Friday, July 13, 2001        Edition: #2098
No Sheet? No Service!

It’s a self-perpetuating myth – we believe “Friday the 13th” is unlucky, so we bumble and stumble into problems all day long. But here’s irrefutable . . .

• Couldn’t possible be any worse than my crappy Thursday the 12th.
• One Friday the 13th, a black cat walked under a ladder, knocked over a salt cellar, broke a mirror, and still somehow avoided being the main course at the Golden Dragon Pagoda.
• It’s my lucky day! I have a meeting after the show to talk over a new contract with our new boss Jason Voorhees (get the ‘CH CH CH’ SFX here –
• Due to the time difference, they’ve already lived through it in Australia and, as usual, Russell Crowe got lucky.
• Nothing has ever happened to ME on Friday the 13th ye . . . (SFX: explosion, glass breaking, mayhem, etc)

YESTERDAY “The Sopranos” received a leading 22 “Emmy Award” nominations (including one for Robert Iler for ‘Best Off-Season Promotional Stunt’) . . . TONIGHT, in the tradition of rock’s “Lilith Fair”, headliners Reba McEntire and Martina McBride kick off a 24-city, all-female country tour called “Girls’ Night Out” in Las Vegas . . . TONIGHT through July 29, Stevie Wonder and Della Reese are among celebs returning to their home town for Detroit’s “300th Anniversary Celebration” (official birthday is July 24) . . . With $240 million and counting, “Shrek” remains this year’s highest-grossing film, and word is Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz will demand up to $35,000 AN HOUR to voice a sequel . . . “West Wing” cast members John Spencer, Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney and Richard Schiff were all no-shows THIS WEEK for a read-through of next season’s first episode — coincidently all are holding out for raises . . . Nicole Kidman says she’s much stronger since her separation and she hopes the right man is still out there (amazingly, Tom Cruise said the same thing) . . . And it seems Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe are currently vacationing at the same luxury resort in Fiji (hmm, coincidence?).

Robert De Niro plays an aging thief who’s hoping to retire when a young kid blackmails him into doing one last heist in the drama “The Score” (may be most notable for the on-set antics of co-star Marlon Brando – refusing to work with director Frank Oz whom he called ‘Piggy’, setting off whoopee cushions, etc) . . . Another video-game comes alive as the sci-fi adventure “Final Fantasy: Spirits Within” makes use of semi-realistic human characters created by computer animation and the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi and Ving Rhames . . . In the comedy “Legally Blonde”, Reese Witherspoon plays a (naturally) blonde sorority queen who decides to follow her ex-boyfriend to law school in order to win him back (hijinks ensue).

• It happened again THIS WEEK, bringing the total to 6 people shot in Thailand since 1989 in arguments over — whose turn it was to sing karaoke. (You’d think you’d get shot while SINGING karaoke.)
• In order to curb the spread of AIDS, Kenya’s President Daniel arap Moi is asking Kenyans to abstain from sex for at least 2 years. (In related news, it seems I’ve just been named an honorary Kenyan.)
• The ‘Garden Gnome Liberation Front’ has been up to its tricks again, assembling over 100 of those tacky garden gnomes on a traffic circle in eastern France WEDNESDAY. Some of them were arranged to spell out the group’s slogan ‘Free the Gnomes’. (Lawn jockeys are now demanding equal time.)
• A new study finds that monkeys can get addicted to marijuana. (Scientists also note that it’s really cool to watch monkeys roll joints with their toes.)
• There’s a new hotline offering help to seniors struggling with computers. (The number is 1-888-Step-Away-From-The-Microwave.)


