Lucky 13 Trumps Triskaidekaphobia

Hey, Lucky 13!

Evening, gang.

As we continue to progress toward our end game, let’s celebrate 13; and let’s not fear it.

You may recall a recent post that involved the fear of the number three (or more specifically, the notion of bad things coming in threes), but I say we turn that on its ear!

Yeah, instead, let’s think about all the good 13s: The 13 that’s a treat, like in a baker’s dozen. Or the feat that former Major League infielder John Valentin pulled off – an unassisted triple play back in July 1984 – while wearing that number.

And even more fun with baseball and 13? How about an off-beat relief pitcher named Turk Wendell (who wore the number with the Chicago Cubs back in the 1990s), equally famous for his oddities as for his pitching prowess. (A strong late-inning reliever, especially with the New York Mets in the late 1990s/early 2000s, Wendell earned additional notoriety for chewing licorice on the mound, drawing symbols resembling ancient hieroglyphics near the pitching rubber, and my personal favorite, brushing his teeth in the dugout.)

So let’s celebrate this stuff, my friends. Much more fun that way, I think.

Before we part company and ready for another day, another step closer to essentially recalibrating the lights in the sky, I wanted to acknowledge the passing of a legend.

I know it’s the biggest cliche going to say “everyone has his/her own story,” but cliche or not, it is often true.

And not to throw cold water on our celebratory salute to all things 13, but as most of you know, today marks a very sad anniversary. Forty years ago tonight, Beatles legend John Lennon was killed outside his home in New York City.

If you were around for that, I’m sure you remember where you were.

For those of us who do remember, and as it is for so many of those “where were you when?…” moments in the distant past, the concept of “breaking news” was certainly a relative term.

I was a high school kid back then, and I distinctly remember not hearing the sad news until I arrived at school the next morning. (It was just different then; there was no Internet, of course, no social media, and many newspapers – even large national ones – ran editions that had gone to press long before certain events had actually transpired.)

I remember the thing gnawing at me most that Tuesday morning, 9 December, 1980 was my aching right shoulder; I had badly separated it in a wrestling match just a few weeks before, and it wasn’t getting any better.

I walked down a long hallway, quietly bitching to myself about the injury when I walked past two girls (neither of whom I knew), both of whom were crying and just sort of hugging
each other.

As more time passed, it was clear that something was really wrong.

I continued walking towards my first class, and then I heard it.

The principal of my school made an announcement about what had happened over the loudspeaker. I’m sure there were many who already knew at that point, but I had gone to sleep the night before, unaware of the sad events that had occurred.

That’s 40 years ago, and every time since that day, whenever I hear a loudspeaker – at a sporting event, in a subway, or in a large grocery store or shopping area – that’s the moment I remember. Every single time, I swear.

To end things on a much happier note, for those of you who may not have seen it, I would like to recommend a movie called Yesterday (2019).

The film centers on a struggling musician named Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) who awakens one morning to discover that he may be the only person on earth who remembers
the Beatles.

He uses his knowledge of the Fab Four’s music to reinvent himself, and he becomes an overnight sensation, playing to large crowds, scoring record deals, and even winning an impromptu song-writing competition vs. modern pop star Ed Sheeran.

As his popularity soars, Jack becomes concerned, not only that he may be exposed as a fraud, but that he will ultimately run out of Beatles’ songs to play, leaving him to craft his own.

At one particular musical event, two people Jack has never seen before come to visit him, claiming that they know who the Beatles are. They don’t even condemn him for what he has been doing, saying that they are simply grateful to have their beloved Beatles back
in some form.

After which, they give Jack the greatest gift of all.

And if you have yet to see the film, please treat yourself to Jack’s discovery. It’s a pretty soulful moment; and hey, you can never get enough of those, right?

Catch you all tomorrow.


Well, we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.
Yeah, we all shine on.
On and on and on on and on –
J. Lennon, January 1970, “Instant Karma”





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