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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Friday the 13th....

Friday the 13th

Now I’m not superstitious, so don’t get me wrong. Having an unreasonable fear of something for no logical reason at all is just plain silly. Friday the 13th is another day, exactly like any other Friday, nothing different, nothing special.

The sixth day of the week and the number 13 both have reputations for being unlucky, a belief that dates back to ancient times. So when the 13th of the month falls on Friday, it is a double whammy, so to speak, and thought to be especially unlucky. According to experts, it's the most widespread superstition in the United States.

But what is luck anyhow? You make your own luck, don’t you, good or bad? You make your own choices control your own circumstances, have control of your own fate. There’s really no such thing as “luck.” How can unrelated outside events control our destiny?

How can something like a four leaf clover, broken mirror, or a black cat crossing your path make any difference whatsoever in how your life goes? Such things are absolutely ridiculous .

So when the nurse called me up on the phone to set a date for my pending surgery, I didn’t even give it a thought when she said, “Well, we have the 17th and the 26th open. Or, if you want to do it sooner and get it over with, we might be able to get it scheduled for this week, on Thursday or Friday.”

Yes, I did want to get it over with sooner instead of later. I crossed my fingers hoping that she would be able to get me in this week.

It was not until after she agreed to try and I had hung up the phone that I remembered. Thursday was the 12th and Friday was the 13 th. FRIDAY THE 13TH!

But so what, I thought. I need to have this surgery and I want to get it over with. If I have to do it on Friday the 13th, so be it.

See, I told you I was not superstitious. Who in their right mind would agree to have surgery on Friday the 13th ? But, if the stars are aligned exactly right, I thought, maybe she would not be able to get the appointment for this week.

I was getting pretty worried. Maybe I should call her back and tell her I had changed my mind. That’s it! I was feeling better all the time. I really didn’t need any surgery at all. I was totally cured in a matter of moments. How lucky can a person get?

I was setting there staring at the phone and thanking my lucky stars for my dramatic recovery when suddenly the phone rang. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I had to answer it. I couldn’t just let it ring. Sure enough, it was the nurse.

“Well, she said, we’re in luck. I was able to get you scheduled for Thursday, the 12th.”

Thursday the 12th, not Friday the 13th? Boy, I must have gotten out of bed on the right side this morning.

I couldn’t help but mention it. “I’m glad it is going to be the 12th instead of Friday the 13th. I got to thinking about it after we talked and decided that Friday the 13th might not be the best day to have surgery.”

She laughed, “Well, I’m not superstitious, but probably a lot of people would not want to schedule surgery on Friday the 13th.”

“Oh, I’m not superstitious either,” I told her. “If it had to be Friday then I would just have to do it.” I was feeling really brave now that I knew it would be Thursday.

I hung up the phone. So far so good. Knock on wood.

Not that I’m superstitious, of course. I’m sure things would turn out exactly the same whether it was Thursday or Friday, but no sense pushing your luck if you don’t have to.

Copyright 2009 Sheila Moss

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