Friday, April 13, 2012

Invent your own Friday the 13th!

JAN BROGAN - Because Fridays the 13th roll around every so often, we've talked about superstition before . This time I have a better idea.  Somewhere at sometime had to invent each and every superstition and most of them were created for a reason right?  The whole breaking a mirror bringing seven years of back luck had to be invented by some frazzled mom who wanted to keep her sons from kicking the glass, don't you think?

I sometimes wonder if I knew the actual little girl who invented the not stepping on the crack or it would break your mother's back rule.  She also made me walk barefoot across the street in August SLOWLY if I wanted to play Princess with her.  At any rate, you get my drift.  We're writers, right?  We are completely capable of making up our own self-serving superstitions, and I'll start:

1. Buying a used book on Amazon on Friday the 13th when it is still available new, you get one year of BAD LUCK.  If you buy a used book in the month that it comes out new, it's ten years back luck.

2. If you talk loudly on the cell phone in a dentist's waiting room, when the room is filled with other people on Friday the 13th, really, really bad things will happen to your teeth.

3. If you put salt on anything I cooked for you before you taste it, you WILL get high blood pressure and have to go on a special diet.

Your turn:


1. If you honk at me at the just-changed green light before I could POSSIBLY have pushed the accelerator, that's 7 more red lights you'll hit.

2. If you walk down the street and bump into me because you are distracted by texting, you'll get 7 calls from telemarketers in the next two days.

3.  If you leave your grocery cart in line and run off to get one more thing and then don't come back by the time its your turn and make everyone wait, your, um, carry out chicken soup will spill into your carton of eggs.

RHYS BOWEN: Okay, I'm about to reveal my not-so-nice nature.

1. If you invite a writer to drive fifty miles to speak to your bookgroup and then you tell her you found a copy of her paperback in THE USED BOOK BIN at the library and you buy no new books, then your arthritis will become so bad you won't be able to hold up a book anyway!

2. And a favorite pet peeve: If I hold the door open for you and you walk through (talking on your phone) without saying 'Thank you' then on Friday 13th I'll let the door slam in your face.

ROSEMARY HARRIS: Oh dear! And I thought you gals were so much nicer than I! Okay, if you put me on your mailing list without at least asking me, you will get 87 emails about increasing your penis/breast size. In one day.

If you talk during the movie, you will accidentally (ha!) put your coat down on the seat that is still sticky from the last moviegoer's soda or popcorn. At least, that's what you'll hope it is.

If I am trapped in an elevator with you and you are wearing far too much perfume, pigeons will find you and use your head as a toilet. (I's supposed to be good luck, but I like the image.)


1. If you weave in and out of traffic on the New Jersey turnpike on Friday the 13th, you will be awarded an enormous ticket and points on your license. And when you slink back to start up your car, it won't start. And all the tow truck drivers are busy for the next five hours. Happy 13th! (Can you tell I've been traveling???)

Happy Friday the 13th--make sure to pat a black cat today....

JAN:  Well now that we've had a good time inventing very specified bad luck on Friday the 13th, now it's your turn!


  1. How fun! Here's mine. If you say, "I know you're not supposed to pat a service dog, but I can't help myself" - as you bend over to hug him - my wheelchair will malfunction and bop your bent-over, big-butt backside.

  2., like when I'm grocery shopping, or eating out, or in the bookstore - like when he's working! Friday the 13th or not, your backside will be cursed.

  3. You guys are wicked bad!

    If you drive inches from my rear bumper (with your brights on) when I am driving at the speed limit, someone else will rear-end you and you'll have neck problems until the next Friday the 13th.

    If you drive the wrong way up my narrow well-posted one-way street (full of children and cats), someone will scrape the side of your car with a big sharp object.

    So there!

  4. Loving this... I was traveling yesterday, lots of time on Amtrak, and my #1 If you run into me while cutting across a train platform to get to your train and texting, you will find the only seat free next to the bathroom and the train car door won't stay closed for the whole ride.

  5. Aw, man, I love this! Going to re-post!

  6. Oh, Hallie,
    you've got a real talent for this!

    Maybe we all do....

  7. You guys are wicked--keep 'em coming!

  8. Ok - this might be too much, but it's how I'm feeling today:

    If you're a nasty, rude, self-serving liar who treats people like garbage, you will get hit by a garbage truck (which is really the karma bus in disguise). And only maimed, so you're miserable.

  9. If you're not handicapped and you knowingly park in a handicapped space, you will have that handicap for a full day.

    It's mean, but that kind of selfishness really pisses me off.

