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Shouldn't Fridays always be good?

From the Publisher's Desk
Keith Whitson

I decided to take my chances, live on the edge and not look back. It’s true. A black cat crossed the road in front of me this weekend and I didn’t reach up to put an “X” on my windshield. Honestly, it was because I had just had it cleaned by Harrell’s Auto Detail and I didn’t want to mess it up. So, I thought I would live a bit dangerously. After all, the black cat had its nerve when it ran in front of me.
Even though I don’t really believe in such superstitions, it is still hard to dismiss them. I grew up hearing these expressions and watching my mom remove cat curses time after time with the magical “X” on the windshield.
We just came through another Friday the 13th. Well, I suppose you made it if you are reading this column. Maybe we are some of the lucky ones. I am sure if we looked carefully there would be someone that had a bad day, had an accident and even died. I doubt that we could blame it on the misfortune of the day. It seems a bit ironic that we went from Good Friday one week to Friday the 13th the next. Maybe that is where the phrase comes from “Things just went from good to bad.”
But, if you still believe in the Friday the 13th superstition, you should know that this year has three of them. There was one in January, one in April and, soon to be, July. The strange thing is that this year they are exactly 13 weeks apart. Apparently this hasn’t happened since 1984. I managed to live through that year. I have hopes for this one too.
If you have a fear of Friday the 13th, you have what is known as paraskavedekatriaphobia. (I can’t believe I just typed this and spell check didn’t even question it.) Evidently there are many who have the fear and it does show up in society.
Many times hotels and hospitals will skip assigning a 13th floor. President Franklin D. Roosevelt is said to have avoided travel on the 13th day of any month. The stock market is said to show less activity on a Friday the 13th due to reservation in trading.
Alfred Hitchcock was even born on the 13th. His 100th birthday would have been on Friday, Aug. 13, 1999.
It is estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars are lost due to people’s fear of flying and doing business as usual on Friday the 13th.
Even if we make it past the omens of these supposedly unlucky days, we still have the other superstitions to encounter. Many of you are familiar with not walking under a ladder, the bad luck of breaking a mirror, knocking on wood, picking up a penny for good luck, carrying a rabbit’s foot for good luck and crossing your fingers.
Obviously I goofed a few years back by trying to rid myself of the first few gray hairs. Now I learn that pulling one out will cause 10 to come back in its place.

For the remainder of this article please pick up the April 17, 2012 edition of The Erwin Record