Skipping 2013
John Norberg, humor columnist s

With all the talk this month about falling off the fiscal cliff and the Mayans and the end of the world, people are missing something.

We are about to enter the year 2013 -- as in a year that ends with the unlucky number 13. I know in some religions and cultures the number 13 is revered. But for those of us who refuse to step on cracks in the sidewalk, avoid walking under ladders and never open an umbrella indoors this is a cause for concern.

We haven't had a year that ended in 13 for 100 years. The last one was 1913. And do you know what happened then? The 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified making the income tax a permanent part of our lives.

I'm sure some good things happened in 1913, but this bit of income tax bad luck overrides everything else and we're still paying for it today.

And what about the year 1313? In Europe the 14th century was a time of famine, plague and war so you can imagine what it was like for people when they woke up on January 3, 1313 -- 1/3/1313. It was a good day to stay in your wooden hut.

It's common in tall buildings to skip the 13th floor. The elevator goes from 12 straight to 14. In the U.S. space program Apollo 13 was a near tragedy. And there was no STS-13 in the Space Shuttle program. They used every other number from one to 135. But not 13.

If the smart folks at NASA didn't have to deal with the number 13, why should the rest of us?

Worse, there are two days in 2013 that are Friday the 13th one in September and one in December. What kind of bad luck are we going to have on Friday the 13th of '13? A double 13.

I'm staying in my wooden hut on those days.

This is why I think we should urge Congress to meet immediately in emergency session and declare 2013 null and void. Let's go directly from 2012 to 2014 like the elevators in skyscrapers.

True, this will make us all two years older instead of one next year. But it will be a small price to pay to avoid a whole year of bad luck.

Wife: "This bad luck stuff is all in your head. Some athletes actually insist on wearing the number 13. Some people consider the number 13 lucky."

Me: "Some people think breaking a mirror doesn't bring seven years of doom but you're not going to see me taking any chances with mirrors."

Wife: "You need to go into the New Year with a positive attitude. Why don't you make some resolutions? Focus on self improvement instead of your fears."

Me: "I can never think of any good resolutions."

Wife: "That's okay. I made a little list of possible resolutions you can consider."

Me: "This 'little list' is 20 pages long."

Wife: "I know. I had to quit at 20. I got writers cramp. But if none of these work for you I have more ideas."

I'm going to stick with the only resolution I've ever been able to keep: I resolve to not make any resolutions that will just frustrate me when I break them on New Years Day.

And I might also try this one: I resolve to refuse to accept that the new year ends in 13. As far as I'm concerned, in everything I do the coming year is 2014.

This will work great from my perspective!

But if you get a check from me next year you might have to wait awhile before you can cash it.

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