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Unlucky Number

Posted by TestOut Staff on

Today is the second Monday in January, which is probably bad enough for some people. Since when has Monday ever been beloved or anticipated? (Unless it's a Monday that's a federal holiday, like next Monday, which will be Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Then it's great, because no work or school, plus a shorter work or school week when everything returns to normal the next day.) Since January began on a Wednesday, however, it's also the 13th day of the month.

Apollo 13 astronauts after returning to Earth

That simply compounds the general malaise and uneasiness for a lot of people, such as famous horror novelist Stephen King. King suffers from triskaidekaphobia, or fear of the number 13, because of course he does. It's completely on-brand, which kind of makes you makes wonder whether it's real, because Stephen King definitely knows the value of staying on-brand. At any rate, King once wrote an article in which he expressed what it's like to live in fear of 13.

For example, when Stephen King goes up the back staircase at his home, he always takes one stride to cover two steps at the top of the staircase, because the staircase has 13 steps. (Given that he wrote the article in 1984, this may no longer be the case.) King also never stops reading a book on page 94, 193, 382, and so forth, because the individual digits in those numbers add up to 13. Although by that logic, page 13 itself would be perfectly safe.

So at any rate, today is a day to beware of, or at least a day to feel suspicious about the universe, and possibly even a day to just stay in bed and watch Netflix all day. Did you know that the Apollo 13 moon mission was disrupted by an oxygen tank explosion on April 13, 1970? Or that King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Knights Templar on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307? (Except that he really didn't, because the then-in-effect Julian calendar was off by several days.)

Here at TestOut Continuing Education, where we know that IT does not stand for "irrational terror," we're not particularly concerned. If you're like Stephen King, however, and today is a rough day, then why not take your mind off of existential angst by firing up one of our certification and training courses? We'll even play along by not charging you exactly $13, or giving you $13 off. Also we promise that none of our video modules are exactly 13 minutes long. Safety first!

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