The Square Peg – Friday the… EEEEEK!!!
© S. Bradley Stoner
Aaaah! Friday once again… it’s arrived. Friday is the start of our weekend. Sunday it’s back to work for both of us. But, today it’s Friday and it’s gorgeous out. Blue skies, sunshine, mid-70s… yep another beautiful Texas day. I went to fetch the mail. Patti Peeksalot was there and I almost turned around, but I’m not about to be intimidated by a five-foot nothin’ skinny mop of hair with a big mouth. How’s that for a visual? Okay, maybe I exaggerated just a little, but to be totally honest I just don’t like gossips. Still, I’m a gentleman.
“Good morning, Patti. How are you this fine day?” I said as I walked up to the bank of mailboxes, key in hand.
Patti eyed me suspiciously. She doesn’t trust me to be anything but sarcastic, which in her case has a lot of validity. “I’m okay,” she responded cautiously.
“Terrific,” I said, hoping that would end the encounter. Wrong.
“You know what today is?” she asked conspiratorially.
“Um, yeah. It’s Friday.”
“I mean the date,” she whispered.
“I don’t pay a lot of attention to the calendar,” I replied. “I’m retired. I have pop ups on my Outlook to remind me of important things like when it’s time to pay a bill.”
Patti sucked in her breath. “It’s the thirteenth… Friday the thirteenth!”
“Oh yeah. So?”
“Don’t you know what that means?”
“Sure. Yesterday was the twelfth and tomorrow is the fourteenth.”
“You’re messing with me again.”
“Sort of… don’t tell me you’re superstitious.”
“Bad things happen on Friday the thirteenth.”
“Well, they certainly did for the Templars,” I noted.
“That’s where this all began. Pope Clement declared the Knights Templar enemies of the faith after being pressured by Phillip the Fourth of France, who was deeply in debt to them. On Friday the thirteenth in 1307 Phillip ordered all of them arrested. Most were killed on the spot and the rest were tortured and burned at the stake… only few escaped according to legend.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“Spend a little more time with the History Channel and a little less with the soaps,” I advised.
“Ah, there you are! I thought a kinder, gentler you had replaced the old sarcastic you. Guess I was wrong.”
“That wasn’t sarcasm… it was advice, not that I’d expect you to take it.”
“That was sarcasm,” she replied, poking her finger in the air at me.”
I nodded. “Yep, that was sarcasm… and thank you for noticing.”
Patti just scowled at me.
“Well, I’d better head home. Watch out for black cats, ladders, mirrors, and cracks in the sidewalks,” I called as I made a hasty retreat. I could feel the glare on my back.
I’m pretty sure Patti is going to go home, call up her friends, get out her kettle and brew up some special curses for me. On the other hand, I might just find myself blessed with a passel of new rumors. I think I’ll just confirm them this time… that’ll scare the crap out of ‘em. Well, heck, it is almost Halloween, isn’t it?