Friday, February 13, 2009

paraskavedekatria - phobia (Friday the 13th)

From an email I get regularly:

That's the official name of "fear of Friday the 13th," the
same way arachnophobia means "fear of spiders."

There are a number of different theories behind the history
of how people became so superstitious about Friday the

For many people in ancient times, the number 13 was deemed
to be unlucky. And as far back as the 14th Century, many
folks felt Friday was an unlucky day to start on a new
project or take a trip.

So when you combine the two of them, it's like combining my
ex-wife with menopause - it's just a little too scary to
think about the consequences.

And of course the term "Black Friday" is associated with the
stock market crash back in the 1980's, and other disasters
as far back as the early 1800's.

Some people also believe that Christ was crucified on a
Friday as well.

Now I have no idea how they came up with this number (or
even more important, why they came up with it), but the
Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville,
North Carolina, estimates that between 17 and 21 million
people are actually affected by paraskavedekatriaphobia (a
fear of Friday the 13th).

That's 5 to 7% of the population of the United States!

Some folks have taken advantage of all this folklore
surrounding Friday the 13th. For example, one of my
favorite bands of all time, Black Sabbath, released their
first album in the UK on Friday, February 13, 1970.

The Opening ceremony of Athens Olympic Games took place on
Friday, August 13, 2004... and four of the 11 films in the
Friday the 13th series, were released on a Friday the

To me, I love Fridays. Ever since I was a little kid, I've
always loved them. Back then there was nothing like the
thrill of waking up on a Friday morning and knowing school
was over for the week and you'd be able to sleep in and
hang out with your friends for the following two days.

And even though I don't necessarily sleep in much, any
more... and I usually DO work on Saturdays, I still like
the feeling of it just being "Friday," and I do tend to
take it a little easier on Friday, try to knock off a
couple of hours earlier and kick back a bit.

I also like seeing how enthusiastic my kids are about
Fridays - they feel the same way I felt when I was younger,
and I'm happy for them.

Everybody should feel this way, regardless of what the date

Because in today's crazy world... who can't use another
excuse... to feel good... about their day?

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

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