Tag Archives: friday the thirteenth

Lucky For Some

It’s Friday the Thirteenth.

All over the world people will refuse to get out of bed, will avoid ladders, black cats and broken mirrors (three things, it has to be said, which I rarely come into contact with on any day) and will refuse to travel (flights are actually cheaper on these days). Others will bring up the word Paraskevidekatriaphobia, fear of Friday the 13th, apparently with no fear of looking like a show-off. Sky Movies will sigh happily, say “that’s our schedule sorted for today” and show all twelve films.

I won’t be doing any of these things. Because it’s my birthday.

And, as I’ve mentioned here before, December 13th was also a Friday in 1957 (yes, 1957, back in the last millennium, in grainy black-and-white, a time of rickets, scurvy and children working as canaries in mines) when I was born.

Which at least means that I have never been superstitious.

The Tin-niece-and-goddaughter, also a Friday the 13th baby, says we’re called storm-born, which sounds cool enough to me.

So today I will get my present from Mrs Tin (I know it’s a trip away next month, today I’ll find out where), Tingirl has the day off, Tinson2 will skype call from Australia, Tinson1 is coming up from Waterford with his girlfriend, I’ll probably get dragged to the pub.

And people think today is unlucky.

Happy Birthday to me.

Blood Drive

I’m in the car. Alone. I’m driving towards the local hospital.

I look down. There’s blood on the passenger seat beside me.

My blood.

I take a deep breath and keep driving, for what seems like forever. Other cars pass me, filled with normal people doing normal things, like listening to the radio, or picking their nose.

I’m not doing either of those.

At last I reach the end of the motorway, and there it is, my final destination. I turn left at the roundabout, past the sign that says “St Colmcille’s Hospital”, past the front entrance, and past the Accident and Emergency Department.

They cannot help me, not today.

At the very end of the hospital driveway I park, badly, because that’s all I can manage, in front of a sign that reads “Mortuary”.

I climb from the car and, with blood on my hands, go through the door next to the sign.

Could it BE any more Friday the Thirteenth?






Ok, so this morning I went to my doctor for a routine check-up and she took blood samples (that’s the kind of thing that happens when you’ve had stuff happen with your heart). She was concerned that they wouldn’t get to the hospital before the weekend and, since I don’t work on Friday, I offered to deliver them to the laboratory there, a room which is located, as it happens, beside the mortuary.



And the bad parking? Oh, I’ve never been able to park properly.

Down On Your Luck

Sidey’s Weekend Theme is “Friday the 13th”. I have never seen any movies from any of the horror/slasher genre, but had always thought that Freddy Kruger was the evil guy from the Friday the 13th series. Extensive research (Wikipedia) tells me that this is not so, that the guy’s name is Jason ….   


Jason Voorhees woke early. Today was his day, the day when his deeds defined him and made him famous across the whole world.

Today was Friday the 13th.

He bounded out of bed, and stepped onto an upturned hairbrush.

Everyone knows that bad things happen on Friday the 13th, but few people consider the fact that they happen to bad people too.

When the pain in his foot had eased to a dull ache Jason dressed, looking forward to a day of slashing, screaming and spurting blood, like a fan preparing to go to an ice-hockey game.

Jason couldn’t help the way he was. Being born on a Friday the 13th at the very instant that Mars was in conjunction with Pluto, Saturn and the WRKX Kentucky radio satellite meant that he was batso since birth, and being given the name Jason, a name about as frightening as The Dread Pirate Roberts, had only stoked his inner fury.

But days like today gave him peace from the voices in his head (most of them Country and Western singers, WRKX was very into Country), and a sense that he was fulfilling his destiny.

What they didn’t give him was exemption from ill-luck. He had tried to change this, but even these attempts had been unlucky. Four-leaved clover had brought him out in a rash. His lucky horseshoe had fallen off his wall and broken a mirror. He had walked around a ladder in the street and stepped in front of a bus.

Whilst on a countryside ramble he once saw a pin and picked it up, but it turned out to be from a WW11 grenade, and the explosion had blown him into the next field.

Now, as he left his house, two magpies flew overhead. Great, one for sorrow, two for joy, he thought. Unfortunately, two magpies are sometimes just two groups of one magpie, and both of them crapped on his head.

The day got little better. Later that morning he was attacked by a neighbour’s dog. During the afternoon he tripped over a bee-hive, enraging the occupants.

Eventually, though, the morning was over, the afternoon was over, and evening (Friday the 13th Part 111, if you like) arrived. And despite the dog-bites (and the bee-stings) he didn’t feel so bad, because his time had come.

He knew they would be there. It was built into their psyche, like salmon returning to their spawning ground. White middle-class groups of teenagers feel an innate urge to turn up at the scene of previous mass-killings. They are like lemmings with braces on their teeth.

Their parents must be some of the dumbest people on earth.

He crept through the woods to the lake. He could hear them long before he saw them. There they were, each a walking stereotype. The guy playing “the Boxer” on a guitar. The giggly blonde who would wander off alone for no apparent reason. The courting couple who would be caught together. The plucky girl who would somehow fight him off, escape and tell the rest of the world how dangerous this place was, so as to ensure that a fresh group of teenagers would come here next year.

He pushed aside a branch to get nearer, and it whipped back into his face. The lash-like sound it made and his agonised yelp alerted the teenagers, who turned to stare at his hideous face, his claw-like hands, his lethal machete.

To his surprise they did not flee. Instead a smile came to all of their faces. Slowly, as one, the winning team of  the South Carolina Under-19 Kick-boxing Championships walked towards him.

On the next Friday the 13th Jason stayed in bed for the day.

Lucky For Some

Today is Friday the 13th. Many people expect bad things to happen, and they will be right, though all these bad things will be films called Friday the 13th Part Whatever, and will happen on every bloody TV channel everywhere.

The whole fuss just passes me by because my birthday is December 13th and in 1957 the 13th of December was a Friday. This has condemned me to a life of one joint present for my birthday and Christmas, but it has saved me from a life of superstition.

Once you’ve been born on Friday the 13th you can walk under any ladder you like. You can cross a black cat, step on cracks in the pavement or even open an umbrella indoors. You never have to touch wood, or see a pin and pick it up, or wear a rabbit’s foot (just how lucky was the rabbit, incidentally?).

You can, if you wish, break a mirror by hitting it with a magpie.

You’ll never win the Lottery, but then neither will most people born the day before.


…..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)

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.

friday-the-13thThe 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.