Friday, February 13, 2009
i was plugging away at stories and dreaming of an early friday, when my metro editor called to inform me that not only is today friday the 13, but there are in fact THREE friday the 13s in this ill-starred year of 2009.
i rang up philip hiscock at MUN in a tizzy of panic. should we all flee? is this the end?
no, the folklore expert informed me, it's just math and the media. the math: feb's 28-day calendar is always repeated in march, and that pattern comes up again seven months later.
and then he got out the blowtorch: “There are a bunch of popular folk beliefs that really wouldn’t exist except for the news media, and this is one of them. On a slow news day, your editor says, ‘Look, it’s Friday the 13, go out and do a piece on it.’”
ouch! i was stung by his laughing rebuke and agreed to set the record straight in monday's metro. turns out 'friday the 13' was only invented in the last century. some clever and paranoid person melded unlucky friday to unlucky 13 and boom, the reporters rejoiced.
denel rehberg sedo of msvu added that in south america, everyone gets freaked out by tuesday the 13.
now that that important work is completed, i am indeed calling it an early friday. lucky me!
Posted by Pay-Per-Hack Writer at 1:23 PM