Damien on… Luck
“Lucky” Larry Searle had never known what it felt like to be a “loser” – if he pulled a cracker, he would ALWAYS get the middle section.
His friends – of whom he had many – never ceased to be amazed how everything ALWAYS seemed to go his way.
Thus his career in Texan oil futures had made him rich – so much so, that he could afford to take a day off whenever he pleased. And it pleased him that day.
Sitting in his favourite car – a classic open-top T-Bird – he was powering along a lonely desert road, without a care in the World.
And since the weather that day was HOT, he was glad to see some inviting hills ahead. Aside from providing better scenery, it would also be cooler up there.
Checking the sky above and flat sands around, he saw no cops – so leaned even harder on the loud pedal.
The first hill was now imminent, so he eased back on the throttle – but he was still doing nearly eighty when IT HAPPENED…
POW! went the tyre. But Larry was as skillful as he was lucky – so resisted the temptation to hit the brakes. Instead, he simply lifted his foot off the accelerator and GENTLY corrected the car’s weaving as it slowed.
Finally, when the speed had reduced to about ten miles an hour, he steered the vehicle off the road onto a convenient piece of hard, flat ground.
Walking around the car, Larry saw what he had expected to see – the right rear tyre was VERY flat at the bottom.
He checked his mobile phone and that too showed what he had expected – no bars. But then again, to have gotten a signal way out here would not just have been lucky – it would have been a frickin’ MIRACLE.
In any case, he knew his spare was good and his car was on solid, flat ground. Time to do some WORK.
He bowled out the spare and found the jack and nut spanner. But as he performed the mundane task, it gave him time to consider; was this IT? Had his legendary luck finally run OUT??
As one of the nuts proved difficult (there was always ONE) he barely noticed as a police cruiser WHIZZED down the road, travelling in the direction he had been heading.
But just as he was finishing changing the wheel, it returned – now travelling slower – and parked up next to him.
The cop got out and ambled over to him. “Having some trouble?”
“Well, I was – but I guess it’s fixed now,” answered Larry.
“Good,” replied the cop, then he added, “But you don’t seem too happy about it.”
“Hmm. Well, this is gonna sound silly, but this sort of thing doesn’t HAPPEN to me. I’m sorta, well… BLESSED.”
“Really?” said the cop. “I’ll tell you what; I came out here to… listen, why don’t you follow me and I’ll SHOW you what I just did.”
Puzzled, Larry agreed – the cop seemed friendly enough and Larry had nothing to hide. And so the cop drove off with Larry following.
After half a mile, the cop slowed and Larry saw a temporary sign on the road’s shoulder. It read “EMERGENCY SLOW” in large letters.
And as they approached the blind bend around the hill, there was another – this one read “NO THRU ROAD” and was accompanied by a temporary barrier positioned right across the road.
The cop stopped – as did Larry – and then got out of his cruiser and motioned Larry to join him. They walked past the barrier and continued around the bend.
Larry gasped as he saw the sight. The iron bridge that had once straddled the three-hundred-foot-deep gorge behind the hill – had collapsed into it.
“I received a call from a unit on the other side – that’s why I didn’t stop to help you the first time I passed you. I was hurrying to erect these signs and barrier – we always carry ’em in our trunks.”
Larry gaped at the tangle of metal at the bottom of the gorge, picturing himself and his T-Bird splattered all over it.
The cop laughed. “So it looks like you’re STILL blessed, old son.”
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
One day, YOU were headed to the company car park at the end of a work day, when you tripped on a loose flagstone and fell headlong onto the ground.
You CURSED as you picked yourself up, dusted yourself down – and noticed the scuff on the right knee of your second-best suit.
Eventually you reached your car, your right knee throbbing – and drove home without further incident.
As you passed a junction on the way, you failed to notice the truck parked a few hundred yards down one of the side roads – and even if you had, it would have meant nothing to you.
You had no way of knowing that one minute earlier – RIGHT at the time you WOULD have been passing through it, had you not had your humiliating and painful moment – the trucker had had a moment of his own.
Approaching the junction from the side-road, his brake-pedal had STUCK – leaving him no option but to cruise right through the main road and hope for the best.
His luck – and YOURS – had been IN that day. The side-road on the other side had also been clear, allowing him to double-declutch his vehicle to a stop and park up.
And after he had made a mental note to change his underwear as soon as possible – he had called his company to arrange for a tow-in.
But you could have known NOTHING of this – so don’t think it didn’t happen.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
But what do these two stories tell us?
Well, it is a solid fact that given (unless we live on a desert island or in a hole in the ground) MILLIONS of things happen to us during our lifetimes – it would only be a statistical anomaly if a FEW of them did NOT wildly coincide.
And on the same principle, in is inevitable that we will have “runs” of good and bad luck.
However, it is human nature to IGNORE the many MUNDANE happenstances that fill our days, obsessing (that’s a VERB these days) about the handful of EXTRAORDINARY ones that occur. And attributing to them some special quality.
But only a FOOL believes in luck, fate, destiny, karma or “the lap of the gods” – or even a god. We make our OWN luck in this World.
And as for the rest; fact is, stuff just HAPPENS – what we MAKE of it is entirely SUBJECTIVE.
But thanks to the “butterfly” or “ripple” effect (events which trigger other events, which in turn trigger… etc.) happenings we might THINK OF as being BAD luck – might VERY WELL trigger ones that for us are major, even life-saving GOOD LUCK.
Some of which we might recognise – and others we have NO chance of even KNOWING about.
So the next time something BAD happens to you – provided it leaves you with your bodily bits and pieces pretty much INTACT – remember it might JUST have triggered something monumentally GOOD in your life. You might even have dodged a MASSIVE BULLET.
You see, as far as LUCK is concerned, there IS none. Just events. And more events. And yet MORE events. Their effects simply being what they are. And over our lifetimes – fortune-wise – they all tend to even out anyway.
Yin and Yang, baby.