Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

I will not sweat it if a black cat intersects my projected path.

The origins of the Friday the 13th superstition are, as any reader of The Da Vinci Code now can tell you, the events of 13 October in the year 1307. On that day, "French authorities began capturing, interrogating, torturing, and burning Templars [the Knights Templar] as heretics and blasphemers. As a climax to this inquisition, the last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was roasted to death in Paris in 1314. It marked the public end of a proud and secretive order." This is from The Secret Societies Handbook, by Michael Bradley: a must on the shelves of any self-respecting paranoid and/or conspiracy theorist. From my perch on the deck of the Café Noir, near Petco Park, I contemplate my own irrational belief systems that would come under the heading of superstitions. For some reason, the first that comes to mind (possibly because of its embarrassing and flagrant idiocy) is my refusal to retrace my exact steps unless it is unavoidable. The best example of this is when I leave home and have forgotten something -- my wallet, my keys and notebook, whatever. I will not walk back home on the same side of the street I have just walked. No idea where this comes from, but it is there. On the other hand, I will, at times (though less so these days) deliberately walk beneath ladders that appear in my path in such a blatant defiance of I-know-not-what that I might as well be hopelessly enslaved to that particular superstition and assiduously avoid the underside of ladders.

I will not sweat it if a black cat intersects my projected path, and I will not change course, but I do flash on it (as some of us used to say). Same with spilling salt: I will not grieve about it, and I won't do anything like tossing it over my shoulder (correct that; actually, I might), but I am momentarily aware of it. I wonder if my reluctance to pray while on the toilet seat could be considered superstition or just -- as I tell myself -- a matter of consideration, dignity, manners, really. My reluctance to make the sign of the cross in public is, so I rationalize, a matter of distaste at public displays of piety and not a fear of jinxing whatever prayer might be at hand. A broken mirror? No big deal.

But on any Friday the 13th, I confess I am cataloging events all day long. In the middle of the day, I might look at my parking karma or timing at bus stops, any surprises on payday and -- if I run across one -- my horoscope, though I am hardly a subscriber to ideas of astrology in general. The irrational (or is it non-rational?) tug of that paragraph under "Sagittarius" in the newspaper is just harmless diversion, I tell my super-ego, and he believes me; but it is superstition, all right, even if it is just a ghostly twinge of some long-extinct, vestigial sensibility that has stopped serving any purpose. "Or," as, say, Rod Serling might put it, "has it?"

In a former incarnation as a bartender, during my Sambuca phase, I would not take a sip out of a snifter of the Italian, anise-flavored liqueur if it had more or less than three coffee beans in it. Bad luck. I would not wear a hat behind the bar for fear I might pass the cash register while wearing it -- but this was less a matter of superstition than the practical observation of bar lore, that doing so obliged the house to buy drinks for all bar patrons. I'm sure there were a few other bar superstitions I observed at the time and can't remember now, but then I was in the bag half the time anyway and can't remember much that happened between 1974 and 1980.

I may stop in at the Museum of Unnatural History on the 500 block of Market Street to catch their display of objects associated with someone or other's bad luck, and I may do it on Friday the 13th, too. I figure, what safer place to avoid evil mojo than the obvious target? It might be like standing under a lone tree on a golf course during a lightning storm; but whatever theoretical intelligence there might be behind the machinations of misfortune, surely it has a mature aversion to the obvious.

Yes, it was October 13, 1307, that a good number of French knights, out of favor with King Philip IV and Pope Clement, the progenitors of Gothic architecture and keepers of secrets (among them, those of "sacred geometry") had their hash settled in a most gruesome fashion. Many of them survived, of course, and, it is said, carry on today -- certainly their ancestors. But then that was, let's see, 699 years ago this Friday, October 13, 2006.

What's this -- 699? The figure, if you notice, is a perfect dyslexic's anagram of the number of the beast: 666. It is a well-known fact that Da Vinci was dyslexic. My psychiatrist, Dr. Emile Beidweider, would dismiss this as meaningless coincidence; and when he does, I will point out to him that I selected Dr. B. from the Yellow Pages listings for his name: a cosmic signpost, if you ask me, directing me to the one man most likely to help me unravel the decades of neurosis begun as a child in the throes of nocturnal bladder dysfunction. That's right, I was a bed wetter.

Next week: premature ejaculation and The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Ancient Curse or Harmless Fun?

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
WALKING DOG IN MIRA MESA
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
LEARN FROM HONKEYTONK DANCERS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 10, 2020
Redline Freestyle BMX Bike - $480
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
MOVING SOON - selling everything in San Marcos
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 27, 2020
PARROTS GALORE!
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 10, 2020
Ad
Previous article

Wouldn’t it be nice to live in Mike Love’s Fairbanks Ranch mansion?

