Happy Friday the 13th! Next to Halloween, this is one of the best days of the year. Having Friday the 13th is like having an, almost, mini Halloween: People’s superstitions get the better of them; many people stay home and refuse to conduct business; and it gives us true Halloween-ophiles something to be giddy about. The unluckiest of numbers is in our faces constantly. There really is no avoiding it. So, I’ve made up a short list of everyday things that contain 13 naturally.
The next time you find a dollar bill in the street, just remember, the imagery on the dollar bill is replete with the number 13. There are 13 steps on the pyramid, 13 bars on the shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, 13 arrows, 13 stars above the eagle, and there are 13 plums of feathers on each of the eagle’s wings. Obviously, this is due to the fact that there were 13 original colonies at the start of the American Revolution. Each of the slogans, E Pluribus Unum, and Annuit Coeptis, also have 13 letters.
There are 13 red and white stripes on the flag of the United States. Does anyone else find it odd that our country started out on such a spooky number? Perhaps the Founding Fathers made a deal with supernatural forces….
Do you like to play cards? Ever wonder why you lose so much? There are 52 cards in a standard deck of cards, consisting of 4 different suits: hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs. Do the math: 52/4 is, that’s right, 13. Beginner’s Luck indeed.
Ever buy a dozen bagels or doughnuts and discover an extra one in the box? This is known as a “Baker’s Dozen”. In the last century or two, it was considered a crime for the baker to short change people by even 1 doughnut. So, in order to avoid potential jail time, baker’s would add an extra item to protect against the possibility of miscounting. His fear became your potential misfortune: a “Baker’s Dozen” contains 13 items. Hope you don’t get indigestion.
If the number really bothers you, you might want to stay home at night. The moon, the main source of natural light, has a cycle that it completes 13 times every year. Now, that lunacy.
As if that wasn’t enough, the far-flung planet of Neptune has a collection of moons in orbit in the amount of 13. Don’t look up at the stars either.
Washington D. C. is in this little club as well, thanks to the Founding Fathers, I’m guessing. D.C.’s council members number 13. No wonder why nothing good ever comes from that place.
Do you consider yourself a religious person? You might want to rethink that if you have a problem with this creepy number. There are 13 principles in the Jewish Faith. Christians don’t get away Scot-free either. There were 13 people seated at the Last Supper, and it was the 13th person whom betrayed Jesus.
Are your beliefs more mystical? You don’t get away that easily. In the deck of Tarot, one of the major arcana, Death, bears the number 13. Think it’s a coincidence? It probably isn’t. Wiccans aren’t exempt, either. While the number might have changed, covens were believed to contain 13 members. Although, they, probably, chose that number for various reasons. Then again, maybe they didn’t. During the Salem Witch Trials, 13 women were hanged for witchcraft.
It doesn’t sound like the number is very lucky for anyone. This is only a small of number of things containing 13. How many more can you find? Perhaps, you don’t even want to know. No need to worry. It’s just a silly superstition… or is it? Spook on.