Friday 13 February 2009

Caught between Paraskavedekatriaphobia and Cryophobia

Not Friday the 13th

Somehow, we all suffer from various degrees of paraskavedekatriaphobia [1] and for people who have computers, we have been told to fear the worst and keep our computers switched off – the reach of superstition cannot be ignored no matter how much technology we have around us.

33 years ago when Friday the 13th was in February, General Murtala Ramat Mohammed [2] the Head of State of Nigeria was assassinated, he was only 37, in a bloody coup that failed and gave rise to first tenure in office of General Olusegun Obasanjo [3].

I knew exactly where I was on that day, I was down South in Sagamu living with my great aunt’s family as I prepared for common entrance examinations into secondary school – we were at play outside when someone came round to announce the event – we had no television then and heard it all on the radio.

I can live with history as well as contemporary events, but I think we have run into an outrageous celebration in the Netherlands.

No jumpers for cold hearts

The Carbon “Nazis” have hijacked the 13th of February 2009 and named it Warme Truiendag [4] this translates to Warm Pullover Day.

It is 0ºC in Amsterdam and -1ºC in Arnhem [It is snowing, in fact] where I am working today and some smart climate change advocate has come up with the idea that I should wear something warmer so that the office can be converted into mini tundra.

Really, if I wanted live in Scandinavia and cavort with Santa Claus and his reindeers, I would go up there to freeze my crown jewels but spare me the Eskimo fashion in the Netherlands.

Indeed, we all have to do our bit for climate change but not at the risk of hypothermia that shivers my timbers to the point that life is stilled as if I were in cryogenic repose.

It is national cooling

So the email that came with this announcement encourages us to do our part by wearing a pullover, lowering the thermostat which saves 7% energy per degree Centigrade and we should eke out an economical day.

So, our participatory and enthusiastic management have turned down the thermostat by 2 degrees for today and asked what suggestions and plans we have to help keep our jumpers, cardigans and pullovers from looking like granny had a colour rush knitting the mittens, we might even win a pair of woollen earplugs.

Friday the 13th is definitely going to be a cold day – Brrgh!


[1] Friday the 13th - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[2] Murtala Mohammed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[3] Olusegun Obasanjo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[4] warme truiendag

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