you receive a message talking about money bags… and how this October
had five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays… and how it
only happens every 800-plus years… and how prosperity for all
awaits in our future if we pay attention?
there’s lots of great stuff here. Stuff to laugh at… stuff to
raise an eyebrow over… stuff to make you shrug your shoulders
in disinterest… stuff to shake your head at in disbelief. But
I think what I enjoy the most is how stupid it makes people look.
Or, more to the fact, how vividly it points out that people aren’t
hey… why let something like a fact or two get in the way of a
particular e-mail has been circulating for well over a year. And
if you don’t believe me, then it didn’t hit you that October 1st
of 2011 was a Saturday. Yeah, that’s right. There aren’t five
Fridays in October of 2011. The closest October that could make
that claim was October of 2010.
we haven’t even left the gate and there’s a huge hole in this
one. But of course… it gets better.
legendary e-mail notes that we only get an October with five Fridays,
five Saturdays and five Sundays once every 823 years.
what the e-mail I received said.
every 823 years.
order for any month to have five Fridays, five Saturdays and five
Sundays, two things need to happen. If either of these things
isn’t true, you don’t get the five full and magical and cash-filled
one, the month must have 31 days. (January, March, May, July,
August and December are all capable of joining October in the
two, the first day of that month must be a Friday. (Sorry 2011.
No historic October combination for you.)
that’s pretty much it. Those are the facts of the situation. Fulfill
both and… presto… five Fridays, five Saturdays and five Sundays.
facts of the situation… well, here are some interesting facts
any calendar year, only the month of January will start on the
same day of the week as October. And every four years… in “leap
year”… no other month in that calendar year will start on the
same day of the week as October.
actually refers to the number eight. So why is October the tenth
month? Because of the addition of January and February to the
Roman calendar. You can trace this change back about five hundred
years. Honestly though, we can go back well beyond that in some
is the only month when you could find all of the major four professional
sports leagues in North America playing… baseball, football, basketball
require a bit more detail. We could go into other ancient calendars
and even look for more striking ideas.
as I write you today… facts.
first day of October only hits a Friday once every 823 years.
a good one.
mean… come on… that one had you thinking “well, that can’t be
right” when you read the e-mail. Didn’t it?
yeah, the old Leap Year idea may make an appearance or two in
any cycle… so October 1st is not a Friday every seven years. But
that once-every-823 thought? Apparently we’re in quite a rare
stretch of exceptions-to-the-rule since it also happened in 2004
and will occur again in 2021.
it’s not that rare. And I saw versions of the same e-mail bragging
about May and August, and… just change the names around and the
same information is true. It doesn’t happen once every 823 years.
Not in October. Not in May. (Not when Sam eats green eggs and
that’s not why I came to talk to you today.
the part I’m wondering about is the old money bags. Where did
that part come from?
about anyone that receives a paycheck can tell you about those
thrilling and glorious months of the extra check. There are variances
here too. Some based on whether you get paid once a week… once
every other week… once a month… whatever. What day are paychecks
issued? The result can be… oh look at that… a month with an extra
check. Part of 52 not being neatly divisible by 12 or some associated
suppose that could be a part of it. These months with those extra
days will average an extra weekly payday three times out of every
seven years. Not bad odds.
believe Chinese feng shui and the Happiness Buddha offer money
bag ideas… but most of this is based on coins, the color red,
and other thoughts that don’t fall in line with “octo” and the
tenth month of the year.
of October or moneybags offer no help. Nothing overlaps to bring
seem like I’m going to settle this one, does it?
maybe I can.
you ever heard of Our Lady of Good Remedy?
to what I could find… and it’s the internet, so I researched a
lot of different places to get the basic elements of the story
while looking for some consistency, but trust this as you wish…
we could be looking at origins with a religious conflict.
never guess how long ago this story begins. Sure… slightly over
800 years ago.
central idea was that Moslems were capturing Christians. To buy
their freedom, a group called the Trinitarians raised large sums
of money to be used. Over decades, thousands were freed.
without getting too deeply into the story, or investigating what
is potentially really sensitive material… just from the surface
details we’ve got the 800-plus years and lots of money.
out that a day in celebration of “Our Lady of Good Remedy” was
set aside by the church.
would be October 8th.
may not be perfect… but I’m starting to see a yellow, waddling,
quacking form taking shape.
may be reasons… and actually I’m not sure I haven’t stumbled more
into coincidence than an origin… for October to hold financial
fortune. The five weekends isn’t it though. That part’s not rare.
let me stand in the way of you enjoying the month of October.
I certainly hope you find health and happiness and prosperity.
Have a ball.
don’t believe the hype.