The Amarillo Pioneer

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Rosser's Ramblings: Friday The 13th and Halloween

by Trent Rosser

Every now and then a certain date hits the calendar and the world panics. Friday the 13th is that day. Through the sands of time history has shown that this is a bad luck day. Being a “bad luck” day started long before Jason Voorhees was coming out of Crystal Lake to terrorize summer campers with a machete.  This superstition has been around since the Middle Ages, possibly originating from the story of Jesus last supper. There were 13 individuals present in the room during the last supper. It could also originate from a biography written in 1869 of Gioachino Rossini (an Italian composer) who died on Friday the 13th. He regarded Friday as an unlucky day and 13 as an unlucky number. Then there is Friday October 13, 1307 when Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar. Seems like every culture has their own take for the date. Some consider Friday the 17 the bad luck day and some like the Greek culture believe that it is Tuesday the 13th as a bad luck day.

The social impact has been great. According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people are affected by fear of this particular day. Some are so scared that they avoid their normal routines. Some will not even get out of bed! It has been estimated that $800 to $900 million is lost in business on this particular day. Even some tall buildings do not have a floor 13. The floors go from 12 to 14.

So this month, October, has a Friday the 13th. What a way to spend this year’s scariest month! Not only do we have the little ghost and goblins and witches out later this month, but we also have a Friday the 13th that we can contribute to add fuel to the fire for this Halloween. This is my favorite time of the year. It always has been. This is the time, even if it is just for a day; you can be anyone that you want to be. I used to love going out trick or treating for candy and dressing up. But then that certain thing happened that happens to all of us. We find out that we have responsibilities. It was about 25 years ago that I was driving down one of the main city streets and saw a grown man walking down the street with blood stain and a knife sticking out of his back. That was a great costume and looked real! Well, I hope it was a costume. Nowadays, he would be taken off the street immediately and possibly taken to jail for disturbing the peace. Who knows what would happen now. Everyone is so afraid that they might offend someone, that no grown up will go out and dress up for Halloween. We, as a society, have put our “feelings” on our sleeves and now everything people say or does "hurts."  I say that enough is enough!  Rise up people; it is time to pick up the torches, (or tiki lamps).  It is time for us to take back Friday the 13th and Halloween! It is time for the kids to stay home and pass out the candy! It is time for the teachers to go out and toilet paper the kids that give you trouble all year! It is time to put a flaming pile of poo on your bosses’ door. It is time to go to jail if you do any of these things….but it sure would be fun!! Can you imagine the judge reading off the charges?  “Mr. Jones, you have been charged with disturbing the peace and blocking traffic by dressing as Michael Jackson and moonwalking back and forth across Main Street. Your dog will also be charged as an accomplice as you had him dressed as “Bubbles” the monkey!”

I would love to see adults dress up and have some fun, without the entire backlash, of course.  I saw a man dress in a football uniform with the number 32 and a orange juice bottle, knife and black gloves glued to the shirt. Of course, we all knew who he was, O. J. Simpson. Could he do that now and get away with it, maybe? We need to have fun. It is the one day of the year that we can do that. Can you imagine going to work to see everyone dressed up for the day, or even to a political rally and everyone is dressed up. Probably everyone at a political rally will be dressed as a blood sucking not much would change there.

This year, like every year, we decorated the front of our place for the kiddos. Unfortunately, where we moved to, no one can find us. So no “trick or treating” at our house. I will not be able to see the kids dressed as a princess or Thor or even Batman.  But it is fun to see every one slow down and look at the front of the house. So, instead of passing out candy this year, my wife and I will be going to a party and we might actually dress up. I found an old wolf mask and thought about wearing it for the party. My wife said something about the movie “Teen Wolf” and I said something about a letterman jacket, and we both thought of Michael Jackson and the “Thriller” video. Then again, I just might go cheap. Throw an old white sheet over my head, paint my belly yellow and go as a fried egg! But just in case I do go as the werewolf, and you see someone trying to “Moon walk” across the street, make sure it is me and then run me over. I do not want to go to court to explain why I’m in the middle of the street singing “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It,” and howling at the moon, and acting like a fool. Then again, I just might do it out of spite!

Happy Friday the 13th and Happy Halloween!

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