I’m not superstitious, but millions of other people are, to one degree or another. On the off chance that one of those millions isn’t too petrified to go on the internet, I offer the following to help sweep away the gloomy clouds of supernatural fear by shining the light of knowledge against their primitive mindless terror with these
FUN FACTS ABOUT FRIDAY THE 13TH
1) The superstition of Friday the 13th being a day of bad luck was created by Henry Sutherland Edwards on Friday, November 13th, 1868, while playing craps, after having lost his life savings on an all-or-nothing bet by rolling a 13. He died later that day of food poisoning after eating a bad Spicy Craft-Beer Cheeseburger at T.G.I. Friday’s.
2) Due to the year having a number of days not divisible by 7, plus the occasional leap year, the number of Friday the 13ths will vary between 1 and 3 each year. Biblical prophecy, however, clearly states that one year will have a 4th Friday the 13th, during which SyFy will run a Firefly Season 2 marathon.
3) The scientific term for fear of Friday the 13th is “paraskevidekatriaphobia”, which is derived from a collection of Greek words that translate literally as “superstitious pansy”.
4) In America, Friday the 13th is traditionally celebrated by donning sports equipment and chasing teenagers through a campground with a machete.
5) If your birthday is on the 13th, then Friday the 13th is actually a lucky day for you. Expect a shiny new iPad. Everyone else – have an Etch A Sketch.
6) The official flower of Friday the 13th is whichever one you’re allergic to.
7) Famous movie director Alfred Hitchcock was born on Friday the 13th, 1899. The first draft of the script for his classic film “Psycho” was originally a much tamer story, where Janet Leigh was horrified to discover that there was no mint on her pillow.
8) Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was born on Friday the 13th, 1926. Oddly, the day of his birth is officially considered a lucky day by Cuban citizens. The day of his death – even more so.
9) Stockbroker and author Thomas W. Lawson, in his 1907 novel “Friday the Thirteenth,” wrote of a stockbroker’s attempts to take down Wall Street. Bizarrely, without the use of bongos.
10) The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, NC, estimates that airlines lose $900 million due to people’s fear of flying on Friday the 13th, which is about the same as the amount lost due to fear of overly-intimate TSA patdowns on any other day.
11) The British Medical Journal did a study that shows that car accidents occur more often on Friday the 13th, although some people claim it’s merely coincidental, since Friday the 13th is also “Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road Day” in England. Wacky Limeys!
12) Scientists predict that the Earth will be destroyed on Friday, April 13th, 2029 from an impact by the asteroid 99942 Apiophis. On the bright side, you won’t have to worry about paying your taxes for 2028.
13) Legendary rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas on Friday, September 13th, 1996. His last words were “don’t point that gun at me, you superstitious pansy!”
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go set up the DVR for the Firefly Season 2 marathon.