I'm Getting Off at the 13th Floor

Why does the 13th floor of a building have to be labeled the 14th floor in every elevator in America? I know #13 is supposed to be unlucky, but are people really that stupid? I mean, who do they think they're fooling? Just because the 13th floor says 14, it's still the 13th floor. The gods of bad luck know it's 13. Gods are not that gullible. If you buy a condo on the 13th floor, so what? What's going to happen? Will there be zombies? Will it be the Amityville Horror? When aliens attack Earth will they just show up on your floor? What?

Planes don't have 13th rows either; it skips from 12 to 14. This has been very effective in keeping planes from crashing.

In my town, it's even worse. We have government-sponsored superstition in Santa Monica. Thirteenth Street is not called 13th Street; it's called Euclid Street. Did the city council actually decide that bad things would happen to people if they called it 13th Street? I would've loved to have been a fly on the wall when that heated debate took place.

And why are there still days labeled 13 on calendars? Isn't that inconsistent with this idiotic superstition? Why don't we just skip the 13th and go right to the 14th? Sure, that would mean we would be short 12 days every year but so what? We'd just have to lengthen each month by one day. August would have 32 days. Or we could create a whole new month that only has 12 days in it.

And isn't it a little odd that nobody seems to care that much about other superstitions? People still have black cats and if you have one it's likely to cross your path at least five times a day. Does the cat have bad luck just because it's black? I don't see too many people who own black cats spray-painting them orange.

Step on a sidewalk crack and your mother will immediately sustain a spinal injury? Yeah, that happens all the time. How come Dad gets away scot-free?

Don't open an umbrella inside? That's really not a problem since most umbrellas don't open two days after you buy them.

Spilling salt is unlucky? Give me a break. What happens if you spill a bag of Fritos? Are you supposed to throw the bag over your shoulder? Everything has salt in it nowadays. How would it look if everybody at the grocery store threw cans of soup over their shoulders? The only bad luck would be experienced by the guy who gets hit in the face with it.

I've heard that this fixation with #13 originated because The Last Supper had 13 people in its party and things didn't turn out so well for Jesus afterwards. Folks, that was 2000 years ago, give or take. Are we saying that if one member of his party had RSVP'd in the negative, Jesus would have gone back to carpentry?

Or would the number 12 be the unlucky one?

Or would there be no Christianity?

By the way, if you've read this far, your luck will change and something terrible will happen to you.

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