The Curse of Saturday the 14th

Every time it reaches Friday the 13th people do the cliched bit about it being a bad luck day. So far (touch wood) I don’t think its all that bad of a day.

I had a great day at work, got a new contact who needs some help, closed a nice deal and did some other successful bits. We got a nice lunch from the bosses, and I spent the evening with my family. As far as Fridays go it was pretty splendid.

Saturday the 14th though? Well that day just tends to suck. I’ve noticed over the years that I end up having a crummy Saturday on the 14th. Sometimes it can just be watching Spurs get an absolute thumping, other times it can be things like my PC breaking down or something generally going wrong.

I was nervous today, because my Saturday the 14th was to be spent going down to London to watch Spurs play Bournemouth.

Normally this type of fixture would be one you’d expect Spurs to win and so it being the 14th made me worry that we’d somehow cock it up.

My wife got me the tickets, one for me, one for my dad. We were meeting at Wembley around 2ish to watch a 3pm kick off.

I decided last night to have a late night, because if all went to plan I could simply wake up and leave about 10ish and I’d have had a nice lay in.

Being the 14th, that didn’t happen. I got a normal amount of sleep, but my plans to oversleep and build up some reserves in the old sleep bank failed miserably.

I got ready, was frustrated that I had no clean clothes to hand and eventually found something suitable. At that point I figured if I just went I could have time to get coffee and breakfast at the station, and do a bit of Pokemon Go work.

Being a damn fool, I forgot I was driving to the station and started towards work. These are kind of the same direction, but where I should’ve gone one way at a roundabout to reach the station, I turned another and didn’t even notice for a good ten minutes before I suddenly thought ‘Wait where’s the station?!’

I could still get there from this direction, and did luickly enough. I was only mildly annoyed, and couldn’t decide whether it was the curse of Saturday the 14th or just an accumulation of my ineptitude.

Either way I had a 50/50 call to make as I arrived at the station, I either park in the long stay carpark, or I goto the shopping centre multi storey next door.

I wanted the one that did contactless payment – I couldn’t remember which one that was, but assumed it was the multi storey carpark.

It wasn’t…

I was trying to figure out what the situation was with this car park nonsense and on my way through the entrance I heard a horrific screeching sound as metal tore through the front side of my car.

I didn’t think it’d look that bad when I heard it, I went and parked, got out and looked and was shocked to see how deep the piercing slash was. I called the Car park people to ask them for some help, as when I looked at the gate, it was sticking out further than it should be, and was all bent up, which was at least partially going to be because I’d driven against it, but it wasn’t clear whether it was already like it.

My car is pretty wide, being a Ford Kuga. The man who came to talk to me said that cars seem to get hit by this gate all the time. He also mentioned it wasn’t ‘locked’ like it should be. Something that made me feel a little like he’d just admitted this happens often and its a result of their mistake, not mine.

That said, with the curse of the 14th in mind, and the fact I’m a new driver who was having a bad morning, I wasn’t sure what to think. So I gave him my details and asked them to reach out to me. I had to catch my train!

I got in and ordered some food and drink, heard that there was a train to Kings Cross on platform 3 and legged it over there. These inconsiderate people were toddling along in front of me taking a relaxing stroll, ignorant to the fact I and others were in a rush to reach this train. I got there seconds after the doors closed, and watched it pull away.

I text my wife about everything that had happened, cursing the date for everything it was doing to undermine the gift my wife had given me.

I went and sat alone in the seating area on my platform, pondering the curse further and wondering whether I was just blaming my own idiocy on an intangible force. I stayed up late expecting a lie in when I have 3 young kids. I drove the wrong way when I set off. I was driving the car when it got damaged (though I think it got damaged because the gate was left open in the wrong way!) – I chose to try and get the train that was leaving in 60 seconds whilst being 55 seconds away from the train.

I decided to finish my coffee and await my train. I was a little miffed when I then heard that the train was about to arrive back at platform 1, a full 55 second walk away! I legged it back, thinking about how furious I’d be if I got there 5 seconds too late again. This one wasn’t me – the sign said platform 3 and they then announced it had changed at the last minute.

When I got to the train though I was delighted to find that despite sitting around for fifteen minutes, the train I was getting now was going to reach Kings Cross about five minutes after the one I missed due to the fact this one was direct and the other stopped at multiple stations along the way.

That felt like a win, maybe the worm had turned?

I spent the journey reading one of the more recent trade paperbacks of ‘The Wicked and The Divine’ – which was amazing.

When I got to Kings Cross I has some spare time and caught a ton of Pokemon for my son, and a couple for myself.

