CSotD: Fearless Friday the Thirteenth

Edison Lee (KFS) pays tribute to the date, though I’m a little uncertain of the premise, since his father and grandfather would be more apt to recognize a Friday the Thirteenth reference than someone Edison’s age, given that the movie came out 42 years ago.

Which, now that I do a little math, means his father — if he was born at all — would have been young enough that Orville wouldn’t likely have taken him to an R-rated movie.

Except that they kept making sequels, the most recent in 2009, and, as Wikipedia says, “Friday the 13th is an American horror franchise that comprises twelve slasher films, a television series, novels, comic books, video games, and tie-in merchandise.”

So there’s probably no age cutoff at either end.

I’ll confess I haven’t seen any of them. Horror movies aren’t my thing, not because they scare me but because they seem too much like this GEICO commercial:


I prefer my fear on a more Jungian level. I stumbled onto a 1977 film, The Sentinel, that scared the bejabbers out of me because it was full of rooms and people that were only there sometimes, which touches a lot of childhood fantasies born of George MacDonald’s 1872 children’s novel, The Princess and the Goblin, which he followed with The Princess and Curdie.

He didn’t require blood and screaming — At The Back of the North Wind is particularly freaky — but, then, given the popularity of the Jason franchise and the relative obscurity of MacDonald’s work, I guess I’m not anybody’s marketing target.


Which segues in a strange way to the current story arc in Adam@Home, where his wife has received a movie option on her novel and daughter Katy is sure it’s her key to fame.

This has been reminding me of a time when I bucked my resistance to marketing at the urging of a friend and began watching The Osbournes, one of the first reality shows, which meant they hadn’t perfected any formulas and were pretty much winging it. This made it entertainingly, fascinatingly wretched, as was true of most reality TV before the ruts had been dug.

The connection with Katy being that the Osbournes had three kids, two of whom became momentary stars and the third of whom had the sense to bow out of the extravaganza and was not only unseen but unmentioned, and I suppose her absence may have explained why nobody was cleaning up after the dogs.

Another connection being that it was a horror show that sprouted several sequels.

Keep hoping, Katy: It doesn’t take talent. It just takes cameras.


Meanwhile, Big Nate (AMS) continues to pursue fame, only he’s willing to invest his considerable talent for self-deception and slack efforts, as well as a cunning knack for tagging onto a popular idea a few minutes after that particular train has left the station.

Nate’s efforts constitute a more nuanced version of Charlie Brown and the football, because, unlike Charlie Brown, Nate not only remains totally unaware of the inevitable, impending futility, but manages to snatch the ball away himself instead of counting on Lucy to do it for him.


And while I can relate to Nate’s hopeless thrashing about, at least I was, as a teen, slightly more poised than poor Louis Maltby, Tom the Dancing Bug‘s salute to adolescent insecurity.

I’d likely have been more in Myron’s place, letting Louis’s insecurities trigger my own, but, for the most part, I did pretty well at dances, since my lack of social skills made me unafraid to approach girls who were clearly above my station. Which, at that age, was all of them.

Anyway, while it rarely led to much, it was better than hanging out with Louis.

Which discussion of social skills leads to this odd tie-in: It being our first burst of windows-open, sing-along driving weather, I had some oldies going yesterday  and stumbled across the Troggs’ 1966 hit, “With A Girl Like You.”

I’ve heard the song a thousand times, but this was the first time it hit me as odd that he proposes marriage to a stranger before knowing her name or asking her to dance.

Kind of a middle ground, I guess, between Mick Jagger suggesting we spend the night together and poor Brian Wilson presaging the EMO movement by sadly wishing we were married so he wouldn’t have to spend so much time alone in his room.

Some of us were British Invasion, some of us were Beach Boys, and never the twain did meet.


The pace has slowed down a bit since then, but Pickles (WPWG) has us pegged: We’re still willing to live on the edge, as long as it doesn’t screw up our knees.