1934 [67] Peter Gzowski, Toronto ON, semi-retired radio/TV broadcaster/journalist (CBC)

1940 [61] Patrick Stewart, Mirfield ENG, TV/film actor (Cpt Jean-Luc Picard-“Star Trek: The Next Generation”, “X-Men”) NEXT FILM: “Star Trek X”, coming in 2002

1942 [59] Harrison Ford, Chicago, IL, film actor (“What Lies Beneath”, “Air Force One”, “Star Wars” & “Indiana Jones” series) NEXT FILM: Getting $25 million to star in the Russian sub thriller “K-19: The Widowmaker” NOTE: Reports say he’s set to make another “Indiana Jones” movie, with George Lucas producing and Steven Spielberg directing, but some say making another is laughable because he was in his 30s and 40s when he made the first 3 “Indiana Jones” pics

1957 [44] Cameron Crowe, Palm Springs CA, movie producer/director/writer (“Almost Famous”, “Jerry Maguire”) NEXT FILM: Directs Tom Cruise again in the thriller “Vanilla Sky”, opening DECEMBER 14

1973 [28] Deborah Cox, Toronto ON, R&B/pop singer (“We Can’t Be Friends”, “It’s Over Now”)

[Antigonish NS] Highland Games weekend (don’t you love saying ‘auntie-ga-NISH’?)
[Moscow] 2008 Olympic site decision (will it be Beijing, Toronto or Paris?)

TODAY is “National French Fries Day”. The ‘french’ has nothing to do with France, but the method of preparation. Food that’s chipped into pieces is said to be ‘frenched’.

TOMORROW the “World Wife Carrying Championships” lift off in Sonkajarvi, Finland (where instead of ‘Do I look fat?’, wives ask ‘Do I feel heavy?’). This wacky festival originated in the 19th century when it was common to steal women from neighbouring villages. About 7,000 are expected to cheer on contestants carrying their wives over the 253.5 metre course on sand, grass and asphalt featuring obstacles and water hazards. The winning couple wins a stack of prizes including cash, a heap of rye bread and — most importantly — the wife’s weight in beer (how about a session with a chiropractor?)

TOMORROW is “National Nude Day”, the climax of “Nude Recreation Week”. Why is it always during “Mosquito Week”? (Hey, your outfit’s wrinkled!)

TOMORROW is ‘Bastille Day’, the national holiday of France that commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 when patriots stormed the Bastille prison. (To celebrate, don a beret and wispy mustache, and recite ‘I surrender!’ in various European languages.)

1568 [433] 1st ‘bottled beer’ developed by the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London (before that you had to stick your head in the barrel)

1953 [48] 1st ‘Stratford Festival’ celebrates Shakespeare in Stratford ON (Sir Alec Guinness opens in ‘Richard III’)

1982 [19] 1st MLB All-Star Game outside USA (Montréal’s Olympic Stadium)

1985 [16] Biggest charity event ever as 1.5 billion watch or listen to “Live Aid” rock concerts in Philadelphia and London, raising over $70 million for African famine relief

[Sun] Molson Indy Toronto (
[Sun] National Ice Cream Day
Take Charge of Change Week
Air Conditioning Appreciation Days


• According to Norse mythology, the goddess Frigga (for whom Friday was named) had a banquet attended by 12 gods, when a 13th god named Loki showed up uninvited and Frigga’s favorite Balder ended up being killed. Somehow this convoluted tale developed into the fear of Friday the 13th.
• Knocking on wood goes back to the ancient Druids of England who believed trees were inhabited by gods.
• In the Middle Ages many believed black cats to be devils and witches, prowling the Earth in search of hapless souls to curse with yellow eyes.
• To ward off trouble on Friday the 13th, put rattlesnake rattles in your hatband or cabbage leaves on your forehead.
• Eat a rabbit and you’ll remain beautiful for 9 days.
• If you meet a woman on a white horse when starting a journey, nothing will go well.
• If you sleep with a sieve over your face it will confuse any witch that happens along and tries to count the holes, to the point that she’ll just give up and go away.
• Never throw anything out of a window on Friday because you might hit a good fairy.
• You’ll have good luck on Friday the 13th if you tie your big toes together and make a wish, while walking backward to your bed.

Q: What popular treat did 11-year-old Frank Epperson accidentally invent in 1905 and patent in 1924?
A: The ‘Popsicle’, which he originally called the ‘Epsicle’. He inadvertently made the first one when he left a glass of lemonade with a spoon in it on a windowsill and it froze overnight.

A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth gets its pants on.

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