Note: Staff writer Maureen Mierke contributed.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Unfortunately, it had to happen to you. That’s the nature of Friday the 13th —bad luck, supernatural occurrences, serial killers… Fun times.
Today, it pays to be a little superstitious and as long as you don’t end up dying “Final Destination” style, call it an accomplishment that you’re still breathing. That said, it would be helpful to know how to avoid some life-threatening and/or painfully embarrassing situations that could land you in O’Bleness… or worse. Here are few OU-flavored worst-case scenarios that you could avoid on the 13th.
Scene: Walking down South Court, you see that one paranoid person skirt around the massive, metal grates on the sidewalk. The grates are an odd inconvenience, but nothing terrible. You’re brave. You trust the construction workers; they know what they’re doing. So, when you take your first brave step over those shaky, steel sheets you think ‘How silly… this thing has yet to collapse and I doubt it will anytime soo–‘ and in an instant, plummet to what you believe to be your humiliating and tragic doom. No worries though—after breaking your fall with the gunk-infested concrete below, you realize you’re still alive. A few scratches, some broken bones maybe, a mild concussion and a terminal case of humiliation, but you’re still kicking. Now the question is, how to get out?
Solution: This rescue mission takes more than a One-Man Wolf Pack, so yell your little heart out to oncoming passerbys. Once you’ve gained the attention of a non-apathetic bystander, take off your clothes, tie them into a long line of rope, throwing it to the person above, and reverse rappel yourself back onto the sidewalk. Because real badasses don’t need ladders. There is a lesson to be learned here, however: NEVER WALK ON THE GRATES. Those things are terrifying. For real.
Scene: So the friend of a friend that you don’t really like because he’s annoying and has an agonizing affliction of HMT (Horrible Music Taste) but are constantly forced to hang out with has generously offered to swipe you into the dining hall. Not so reluctantly, you tag along. This is your first dining hall visit in months and your excitement is palpable. Your breakfast, lunch, and dinner has consisted of a medley of Diet Pepsi, potato chips, oatmeal, and CT Crunch. So to little surprise, when you enter that glorious bastion of food, you take no prisoners. An hour later, you’re back at your place, full, satisfied, and disgusted with yourself but oddly proud of your achievement. But then you get that feeling… that uneasy squirm in your stomach that signals it’s about to go down. Or to be more accurate, come up. A quick jump, a slam of the door, and the bathroom becomes your new fort.
Solution: What choice do you have? Wait it out and take a knee, pal. To the toilet, that is. You two will become very close friends.
Scene: You’re heading home after class. It’s a typical day but it’s been raining, so the ground is slick and the bricks are even slicker. Wearing your handy-dandy flip-flops (rain + flip-flops x bricks = whyyyy) you decide to take Morton Hill, the big Cahuna of slippery slopes. You’re just fine at first—watching your feet as you take a step, stabilizing yourself on two feet, walking in a straight line — and with a small burst of confidence, you look up and away from the ground, causing your inevitable slip and fall into the most awkward and uncomfortable of herkies. Commence the awkward stares and hesitation to help fellow human beings from surrounding pedestrians.
Solution: Laugh it off. Play it as one big joke and hope no one cared (not sure if good thing?) No one makes a spectacle of someone who’s willing to laugh at themselves. Or if you’re really salty about it, just wait until another student passes by and subtly trip them with your splayed phalanges. Misery loves company and so do you, so feel free to pass the bad luck around.
Scene: It’s football day, and as you head over to the pre-game festivities, you notice the inflatable obstacle course. Loving a challenge and a chance to beat your friends, you head towards it. As you dive in with your competitor, you fall. But that’s not so bad. You get up, dive right in (making it this time!) and start to run/jump your way to the end. You see your friend climb up over the wall and make it down, therefore winning, but that’s not even the worst part. Oh no. As you begin your climb, the inflatable starts deflating… and collapsing on you. You don’t know what to do and get stuck inside.
Solution: There are obviously people around and your friend will have noticed by now (hopefully) that you didn’t come out at the end, so just stick tight my friend. Help is on the way. For the time being, enjoy the alone time and come up with how you’re going to tell this story to your other friends who weren’t there.
Scene: You’re sitting in Alden Library, getting some work down when you really have to go the bathroom. You look around and no one else is close by, so you think it’s safe to leave your stuff on the table. Wrong. As you head out of the bathroom, feeling free and refreshed, you look at your table and your laptop and books are gone. Your notebooks are still there (your notes must not be good enough to steal) as is your backpack. A moment of panic ensues.
Solution: You have some options here. One, turn into an FBI agent and do some sleuthing. I’m sure you can find some clues as to the thief. Two, find a librarian or somebody (anybody) who possibly could have witnessed the crime. Three, put in a call somewhere for the lost and found and pray that they show up. One word of advice: Don’t leave your stuff unattended anywhere. Yes, there are a lot of nice people in the world, but there are also some not so nice ones. Also, maybe hold off on calling mom and dad until you have a better take on the situation. Oh and if you don’t already, you might want to get a job and start earning money… just in case.
Happy Friday the 13th! Now as you continue your day in superstitious fear, remember not to step on the cracks, don’t break any mirrors, walk around the ladder, not under it, and try to stay away from black cats. Good luck! Don’t forget to tweet us your Athens horror stories @SpeakeasyMag!