Jared Felkins: When it comes to dates, threes make me nervous

I’m reminded this week of the timeless School House Rocks ditty, “Three is a Magic Number.”
Jun 14, 2014
Jared Felkins

“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.”

— William Wordsworth

I’m reminded this week of the timeless School House Rocks ditty, “Three is a Magic Number.” 

Remember the tune? It goes a little something like…and a one, and a two, and a…

“Three is a magic number; Ya it is, it’s a magic number; Somewhere in that ancient mystic trinity; You’ll get three; As a magic number; The past, the present, the future; Faith, and hope, and charity; The heart, the brain, the body; Will give you three; It’s a magic number…”

Well the number three is a magic number to me -– black magic, that is. I guess you could say I have a touch of triskaphobia. That’s the fear of the number three. Don’t worry; I had to look it up. 

With Friday also Friday the 13th, it does make me nervous. And with it coupled with a full moon doesn’t make it any better. 

As an aside, the next time a full moon is expected on a Friday the 13th is in 2049. The last time it happened was Oct. 13, 2000. Thank goodness for the frequency, at least where my phobia is concerned. 

As an aside to my aside, the fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia, and the fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia. I had to look those up, too, but one thing is for sure. Both would be a sure win in a game of Scrabble. 

In any case, there’s good reason for my triskaphobia. When I turned 3 years old, we had a terrible rain, which flooded our basement and ruined my Star Wars-themed birthday party. It took hours to get all that water cleaned up. 

More significantly, when I turned 13 years old, another heavy rain came, which flooded the bowling alley where I again was celebrating my birthday party. It was so bad our car was left underwater, and we had to be rescued by a bass boat. 

Interestingly, a Birmingham News reporter interviewed me and put my quotes and my picture in the Sunday paper. I credit that incident as to why I got into newspapers in the first place, so maybe it wasn’t all that bad, in retrospect. 

Just a few months before I left college on my 23rd birthday, we had another terrible storm. This time it was a snowstorm, which is quite rare for March in Alabama. 

Ironically, it didn’t even rain a drop on my 33rd birthday, but it didn’t heighten my worries any less. 

So as you can see, my triskaphobia is warranted. And though, best of my recollection, I’ve not had a memorably bad Friday the 13th, I really just can’t get past that number three. 

The good news is, if you’re reading this, it probably means I at least survived. Otherwise, it would be in pretty bad taste someone would publish this column in my demise. 

I will say this, though. There is one instance of the number three that’s pretty good in my book. And that’s the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. 

Rather than worry, maybe all I need is a little faith. 

Oh, and just as one final aside, happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Spoiler alert: I’m taking a weekend trip for Father’s Day to North Carolina. I’ll let you know how it goes next week. 

Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins. 


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