The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


October 12, 2006

Mike Pound: Friday the 13th is on a Friday this month

By Mike Pound

Globe columnist

Friday the 13th is on Friday this month

Is it bad luck to mention that today is Friday the 13th?

I'm going with no. I mean, if it is, why do people do it all the time? Walt Kelly, in his classic comic strip "Pogo," used to do it all the time. Of course, Kelly's dead now, so there is that. But it's pretty hard to say that Kelly died because he mentioned Friday the 13th a lot. It's just as likely that Kelly died because he was human, but I don't know.

Actually, as "Pogo" readers know, Kelly really didn't mention Friday the 13th. What he did was mark the arrival of the 13th of just about every month, regardless of the day of the week it fell on. Say the 13th would fall on a Tuesday. In his strip, Kelly would have one of his characters note that "Friday the 13th is on Tuesday this month," which always used to make me laugh.

It still does.

Speaking of things that always make me laugh, the late great George Gobel still makes me laugh. My favorite George Gobel line (and I've mentioned this one before) is one he used on the "Tonight Show." George was talking to Johnny Carson about his uncle's reputation as a drinker. This is what George said: "My uncle was the town drunk ... and we lived in Chicago."

Now, that's funny.

So I'm guessing that if Walt Kelly was still drawing "Pogo," he would have one of his characters say today that "Friday the 13th is on Friday this month."

Now, as far as Friday the 13th being a day rife (it's a word; I looked it up) with bad luck, I don't know. I mean, I usually don't need it to be Friday the 13th for bad things to happen to me.

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