I was a bit weary of getting the tube to Wembley as I had it in my head that it was going to be a stupid journey of frustration but I was shocked to find it was like 5 stops, and when I got there I was able to catch even more Pokemon.

Wonderful!

My dad arrived soon after and I felt a lot better about the day by this point. We walked up towards Wembley, taking it all in. We were massively early, but i’m glad we made the most of being there.

We were confused as we reached the stadium, our tickets had no ‘gate’ to head to. They were labelled A-F on the side of the building we were on.

My dad made me laugh saying ‘It says B Block on the ticket, right here!’ – I looked and it literally just said ‘Block’ , he’d somehow read the first letter twice.

We found it was the Bobby Moore entrance that we needed. Which looked awesome from the outside, we were too intimidated to walk up to it at first because everyone else going to it was dressed up for a fancy visit.

We were in the right place though much to our delight, it was great seeing how happy my dad was too. We went in and couldn’t tell where we were ‘allowed’ to be as the riff raff.

As we went to get some food a man walked out in front of us. Before I had a chance to compute who it was, my dad shouted ‘Ey, its Darren!!!’ loudly, as I realised it was Darren Anderton. We were beaming, he kept walking, probably aware that given half a chance we’d probably pounce for a selfie.

My dad said we should’ve stopped him but I think our announcement of his entrance was probably enough to kill that possibility.

We walked up towards the area where our seats would be and it was great just looking at all the statues, and awesome food and drink places. We got burgers, which were incredible. The food in this part of Wembley was a different level compared to the food I’d had there before.

Our seats by the pitch were superb, the view spot on. We weren’t near any idiots and could see everything throughout the match.

Spurs actually won, which is wonderful because our ‘home form’ had been the stuff of curses in itself. The Wembley hoodoo was all over the media, and playing in everyones minds pre match.

I got to see some awesome skills. A hilariously bad shot that went a full 90 degrees in the wrong direction from where the player intended it to go. Our winning goal was exciting. Overall it was a great experience and I’m so grateful for my wife buying us the tickets. I loved it, and I loved it even more because I know my dad enjoyed the day too.

By this point I felt the curse was probably overstated. I’d got out of Peterborough and everything had gone exceedingly well. I’d watched Spurs win, I’d eaten the best burger I’ve had in ages, I’d caught a load of Pokemon, and I spent some time with my old man. He even had a company who could repair the damage quite cheaply if I can’t get the shoping centre to pay it, so the worst part of the day was looking pretty neutral now.

Heading home on my own I was on tenterhooks trying to avoid the curse rearing its ugly head again.

(In fact, 1600 words in, I’m just going to press ‘save draft’ on this post to make sure I’m safe…)

The tube train was rammed and I couldn’t keep balance, bumping all over the place. But it was fast. Someone mentioned Doctor Pepper and I was craving it all the way to Kings Cross.

I wanted to find a shop and grab a bottle but there was a train ready and waiting for me straight to Peterborough which was good news in itself, I figured I’d get one in Peterborough.

My car wasn’t any more damaged than when I left it and I headed home, via the chip shop to get dinner and to grab the can of doctor pepper I’d been craving.

I almost made it to my house without further events, until a motorcyclist and a car almost collided ahead of me. The result was a 2 minute argument in the middle of the road between the motorcyclist and the driver.

I totally felt the cyclist was in the right, but equally I felt like this was getting out of hand and someone was going to end up hurt eventually.

The guy got off his bike to approach the car, and it was getting angry, so I leant on my horn for like 15 seconds, until they both looked at me wondering what in the hell I was doing.

I then told them to calm down, beeped again when they didn’t listen and then told them again. Honestly, it was like breaking up a fight between children.

I realise in hindsight that a horn and being told to calm down, aren’t really the most calming of things to do.

The man got back on his bike, the car left with the driver cursing out of the window. The biker obviously took offence to this as he turned around in the road and chased after the car.

I imagine they fought again soon after, but I carried on home thinking ‘Ok, I diffused things there just enough to avert a disaster…or at least delayed the disaster long enough that I didn’t have to witness it…’

Concerned more for the warmth of my dinner, I rushed home and inhaled it nice and quickly, saving my doctor pepper until last. I’d waited two hours, I could wait another two minutes.

The day had been long, but I’d beaten the curse…

I tidied away my plate and so forth, picked up my can and went into the living room to enjoy it in front of the tele with my family. As I looked at them all sat together doing their own things it dawned on me I should’ve probably got my wife a can of drink.

She agreed with mild disappointment that a can of doctor pepper would have been a lovely thing to bring home with me. So I did the right thing and offered her my one.

She only bloody accepted it from me, how disappointing.

Screw you Saturday the 14th. You owe me a can of doctor pepper.

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