11.13.09 Friday the 13th and Walmart

Friday the 13th, perhaps one of the most feared day of the year! Today, 11.13.09,  is the third Friday the 13th this year did you know that? Two weeks after Halloween no less. As a horror movie fan myself I have no particular superstitions about this day and I see it as just another normal day. But I keep wondering, who or what gave it its superstitious connotation? Was it from the Biblical reference to the Last Supper which was attended by 13 people or the crucifixion that occurred on a Friday? Was it from the failed Apollo 13 mission? Or Jason Voorhees himself?

According to this AP article, a North Carolina behavioral scientist and author came up with a term for those who fear Friday the 13th — paraskavedekatriaphobia – while the phobia of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.

For my Friday the 13th, what could be more appropriate than to watch Friday the 13th the TV Series, on Youtube, not to be confused with the Hollywood movie series. The TV version was originally aired in the late 80’s and is a precursor to Warehouse 13, a series currently on the Sci-fi channel. In both shows, 2 characters, a man and a women, search for and retrieve ancient relics that posses magical powers and return them to a secured vault. They are both guided by an older man, who serves as their mentor, or boss. The Friday the 13th the TV Series I watched was called “Mesmer’s Bauble”, which is about a lonely geeky guy who finds a crystal that he uses to transform himself into a pretty boy to get the attention of his singer idol named Angelica. Eventually, the twisted kid takes over her body, and then dies when one of our main characters snags the crystal from his neck.

I have a theory that value shoppers are especially susceptible to triskaidekaphobia. We knew that buildings don’t have a 13th floor, but if you go to your local Walmart store, you’ll see that there is no checkstand #13.


BTW, I read that a Walmart employee was killed in a Black Friday rampage at an East Coast store last year. In this NY Times article, I see that the store will put in place new crowd control measures such as opening the store on Thanksgiving morning and keeping it continuously open until Friday night, and having workers supervise and hand out flat screen TV’s instead of leaving them in piles and making it a every-man-for-himself free-for-all.


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