What is up my Stonecutter peeps?
Wookiee chiming in on this special day just to talk about Friday the 13th. One of those days you just look out for bad luck or at least a rerun of Jason movies on your local scream channel. I always thought it was funny people don’t like the Number 13. As a Stephen King fan, I always look at the Number 13 and think “there’s power in prime numbers”. Ever noticed things seem to come in threes? 7 is actually my favorite number. All prime…. Makes ya think?
And those of you used to me by now know that I get to thinking and then it leads to rambling with a fact or two thrown in as well as Simpsons references. This post aims to fulfill all of that. Besides, I got to ramble last time this happened, so why not do it again? Check out that post for some Simpsons insanity references.
There’s a lot of theories about why the Friday the 13th is unlucky. Since thirteen is the number after 12, a number of significance to many cultures and considered a “complete number”, it makes sense people might not like it. There’s 12 months, 12 hours, 12 Greek Gods on Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 years of the Buddhist cycle, 12 Zodiac signs. Makes 13 feel unnatural to some I suppose. It’s kind of the punk rocker of numbers.
Fridays are also considered unlucky to some. I always like it because it precedes the weekend but it’s actually considered a bad day to start vacations or new business ventures. In Pagan Rome, it was execution day. Other pagans treated it as their Sabbath or day of worship. No surprise the church labeled Fridays as the “Witches’ Sabbath”.
One theory making the number thirteen unlucky can be traced to a Norse myth (bear with me, I’m half Norwegian). 12 Gods are having dinner in Valhalla. When a 13th guest arrived, Loki, he arranged for the blind god of darkness Hoder to murder Balder the Beautiful who was the god of joy and laughter. The result was the whole Earth went dark and humanity mourned the unlucky day. Also interesting to note that during the Last Supper, 13 men sat at a table and even non-Christians have probably heard what happened to Jesus. Christians mark his crucifixion on a Friday. There are even biblical scholars who say Cain slew his brother Abel on Friday the 13th. Curiouser and curiouser.
Keeping with secret societies like our current event, on Friday the 13th in 1307, members of the Knights Templar were arrested by order of King Philip IV. They were tortured and most were later executed. Not surprising that sympathizers for the Knights would consider the day unlucky. There’s also an urban myth about the Royal Navy launching a ship (the HMS Friday) on Friday the 13th and the ship never being seen again. The story may not be true but there aren’t many ships launched on Fridays because of it.
In Roman lore, witches were said to gather in covens of 12. If a 13th member was present, it was the Devil. There’s also a Norse legend about the goddess Freya (Friday is named after her by the way) appearing to 12 witches on a Friday and giving them one of her cats as the 13th member. Ancient Egyptians thought life was unfolded in 12 stages, the thirteenth was the afterlife.
Ever seen a movie about a failed mission to the moon called Apollo 13? In America an author, Thomas W. Lawson, wrote a popular novel in 1907 called Friday, the Thirteenth about a stock broker creating panic on Wall Street using superstition about the day.
Basically to sum up all that info… people think the number thirteen and Friday are unlucky and the combination would obviously be the worst. Some hotels have no floors with the number, the Turkish people practically expunged the word from their language. There are actually words for being afraid of this day: friggatriskaidekaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia. Can you believe this effects 17 to 21 million people worldwide? Travel sales are affected by this day’s occurrence and less people go out just to be safe. Irony is since less people drive, it’s actually statistically safer.
Whatever you choose to believe about the day, I just always take it as an opportunity to rewatch some of my favorite horror movies. What’s even better is some of the best bad guys and maniacs have appeared in my favorite cartoon. Here’s a few:
“Treehouse of Horror V” (S6:E6) – In “The Shinning” segment of this episode, there’s so much fun to watch. Other than the obvious love for a Stephen King book turned movie, Homer going crazy gets me every time. I love how Marge locks him in the food cellar and he doesn’t want to be rescued because he can’t kill when he’s busy eating. His rescuing ghouls include Moe, Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Jason, Freddy and Pinhead.
“Treehouse of Horror VI” (S7:E6) – The “Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace” portion of this one is very fun with Groundskeeper Willie as Freddy. Just saying there’s a bagpipe spider involved and Maggie comes to the rescue one more time. Also a bonus that I have a figure of him in my Simpsons collection.
“Treehouse of Horror IX” (S10:E4) – The Couch Gag for this one shows Jason and Freddy Krueger on the Simpsons couch. So great that Robert Englund provided his voice for Freddy. This greatness also inspired a very radical 2D post by our very own Bunny.
“G.I. (Annoyed Grunt)” (S18:E5) – If you like jokes at the expense of the Army/American war machine, this is just the episode for you. When the Army recruiters show the children of Springfield Elementary a recruiting video, Jason is seen as one of the targets of a helicopter.
“Stop or My Dog Will Shoot” (S18:E20) – Bart has a daydream where he is attacked by Jason, Pinhead and a Math Book (now that’s scary!). Thank goodness Santa’s Little Helper shows up as Robocop to rescue him.
“Million Dollar Abie” (S17:E16) – Freddy is seen singing the song Springfield Blows. Recognize any of the other celebrities? (braces for Jar Jar haters in comments lol)
“The Falcon and the D’ohman” (S23:E1) – Wayne’s flashbacks in this episode are great. During the one about his training (“the kind they’re not even allowed to give any more”) he fights all sorts of things including ninjas, a sumo wrestler, a Vatican guard and a tank. Apparently Chucky and Pinhead are also part of this type of “special training”. There are a lot of other great pop culture references in this little bit too.
Gone Abie Gone (S24:E4) – Chucky appears with Jennifer Tilly’s on her instructional DVD for poker. Time is money… but money is money too.
Well there you go… lots of words about today and some Simpsons to boot. I’m off to watch either Jason in Space or Muppets in Space… we’ll see where the day leads. I wish every one of you all the luck in the world and may today have more teenage antics in it than machete-wielding mass murderers for all of us.
TTFN… Wookiee out!