Worldbuilding: Friggatriskaidekaphobia

I tend to sail through Friday the 13th with no more than average bad luck, which sometimes makes people look at me sideways. Family lore has it that this is because I was born 13 days after Friday the 13th, so am somewhat immunized. Karma (or Murphy) apparently will have its due, however, because my birthdays are generally pure hell.

(Seriously, I avoid going places on that day. Ever. Because – well, the tamest thing that’s ever happened is chickenpox. Once it was enough snow to build a snow fort, when everyone swore that should be impossible, and as for some of the other things that’ve happened….

Well. “The building was on fire, and it was not my fault“, isn’t just a Dresden quote.)

I suspect everyone in the world has a date like that. Or a combination of date, time, place that makes them say, “Oh, hell no. Not doing it. Nope.”

So characters ought to, as well. Think about it. If they had anything approaching a normal life, they must have had their share of bad luck, too. Which implies there are certain situations which are seen as Out To Get Me. Not for any specific reason. Just because.

So… what would your character detour down three separate intersections to avoid, Just In Case?

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27 thoughts on “Worldbuilding: Friggatriskaidekaphobia

  1. My character or myself? LOL, a situation I’d take the long way to avoid would be a cow in the road. I’ve seen how vicious those things can be. Or any other traffic accident, really. For my character, it would be a well-dressed half-faerie asking for a favor.

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  2. Eh, personally my luck is surprisingly good in general. Probably better than I deserve, to be honest. The flip side is that I’m clumsy… usually more in the vein of hilarious misadventures rather than serious injuries. I broke my hand playing World of Warcraft. Seriously.

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  3. Don’t seem to have specific dates through Murphy does like hit me at regular intervals. Like Murphy-month, Not-Murphy month. Only not that predictable. More like Not-Not-Murphy-Not-Murphy-Murphy-Not . . . you get the idea.

    Hard to say with some of the characters . . . they are such trouble magnets . . . through thinking about it, some of their trouble likely comes from trying to pull an Alibaba and avoid one of Murphy’s set-ups. And we all know how well the Dread One reacts to that kind of behavior . . . .

    A couple of them have another character smiling, especially smiling at them in a very pleased or hopeful manner, as a sign to turn right around and get out, now, going “Nope, no, whatever it is, no way, I refuse.”

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      1. Yep. 😉

        And the bunnies gave me a snippet. Not sure which story they want this one for but I found it amusing.

        Kurosaki looked like he was seriously considering turning right around and leaving the shop. Juushiro couldn’t fault his instincts. They stayed because Juushiro had long ago adopted the policy that it was always better to try to get at least some idea of what, exactly, Kisuke was grinning about. He also made a mental note that it might be time to remind Kisuke of certain courtesies.

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      2. *Snrk* That could fit a lot of stories!

        Quite. 😉

        Through I think it might be this one . . .

        Juushiro Ukitake had seen many unusual sights in his career as a Shinigami. But this one was proving to be memorable. After all, it wasn’t everyday that portal opened up in his office and spat out a pair of Shinigami in a tangled and cursing heap on the floor.

        It look him loudly clearing his throat to get Kuchiki Rukia to stop yelling at her companion for being a ‘reckless idiot’ long enough to realize where she was.

        “Uh, Ukitake-taicho, I can explain.”

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  4. Three intersection detour, hmm…

    To avoid someone to whom the character owes (money/a favor/ their firstborn child).

    The avoid someone who owes the character something, and the character doesn’t trust or is afraid of the means of repayment.

    Heck, there are certain people I avoid just because they set my teeth on edge, and it’s for no other reason (in one case) than because the person insists on greeting me whenever he sees me.

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  5. Personally, illnesses, at least for me are either “flu that should take me out for a week? I throw up twice and spend three days in bed” to “hospital time”. And the less said about that one time in 2003, the better.

    As for my characters… Anye tends to hunker down on religious holidays. Failed paladins don’t really like that sort of thing.

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  6. I love Friday the 13th. I always have the best day on Friday the 13th… and on other “bad luck” days. Halloween, awesome. Friday the 13th, beautiful. June 6, 2006 was epic, even if I have no idea why I woke up in my best friend’s kitchen wearing a bathrobe and a feather boa the morning after. I don’t walk under ladders as a general safety rule, but if a black cat crosses my path, it usually wants cuddles. My sense of timing is often spectacular, unbelievable or hilarious both in and out of games.

    The only thing I never, ever do – out of sheer curiosity if nothing else – is speak to my roommate before he’s had coffee. I can’t say I would go three blocks to avoid him, but I definitely know better than to make eye contact or say good morning.

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  7. I don’t have luck. Things happen and they are good or bad but honestly? You can take the bad very often and turn it into something good and or something to be thankful for. I think the chinese word for…trouble? Or bad circumstances? Something along those lines also translates into challenging opportunity. So i try to look forways to turn the less good to my advantage. That is what the best leaders and strategists do.

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  8. So, personally go out of my way to avoid? Modern graveyards(you know, the ones with identical markers and some go so far just to look like lawns?). They’ve always set my teeth on edge. Now, older ones, especially ones that are over a century? Fine(there’s a really nice mini park at the University of Oregon that’s actually a pioneer graveyard. Old trees, benches, and very welcoming and sheltered.)

    My current character I’m trying to write? Had to think on it, she told me junkyards. Can’t stand the places. Which is odd, but I guess it’s what it is.

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    1. I keep getting comments from relatives that graveyards ought to take down all those unsightly stones so they can be an emergency landing spot. So… oy.

      And junkyards are definitely uncanny. Things aren’t what they’re supposed to be!

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      1. …okay, I have to ask, do any of them fly? Because from what I’ve heard from military acquaintances, depending on landing gear, first choice is roads, second is (depending on the season) frozen rivers/ponds or parking lots, third is any wide open space. If you don’t have landing gear, head for open water and pray you can get her down at a good enough angle she doesn’t break up. I can’t think of any cemetery that would be more of an attraction then the road next to it.

        Admittedly, I personally see junkyards as a scavenger hunt that I can’t do anymore, but I used to go all the time as a kid. That and garbage dumps, ours had a (clean) metal pile for a few decades that you could just pick over, money from rebuilding the bikes from the parts there paid for a few Christmases. Guess it just depends what you’re used to.

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  9. I tend to have my best luck in the midst of my worst.

    Fist sized hole in my oil tank then running on water I picked up while crossing a steam in the dirt road mountains of Arkansas when my gps was a lying liar who fibbed – not the best luck ever.

    Walking less than 1/4 th of a mile to find the ONLY house in a 5 mile radius who called a mechanic that not only fed me and my companion dinner, but let us stay in their RV while they got a new oil pan (and that my car WORKED when the oil pan was installed) – excellent luck.

    Falling at work when carrying food in, tripping, and cutting my knee to the tendon- not the best luck ever.

    No lasting damage but a scar- pretty darn good.

    During a regional competition in high school, a kid from town homes near the convention center snuck on our bus, hotwired it, and, predictably, crashed. – we were close to 2 hours away from home. Awesome, but not fun.

    I won the regionals, despite mediocre preparation and the damage wasn’t bad to the bus, so we were able to drive home safely and not horrifically late. – Good luck.

    Honestly, if I’m going to have awesome luck- I’ll take it in the middle of Murphy smiling at me. That’s when you could use it the most.

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