  10. Reine,

    I have never approached a service dog, mostly because they always look so busy, but I've never known that rule so your Friday the 13th is actually an educational service,

    Shizuka, Boston had a whole scandal a while back of people - who got handicapped stickers who weren't handicapped (they were either run government or knew someone) it was disgusting.

    Liz, we all have those kind of day!

  11. BTW,

    I'm at Dana Faber this morning with my mother-in-law and there are an awful lot of people here who make you realize the value of every day - no matter what the date!

  12. I'm with Shizuka on parking in the handicapped space without a permit. I think that should become cosmic law!

  13. If you can't learn to cough into your elbow and instead you cough on me in the allergy doctor's office and give me your cold you will get a pulsating, neon zit on your nose every Friday the 13th.

  14. Oh, Rhys! I accidentally violated your first rule once, telling a writer how glad I was to have found a used copy of his book -- b/c I thought it was out of print, and was really proud of myself. Only later did I discover it had just come back into print. I've sent him silent apologies ever since, when I see the book or his name....

  15. If you come to my home or office and don't bother to close the door behind you, then you will have hornets in your bed linens every night for a year and/or four flat tires when you return to your car.

    If you are pumping gas at the next tank over from me and talking on the phone to the woman that you want to spend the night with (if she will agree to your visit), and you advertise how many packages of condoms you are bringing with you, you will discover at an inappropriate time that you need Viagra. (Like you did not know that everyone at the gas station could hear your conversation???)

  16. Deb, I love yours at the gas station! LOL I am always surprised at the very personal information people shout over their cell phones in public places.

  17. Oh Deb, I didn't even know they sold condoms at gas stations.

    Good solution though!


  18. Just to add to Rosemary's contribution: the 87 emails will be from your significant other.

  19. Leslie, I really don't mind it when a person tells me they've discovered a used copy of my book. After all, getting a new reader is always great. What I do mind is when an affluent retirement community asks me to drive for over an hour and then tells me they've passed around one used copy of the book and don't buy any new ones!
    Oh, and they say "We can't pay you but we will give you lunch."
    I always want to answer "Do I look as if I'm starving?"

  20. Oh Rhys, do they really do that to you? For shame! Do they not know how fortunate they are that you write wonderful books that enter their atmosphere? May they read this blog and feel guilty each time they see the number thirteen-- but forget why whenever they are in bookstores and feel compelled to by hardbound books in multibles of 13 every 13 days! xoxo

  21. "Do I look as if I'm starving?" I love it, Rhys! (And they deserve it!)

  22. I can't think of anything, (brain fried from no internet for onLy 20 hours and I a catching up), but I loved yours :)

  23. Laughing so hard! Just back from working all day out of town....


  24. REine,

    Love the buying books in multiples of 13!


  25. Rhys, that would frost me, too. I wouldn't expect everyone in the group to buy a new copy -- lovely as that would be -- but crowing about not doing so deserves a curse involving the back end of a bird!

  26. So funny! Yesterday, after commenting here about servy-dog etiquette, Kendall and I took off for the grocery store where most disability related faux pas seem to take place, at least in our current world.

    It was a great shopping trip for me because, for the first time ever, I used my seat elevator function the entire time we were in the store. This brought me to eye level with the other shoppers and the store's staff. Wow! Huge difference in the way we related!

    It was good, but it made me sad to think height seemed to have so much power. It wasn't any increased confidence on my part. I was very nervous about doing this.

    I had previously only used the elevate function when I needed to reach something high on a shelf. Then it would seem that everyone was watching. Some would become annoyed waiting for my chair to go through the elevation process. Others, nice, helpful people, would rush over and try to reach for me, without asking.

    Yesterday in the store was so different! With my chair elevated everything worked better. It was easy to push the cart. I could use the credit card machine without help. No one forced their help on me. Being higher made others see me differently. They saw me as capable. It isn't just chair.

    Then someone spoke to me for her husband, a wheelchair user, the way others speak to my husband for me. I was shocked. "My husband likes your chair. He's trying to tell you he likes the way your chair goes up."

    For once I knew how to respond to this type of odd speak-for-the-person-in-the-chair treatment. I looked at him. He looked at me. We shrugged our shoulders and rolled our eyes. He said, "I want one of those." We smiled as his wife tried to interpret for him.

  27. Okay, that shopping story is going to be the basis of my BBC UK disability blog submission. I've been working on that so long! Now I know where to take it. Thanks Jan!

  28. Reine, you're absolutely right. Sociologists and others have studied the relationship between height and power. Taller ALWAYS equals more power, no matter the other side issues. An expert on power that I brought into the university once explained that, quoting from dozens of studies. Then, she said, "That's why I always wear these," pointing to her five-inch stilettos. Without shoes, she was about 5'2".