The creepiest day of the month has returned: Friday the 13th. I’m Scoop, the Cub Reporter, from The Shady Pines Gazette. My editor, Zulah Talmadge wants me to talk to folks in town about why this day scares them so much. It kinda spooks me and I’m not really sure why.
13 IS NOT 12
I did some resesarch and I found out the number is a problem. Most people consider 12 to be a “complete” number. If you think about it, there are 12 days of Christmas, 12 months and zodiac signs, two 12 hours make up our 24 hour day. You buy six or a dozen eggs; never 13 eggs. Any way you look at it, the number 13 is just outside of normal. Maybe that’s why people don’t feel comfortable about that number.
I think I’ll start over at City Hall. I want to know if Mayor Beauregard Fibbs is superstitious about this day. I’ve called ahead so he knows I’m coming. There he is now, leaving his office. “Hi ya Mayor Fibbs.”
“Hello young man,” sayd Fibbs. “So you want to know what I feel about Friday the 13th, right?”
“Yes, sir. Do you do anything different on this day?” asks Scoop.
“Let’s just say I look to the examples set by other politicians. For instance, it’s considered unlucky to have 13 people at a table and so President Franklin D. Roosevelt never did. He also refused to travel on Friday the 13th. Over in Great Britain, Prime Minister Winston Churchill refused to sit in row 13 on a plane or at the theatre.”
Scoop is making notes in his reporter’s notebook. “I never knew that.”
“Hope that helps,” says Fibbs.
“It does. Thank you sir.”
MEMORIES LEAD TO SUPERTITIONS
Once outside, Scoop looks up and down Main Street. Where will he go next? The Nuts ‘n Bolts hardware store is just a few doors down. The teenage reporter decides he’ll stop in.
He sees store owner, Harold Sanders, talking to a customer. Scoop waits ’til the conversation ends.
“Hello, Mr. Sanders,” says Scoop.
Harold turns his head. “Why hello to you, Scoop. Whatcha working on today?”
Scoop fumbles in his pocket to find his pen. “Zulah has me asking folks if they are spooked by Friday the 13th. Are you?”
“That’s this week, isn’t it?” asks Harold. “I have to admit I’m a bit more cautious on that day. Maybe even a little supertitious. When I was in high school I was on the track team. We had this big, important meet. There I was, running the 100 yard dash like a bolt of lightning. Way out ahead. Then, right at the finish line, I tripped. Fell down hard and lost the race. It was Friday the 13th!”
Scoop is wide eyed. “Oh, my gosh. That’s awful.”
Harold sighs. “It really was.”
Scoop has an idea pop into his head. “What about Mrs. Sanders?”
BEWARE BUYING A HOUSE
“Oh, that date on the calendar really gets to Edna,” says Harold. “She doesn’t even like to leave the house. Speaking of houses, we were supposed to finish buying our home on Dogwood Drive on a Friday. But the minute Edna saw the date was the 13th, we had to push the closing to the next week.”
Scoop writes that down. “Did Mrs. Sanders tell you why she is so afraid of that date?”
“I think it’s more than one thing,” says Harold. “Her mother got into a car accident on a Friday the 13th. She ran off the road in a rain storm and hit a tree.”
“Was she hurt?” asks Scoop.
“No, fortunately she wasn’t. The car was a bit beaten up, though. And, Edna remembers falling off her bike as a kid.”
“Let me guess,” says Scoop. “It was Friday, the 13th.
“Yep,” answers Harold.
Back out on the street again, Scoop thinks about all these examples he’s getting. “My mom used to tell me to never walk under a ladder or let a black cat cross your path on Friday the 13th. I’ll have to ask her about that.”
Scoop wonders who else he can talk to who might give him more information for his article. There’s Kim Dunworthy, our postal worker. I bet she has some thoughts on the matter.
“Hey Kim. Wait up!” shouts Scoop.
Kim is surprised. “Everything all right, Scoop?”
“I’m doing a report about Friday 13th and getting reactions to it. What do you feel about that date?”
“Oh, man,” says Kim shaking her head. “It’s this week isn’t it? That is not my idea of a good day.”
“Why not?” asks Scoop.
“I dunno know. My folks used to warn me about that day. They told me that weird stuff happens on that date. Then, as a family, we watched the horror movie, Friday the 13 together. It scared me to death!”
Scoop looks up from his notepad. “I forgot all about that movie. Yikes!”
“Yea,” agrees Kim. “There just something about that number. You never find a 13th floor in a hotel or office building. Have you noticed there’s no 13th aisle on an airplane or in some movie theaters?”
“I’d never thought about that,” says Scoop.
“Let me ask you something, Scoop,” says Kim. “Do you know of anything good that’s happened on that day?”
Scoop thinks for a minute. “I don’t know of anything.”
“I gotta go,” says Kim. “Just thinking about this makes me nervous.”
SOMETHING GOOD CAN HAPPEN
Back at the Gazette office, Scoop realizes he has more research to do. He finds there are a few things good that have happened on this fateful date. This one stuck out from the rest: The Hollywood sign, which originally read Hollywoodland, officially arrived on Friday, July 13, 1923. Built to advertise a housing development, it is now one of the world’s biggest tourist attractions.
There you go. Try to make a good memory this Friday the 13th. Then write to me and let me know all about it.
From Shady Pines Story Town – Scoop Out!