It’s Friday the 13th, again. A day often associated with bad luck and mysterious happenings. You are more likely to be run over by a car today, so they say, or even a bus. A pot of paint, balancing precariously at the top of a ladder, is likely to fall on your head. That itch on your arm, that you originally attributed to hives, is probably a malignant tumour.
It’s Friday the 13th and we should be scared.
Or should be? I did a little research this morning and it turns out that on average, there is a Friday the 13th every 212 days. Since 1973 there have been 69 Friday the 13th’s.
I then accessed the national accident database to see if there was an increase in accidents on that day. Oddly enough, the records had been wiped by a religious zealot some years previously and recent efforts to fabricate new data to replace it had fallen foul of something mysteriously referred to as ‘the law’.
Not put off, I then asked a few friends if they had encountered any mysterious happenings on Friday the 13th. The first was my neighbour, Joan Tripover, an elderly lady with a penchant for dismantling packets of Angel Delight. I once queried her on how anyone could actually ‘dismantle’ a packet, but she refused to explain on the quite reasonable grounds that she couldn’t.
“Joan,” I began. We were on first name terms.
“Lord chancellor,” she replied. I had given her a fake name some years previously and had forgotten about it. It seemed insensitive to let her know it was all a joke at this late stage.
“Joan, have you ever had an accident on Friday the thirteenth?”
“Interesting,” said Joan, “That you used ‘thirteenth’ there, instead of ’13th’. I wonder why?”
“It’s to do with speech,” I explained. “I cannot actually put ’13th’ in speech quotes – it makes no sense. It’s ‘thirteenth’. It’s to do with grammar and stuff.”
“Yes but you put a dash in just then. You could have just said ‘dash’. I’m not hearing that ‘dash’, but it’s there, in the speech.”
“You, ” I said in my most loving, paternal voice, “are mad.”
That’s when she gave me the stare.
“Joan,” I said, “I am merely posing a thoughtful interjection based on an incomplete hypothesis.”
“I am the dark lord’s rabbit dominatrix,” said Joan and hobbled off back into her bungalow, which reminded me of that cave in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom that looked like a big mouth.
So thus ended my detailed and investigative reporting on the history and prevalence of accidents during the day of Friday the 13th over the years.
I hope you found this informative and if you are able to use any of the above in your own research papers, it would be a privilege to read them too, if you would be so kind.