The big bad post – number 13. Where I live people don’t like the number 13 and I grew up with that superstition lingering in the back of my mind. However, it turned out that this number didn’t and doesn’t affect my life in any way. What I observed is that the “fear” of the number 13 is more rooted in the elder people than in the young ones. That might have to do with the loss of beliefs or traditions but it’s also got to do with everyone being superstitious in their own way. They tend to be superstitious about things they can understand, things that affect their lives more than a number.
Honestly, that’s the way I think about the 13, too. I don’t see how a Friday the 13th should be any worse than a Monday the 8th. If I walked under a ladder and a can of paint dropped on my head on either day, I’d still blame it on bad luck and not on the respective date. However, I am superstitious. Before each soccer match I put on my left shoe first and I always wear the shirt with the number 6 on it, though the number doesn’t bear any special meaning. And I even got injured (left shoe first & wearing number 6) but still I wouldn’t have it any other way. I would never put on my right shoe first and wear the shirt with the number 8, 10 or whatever. It just wouldn’t feel right and if anything bad occured I’d blame it on my messing up my ritual.
Anyways, this post revolves around five random facts about the number 13 – either making it more evil or less evil, it’s up to you. Some may sound like conspiracy theories but I am just presenting some ideas here.
1. Infernal Bells
The Song ‘Hells Bells’ by AC/DC begins with the tolling of a bell four times. In total, the bell tolls 13 times. It is about the narrator dragging his victim into hell. If you like rock music and AC/DC, you probably like this song. If not, just listen to it. It’s a great song (as are all of AC/DC older songs) and it’s not evil. 😉
2. 13 Letters
My name consists of 12 letters (you have to believe me here) so I am off the hook…for now. However, the names of serial killers like Charles Manson, Theodore Bundy, Jack the Ripper or Jeffrey Dahmer consist of 13 letters. I’m not saying that people with 13 letters-long names are necessarily evil but still it might be something to think about. At night. When you’re alone. And there’s a storm raging outside and…I’m sorry :-). Pretty scary though, isn’t it?
3. A Transition
Turning 13 means the beginning of adolescence. The time when parents start to become difficult ;-). When you listen to music you don’t even like just to annoy others. When girls get interesting as more than just friends. It’s the time when life begins to change a great deal and this change lasts for a couple of years. I’d say it’s the most significant change in life (or at least one of them).
4. A Delicious 13
The most famous cookie here in Germany has 52 “teeth” (that’s what we call these little things at the sides of our cookies). This would be 4 x 13 teeth if the cookie was a square instead of a rectangle. However, the cookies have 2 x 14 + 2 x 12 teeth. Was this done on purpose? Would the cookie considered to be evil if it was a square with 4 x 13 teeth? 😉
5. Enjoy Your Meal
Judas, the traitor, is said to have been the 13th person to arrive at the Last Supper (although the Bible did not number the people present). However, some American presidents did not attend, or tried to avoid, dinner parties where 13 guests were already present. In France, a 14th guest could be hired for any dinner consisting of 13 people. Yes, the hired people were something like professional guests. So, although the Bible does not link Judas to the number 13, it had a big influence over two millenia and I think it still has.