Ocean, mountain, and golf course views for the Beach Boys singer
Next Article

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Princeton poetry

Like William Faulkner’s verse, many of his poems served as a training ground for his prose
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

The origins of the Friday the 13th superstition are, as any reader of The Da Vinci Code now can tell you, the events of 13 October in the year 1307. On that day, "French authorities began capturing, interrogating, torturing, and burning Templars [the Knights Templar] as heretics and blasphemers. As a climax to this inquisition, the last Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, was roasted to death in Paris in 1314. It marked the public end of a proud and secretive order." This is from The Secret Societies Handbook, by Michael Bradley: a must on the shelves of any self-respecting paranoid and/or conspiracy theorist. From my perch on the deck of the Café Noir, near Petco Park, I contemplate my own irrational belief systems that would come under the heading of superstitions. For some reason, the first that comes to mind (possibly because of its embarrassing and flagrant idiocy) is my refusal to retrace my exact steps unless it is unavoidable. The best example of this is when I leave home and have forgotten something -- my wallet, my keys and notebook, whatever. I will not walk back home on the same side of the street I have just walked. No idea where this comes from, but it is there. On the other hand, I will, at times (though less so these days) deliberately walk beneath ladders that appear in my path in such a blatant defiance of I-know-not-what that I might as well be hopelessly enslaved to that particular superstition and assiduously avoid the underside of ladders.

I will not sweat it if a black cat intersects my projected path, and I will not change course, but I do flash on it (as some of us used to say). Same with spilling salt: I will not grieve about it, and I won't do anything like tossing it over my shoulder (correct that; actually, I might), but I am momentarily aware of it. I wonder if my reluctance to pray while on the toilet seat could be considered superstition or just -- as I tell myself -- a matter of consideration, dignity, manners, really. My reluctance to make the sign of the cross in public is, so I rationalize, a matter of distaste at public displays of piety and not a fear of jinxing whatever prayer might be at hand. A broken mirror? No big deal.

But on any Friday the 13th, I confess I am cataloging events all day long. In the middle of the day, I might look at my parking karma or timing at bus stops, any surprises on payday and -- if I run across one -- my horoscope, though I am hardly a subscriber to ideas of astrology in general. The irrational (or is it non-rational?) tug of that paragraph under "Sagittarius" in the newspaper is just harmless diversion, I tell my super-ego, and he believes me; but it is superstition, all right, even if it is just a ghostly twinge of some long-extinct, vestigial sensibility that has stopped serving any purpose. "Or," as, say, Rod Serling might put it, "has it?"

In a former incarnation as a bartender, during my Sambuca phase, I would not take a sip out of a snifter of the Italian, anise-flavored liqueur if it had more or less than three coffee beans in it. Bad luck. I would not wear a hat behind the bar for fear I might pass the cash register while wearing it -- but this was less a matter of superstition than the practical observation of bar lore, that doing so obliged the house to buy drinks for all bar patrons. I'm sure there were a few other bar superstitions I observed at the time and can't remember now, but then I was in the bag half the time anyway and can't remember much that happened between 1974 and 1980.

I may stop in at the Museum of Unnatural History on the 500 block of Market Street to catch their display of objects associated with someone or other's bad luck, and I may do it on Friday the 13th, too. I figure, what safer place to avoid evil mojo than the obvious target? It might be like standing under a lone tree on a golf course during a lightning storm; but whatever theoretical intelligence there might be behind the machinations of misfortune, surely it has a mature aversion to the obvious.

Yes, it was October 13, 1307, that a good number of French knights, out of favor with King Philip IV and Pope Clement, the progenitors of Gothic architecture and keepers of secrets (among them, those of "sacred geometry") had their hash settled in a most gruesome fashion. Many of them survived, of course, and, it is said, carry on today -- certainly their ancestors. But then that was, let's see, 699 years ago this Friday, October 13, 2006.

What's this -- 699? The figure, if you notice, is a perfect dyslexic's anagram of the number of the beast: 666. It is a well-known fact that Da Vinci was dyslexic. My psychiatrist, Dr. Emile Beidweider, would dismiss this as meaningless coincidence; and when he does, I will point out to him that I selected Dr. B. from the Yellow Pages listings for his name: a cosmic signpost, if you ask me, directing me to the one man most likely to help me unravel the decades of neurosis begun as a child in the throes of nocturnal bladder dysfunction. That's right, I was a bed wetter.

Next week: premature ejaculation and The Egyptian Book of the Dead: Ancient Curse or Harmless Fun?

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
1985 DIESEL Mercedes Benz 300CD
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
WANTED: NEW HF HAM RADIO
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PEAK RIDER ADVENTURE
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 10, 2020
80 HOMES MISSION HILLS MULTIPLE GARAGE/YARD SALES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PARROTS GALORE!
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 10, 2020
Previous article

Marisa Dabice: people see it as brave

Mannequin Pussy’s songs are often “short aggressive burners”
Next Article

Damn, it's cold! NYC in late winter

Never without its charms, the colder months find New York City at its most underrated.
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close