Well, beyond the damage done by bending them to pull on socks.


Not that I don’t retain some fashion sense. Unlike Monty (AMS), I gave up on cowboy hats some years after moving East from Colorado, where they were reasonably common. They do a great job of keeping rain and snow off you, but it just isn’t done, don’t you know, on this side of the Mississippi.

For that matter, when I moved East, I didn’t even own a pair of regular, low-cut leather shoes because boots were such regular footware out West. I had to wait for my first paycheck to buy some loafers and then watch to be sure my socks matched.

I should have known when, during my intake interview with the editor, he told me that the dress code did not permit “dungarees,” a term I hadn’t heard since the third grade. But it’s good he mentioned it, since jeans, a tattersall dress shirt, tweed jacket and a knit tie — plus ropers — were standard business dress in the Rockies.

A few years later, I tried a fedora to keep off the snow, but the guys in the backshop started calling me “Indy,” so I went back to a ball cap.

Just a slave of fashion.


Finally, in case you hoped to escape bad luck on Friday the Thirteenth, here’s an earworm unleashed by today’s Rhymes With Orange (KFS).

You could counter it with one of the links above, but for those who prefer the direct approach:


11 thoughts on “CSotD: Fearless Friday the Thirteenth

  1. Ken Campbell once enlightened the auditorium that in a dark room, picking three socks out of a drawer with 2 different colored socks will always give you a matching pair.

  2. Sometimes I see young writers/cartoonists crowing about a movie option online and I think, “Oh, you poor sweet summer child.” Options are pretty common, and while in your head you’re casting your movie and drafting your Oscars speech, you really ought to just keep it to yourself. Saves a lot of embarrassment when it fizzles out later, which it inevitably does. I expect Adam’s Katy is doomed to disappointment.

    I was Louis in middle school. By high school, I had a group of friends–boys and girls–who pretty much spurned high school dances altogether and got into enough fun and mischief of our own. In college, my then-future wife and I took a dance class together, so while I am a competent box-stepper and a stylish swing-dancer, there’s enough Louis left in me that I’m still self-conscious and don’t really enjoy it.

    Never heard of ropers before. That’s a good-lookin’ boot.

    I love Indiana Jones but yes, those movies ruined a perfectly good hat. I had one, and once made the mistake of wearing it to Disneyland, where a costumed cast member who was a little too deep in character chased me through Adventureland yelling “Indy! Indy! We need you!” I don’t recall wearing it again after that.

  3. Doug, Ken Campbell enlightened people wherever he went.

    For those who weren’t among the 94 in our class, Mr. Campbell was our elementary principal, parent of two of our classmates, the engineer on a very small train you could ride around his yard, purveyor of a museum of absurd curiosities and Battle of the Bulge veteran with stories to tell about the hospitable Dutch people he met over there. And an irrepressible punster.

    Hardly a fair model to hold up for educators, but Doug and I were awfully lucky to have known him, if only because it made it so much easier to find socks in the dark.

  4. George McDonald gave the Princess’ grandmother a line in The Princess and the Goblin that helps us understand the political world today. After Curdie doesn’t see her in that magical room, Grandmother explains to the Princess that ‘Seeing is not believing; it is only seeing.’

  5. Random Pogo reference: Friday the thirteenth comes on a Friday this month!

  6. “Ken Campbell once enlightened the auditorium that in a dark room, picking three socks out of a drawer with 2 different colored socks will always give you a matching pair.”

    Well, I keep my socks and my underpants in the same drawer, so I might quibble here. Hmm, one socky black and one socky white and one, uh, tighty whitey? (And even aside from that, there are elements of “matching pair” that do rely on color — length and size and material, for starters.)

  7. I always wore two different colored socks in high school. It sort of evolved into a fashion statement, although it started because I was just lazy and really didn’t care.

    I’ve solved the problem as an adult by having all my socks the same color.

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