It’s probably not surprising that the day after my par-tay, my friend Mary Ellen, visiting from D.C., was afraid to leave the house. At least with me. After all, she was in town but half an hour when we were in a car accident AND left a bakery – a German one, no less, as if they’re not known for their efficiency! – without my cake. Then Mary Ellen pondered the fact that I’ve always had bad luck, at least as long as we’ve known each other, back from those halcyon days in Kiev when we both worked there. Yes, we fondly reminisced over my secretary who was stealing from me, my getting Hudson the Dobe as an eventual guard dog of sorts (i.e. by looks alone) due to the extortion threats, and then…..there were my last six months in Kiev, the tail end of my two years there.
Within that time frame, I got a horrendous case of shingles (and couldn’t get the medicine I needed or any painkillers, nor could I fathom getting on a plane to go to Helsinki for treatment, it was that painful), my beloved Huddy swallowed tape from a cassette that required him having an operation at the circus, after I had gotten all the medicine and anesthesia and everything else needed on the black market, and oh yes, then there was the fire. And the subsequent gas leak. Which Mary Ellen and I managed to shut off using, of all things, a garlic press. And those were just the bigger things.
So you see there’s precedent here.
This is why I’m no longer surprised when my friends think I’m cursed, or as in the case of Mary Ellen, suggest that I need a witchdoctor or something similar, to help me get rid of said curse. (By the way, if anyone has “a guy”, as we say in Chicago, let me know, wouldja?)
And while I have yet to find a witchdoctor or shaman or just any kind of person with appropriate good luck spells, I *was* rather delighted when Holly came back from her trip to Africa with a gift for me which turns out to be a good luck charm. Yep, the Hand of Fatima is supposed to not only ward off the evil eye, but also bring good luck, fortune, blah blah etc. Hell, at this point I’ll take just the “warding off evil” part.
I of course put the necklace on immediately and haven’t removed it since. And lo and behold, there I was riding out in my beloved countryside last week, and two miracles happened:
1) It didn’t start monsooning until AFTER I had finished my ride. Really, it’s true! See, miracles do happen!
2) I did NOT get run down by a pickup truck! There I was, zipping/slogging down Harmony Road, when up ahead after a curve in the road I see 2 pickup trucks bearing down in my direction. The 2nd truck is trying to pass the first, the 1st truck decides to speed up, so they’re having a game of chicken on MY bucolic country road. With me as the ensuing road kill. Now, had I not been wearing the Hand of Fatima charm, I probably would have panicked or flailed about and wound up as a speedbump in PickupTruckLand. Instead, I coolly rode off the side of the road as these yahoos barreled past me at some ungodly speed, then stopped and cursed at them as they continued on. Okay, so that part didn’t really do any good, but at least it made ME feel better.
So there you have it – luck personified. Well, at least for me. And on my recent rides out here, I’ve still managed to avoid getting flattened. AND I’ve discovered 2 water stops - you folks might want to take note of this if you ride out here in No Man's Land – a Café at, umm, that place in Spring Grove where those 2 roads intersect, that’s open in the mornings. And right past there, by the railroad tracks, there’s a bar that’s open in the afternoons. Score! See, and who says I never give out useful tips?