Casually Triskaidekaphobian Friday

May 13, 2022

If you’re looking for hard-hitting, insightful and blissfully acidic commentary today, you’re going to leave disappointed.

Today, Friday, May 13, 2022, is not the day I finally pull off the constraints of decorum and let many of our industry “leaders” have it for their decided lack of vision and insistence on doing things the old ways…OK, the thought might have crossed my mind, but….no.

Friday the thirteenth - any Friday the thirteenth- is the day you try not to undertake Herculean tasks. You casually whistle whilst strolling past the graveyard, hoping no one notices your pace is just a bit faster than normal. As I have remarked (and probably written, I occasionally repeat myself these days), I am not superstitious; it’s bad luck.

And that’s only half-joking. I believe giving voice -internal or external- to a negative outcome is actually adding to the chance of its actually coming to fruition. As a child I was taught “if you think you can and try, you just might. If you think you can’t and don’t try, you’ll always be right.”

I was also taught “be sure you’re right; then go ahead” - but never tried to reconcile the two. After all, my parents were my ultimate authorities, not Davy Crockett (that’s a 1960s TV joke-Google it).

In other words, think good thoughts today. It is, after all, Friday, any way you slice it. And Fridays for most of us lead into the weekend.

We are spending a portion of our weekend in beautiful, historic, Charleston, South Carolina. The Carolina low country is one of our favorite parts of the country, and Charleston with its rich history, wonderful cuisine and welcoming residents really does put the best face possible on an already great area.

This is our first visit since the pandemic, and the city’s many empty small storefronts bear mute testimony to how reliant the area really is on tourism. “When the people stopped coming,” one shopkeeper told me, “we realized just how much we relied on those vacationing strangers who clog up our streets and fill up our restaurants.”

But it’s on the rebound, with lots of storefront renovation underway. For me, that’s another excuse to come back to “the holy city” before too-long.

One of the many historic churches (top) in Charleston that earned the beautiful city the moniker “the holy city.” The pandemic made it tough on many shopkeepers, making an anniversary celebration (center) worth celebrating. And as the tourists return, bike taxis (below) are waiting to pedal them around town.


The time I’ve already spent here this week has reminded me there are really only two things that are tough to like about this area: July and August. Normally we come here when we’re vacationing on nearby Seabrook or Fripp Islands - in the summer. Charleston, we have determined, deserves to become a spring and fall destination on its own. We’ll let someone else simmer in the summer.

Now about that abnormal fear of the number thirteen: that is triskaidekaphobia. Fear of Friday the thirteenth is described as either paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. The first comes from the Ancient Greek phrase meaning “thirteen fear” the second is old Norse and means “today is creeping me out, let’s go get some mead.”

For those of you who really are into attribution, the phrase was first used in 1910 in the magazine Modern Psychology.

“And now,” as radio legend Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.”

Google him if you don’t know. I’m going for a walk around Charleston.

Have a great weekend.