…..that’s easy for you to say.
Our office party is on tonight. All the staff and their partners are invited to the Radisson SAS in Cavan to eat turkey and, er, ham, to drink beer at a free bar and then stay overnight. There will be 233 people there.
My boss last year (not really)
Some may say that this is over-extravagant while banks are crashing, while jobs are dwindling and while Bob the Builder is presumably now Just Plain Bob. The company’s attitude, though, is that the staff have worked just as hard this year as last, so why cut their party? They also take the attitude that if everything really goes badly, in 18 months time it’s unlikely they’ll be saying “if only we hadn’t held that party – it would have made all the difference between solvency and bankruptcy”.
Anyway, I’m delighted. As I say, there are 233 people going, so it’ll be the biggest birthday party I’ve ever had.
For today is my birthday, and, as you’ll have noticed, it’s the 13th (I know it’s the 14th where you are, LK, but we Irish have always been a bit behind the times). And, back in 1957 (aargh!), the 13th of December was indeed a Friday.
So the title of this post is not Mandarin, Klingon or indeed Keyshitatrandom, it is the term for Fear of Friday the Thirteenth.
The great advantage of being born on F the T is that it means you can never be superstitious. It’s hard to take rubbish about magpies, walking under ladders or breaking a mirror seriously once you’ve survived bring born on the The Day Most Fraught With Peril. Magpies are bad because they are loud and steal other birds’ nests, walking under a ladder is unlucky only if the guy at the top drops something on you (you could say the same for walking under a bridge), and breaking a mirror is bad because, well, you’ve to buy a new mirror.
In the office last week we got new Golf Umbrellas delivered to give to our clients, and I opened one to see what they were like. “You can’t open that in here,” said MyAgeGirl (the only other Over-50 in the office, though very few people know it), “it’ll bring you bad luck”.
“Jesus, MAG,” I said, “You’re talking to a guy with heart problems. What more bad luck can I get?”.
Which makes me think. In the past 18 months I’ve had 17 blackouts, three operations, and a pacemaker. I have scars on my forehead from one of my falls. I have a condition where I don’t fully experience things anymore. I’d a tooth taken out yesterday and a crown put in. I’d to pay €470 for that, and last week I’d to pay €100 to get the heater fixed in my car.
Not only that, but Ireland were awful in the Rugby World Cup, the world economy is banjaxed and the Cassini spacecraft has stopped transmitting (I know these things aren’t just my bad luck, but I’m on a roll now). Chrysler and GM are going broke. Pigs can kill you. Martina Navratilova didn’t win I’m a Celebrity. It’s pissing rain.
None of this, of course, is due to when I was born. Touch wood.
(Ps. As my birthday present to you lot, a word of advice. Don’t ever type “Office Party” into Google Images. And, if you do, don’t look at the fourth picture along.)
Look, I told you NOT to.