fall off a ladder in front of you and spectacularly impale their gonads on a rollerdex... anything to break the tedium of another boring week at the office.
And I suspect that’s what’s behind it. A little something to break the monotony. The possibility that the bone grinding tedium of life might be temporarily broken up by the pig’s bladder of misadventure. As long as it happens to somebody else of course. Audience participation on the 13th is not to be welcomed.
But the 13th has never been unlucky for me. Never. I’ve never had a bad experience with the number 13. Not once. Not ever. I’m immune to it. Totally. And I put this immunity down to the fact that I was actually born on the 13th (of August).
I mean, how can the 13th ever be unlucky for me if it saw my pewling but beautiful form finally arrive in the world, glistening and wriggling and full of all this splendid potential?
Unlucky for the rest of you maybe...