When I worked at the Tonight Show, I could count on Johnny doing a series of jokes about phobias every Friday the 13th. That’s how I know that the word for fear of that date is triskaidekaphobia. It’s amazing the things you remember after 25 years.

Of course, I started the day by oversleeping — which meant that my daughter also did not get up on time, because alarms aren’t enough to make it to that 7:00 AM “0” period. We need to go through a routine that consists of me turning on a light in her room and reminding her of the time every 10 minutes until she finally drags herself out of bed at 6:00.

Not today. Today began with a shout:


It’s nice to see that we both can move pretty quickly when we are so motivated. Ten minutes later, I was ready to go (granted: all I did was put on some clean clothes and brush my hair and teeth). At 6:30, she was ready… but still needed to gather all of her things.

“I’ll meet you in the car,” she said.

Thank goodness our long, humid August heat wave ended. It’s actually been chilly this week on our drive in to school. I fired up the seat heaters for us both as she finally made it to the car, starting the motor and hitting reverse the moment she was safely strapped in to her seat.

“It will be a miracle if I get you there on time,” I told her. “Although I think everyone teenager with a 0 period should get one free tardy pass.”

I’m sorry. I think it is crazy to make teenagers be at school so early in the morning. Their circadian rhythms make them most alert late at night. The result is a lot of sleepy kids who don’t get enough sleep, which can’t help their performance in class.

On late start mornings I bypass the main drag up here and take the 118 for a couple of miles. I’m not sure if that is actually quicker, but it is tremendously satisfying to be able to go at freeway speed for a portion of our journey. I think it shaves a couple of minutes of our time. At least, it feels that way.

My daughter punched through the radio buttons to KROQ, where Kevin and Bean were yukking it up about it being Friday the 13th.

Ohhhhhhhhh. No wonder.

“If this is the worst thing that happens all day, you’ll be fine,” I tell her.

I don’t actually have a fear of Friday the 13th. In fact, when I was younger, I noticed that on that day, good things seemed to come my way.

I had a really good day yesterday. I plan on having another one today.

We made it to the school with minutes to spare.

She should have a good day, too.


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