Friday, June 13, 2008

a series of unfortunate events

The last time it was Friday-the-thirteenth I got a fortune cookie that said success, wealth and happiness will be yours.

If we all followed the advice of fortune cookies, well, perhaps we’d all be looking forward a bit more. If a piece of paper could predict the course of my life’s fortune, I’d eat a fortune cookie everyday, without realizing that each and every one contains a good fortune, and as far as fortune cookies are concerned, bad luck doesn’t exist, except if the recipe failed or the oven wasn’t hot enough. Fortuity is a chance happening, beyond a person’s control. I don’t believe it is something divine; it is merely a hiccough in the usual logical mathematical sync of the universe.

Not all fortune is a four leaf clover. Luck, as a fallacy, is perhaps ‘probability taken personally.’ Avoiding beliefs that are unscientific, a rational conclusion of luck would be to apply the rules of probability. A gambler’s luck involves denying the unpredictability of events occurring at random, presuming that if one has not rolled a seven all week, one is bound to roll one tonight.

According to supernatural and spiritual beliefs luck is ‘conjured’ by the performing of certain rituals in order to avoid the inverse of fortune, bad luck. This may be prayer, sacrifice or interpretation of omens. Numerology may also be a way of evoking luck, such as lucky telephone numbers or license plates. Both the number thirteen and Friday are considered unlucky by most English-speaking countries. Thirteen, an irregularity, is a number one more than Jesus Christ’ Twelve Apostles, threatening completeness.

Today's Friday-the-thirteenth doesn't seem like an ill-omened day to me. Perhaps my fortune cookie of 2006 will prove to be protection against today's superstitioned date. Fortune may come standard when it's a confection, but then Fortune does taste good.

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