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Saturday, Apr. 19, 2014

How lucky are you?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hi neighbors. Another Friday the 13th has come and gone. I hope you all survived the ominous day with no problems. Paraskevidekatriaphobics is the word invented by Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias, to describe people with a morbid fear of Friday the 13th. According to some studies, as many as 21 million Americans have stated they feel their luck may be bad on Friday the 13th. Who would have thought?

Most people get paid on a Friday, what's unlucky about that? The weekend starts on Friday. Again, isn't that good luck?

To each their own I suppose. To me Monday the 9th would be a more unlucky day because, well, it's a Monday and the first day of the work week. And because that week would end with a Friday the 13th. Maybe that is just redundant.

Would your odds of finding a four leaf clover be lower on a Friday the 13th? But if you found the four leaf clover on a Friday the 13th, would your luck just even out with the bad luck, or would you have good luck on every other Friday the 13th the rest of your life?

What if you won a sweepstakes on Friday the 13th? Could you ever convince people it was a lucky day instead of an unlucky day?

Maybe winning the sweepstakes used up all the good luck available for the whole world -- or at least your neighborhood.

I wonder if there is a government grant available to test the theory of lucky versus unlucky. Wouldn't the outcome of such research be tempered by the fact that getting the grant money probably depends a lot on being lucky in the first place?

What if you applied for and received the grant money for research on the theory of "luck" on two different Friday the 13ths? How lucky would that be?

Have you had something bad happen to you on a Friday the 13th? I cannot remember any Friday being more or less lucky than any other day in my entire life.

I asked Flossie if she had any ideas on the theory of lucky versus unlucky. Her reply was very mystical. "Good luck and bad luck are the same thing. If one person has good luck, another person is doomed to have bad luck. Only selfish people want to be lucky all the time -- or want one big streak of good luck. They are selfish because they are hogging the good luck and only leaving bad luck for the rest of us."

That made absolutely no sense to me, but if I know nothing else, I know I will never win an argument with Flossie.

Besides, she isn't the only one to hold such a thought. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm."

Another theory about luck is that it is most often identified after the fact and far after the time it could actually have been a factor in what happened.

Jean Cocteau said, "We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?"

John Hay identified another aspect of the theory of luck, good or bad, in being determined more by what we do than what we trust fate to do for us. He said, "True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home."

For those of us who know not what to think of all the theories of things lucky or unlucky, we should agree with Alfred Hitchcock, "Luck is everything ... My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I'm fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn't make a good suspense film."

Until the next time, friends, remember, whatever this Friday the 13th held for you -- assuming you knew what day it was -- I hope you are doing well today.

Nancy Malcom
The Third Cup