January 20th, 2008
Some of you may remember "Badluck Shleprock". He was the hapless and unlucky character from The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm cartoon show from the '70s. The character was so unlucky that the name "Shleprock" became an icon and stereotype for any unlucky individuals.
I have never really thought of myself as a "Shleprock". At least, not until a lot of my co-workers saw me spending so much time in front of the First Aid Station that they started wondering if I was the guy that restocked it, or if I was the one using up most of the supplies. I can only tell you that I wasn't the guy that restocked the cabinet.
To tell the truth, I didn't think much about whether I was lucky or unlucky. I hadn't been in any major car accidents (touch wood), or hadn't spent as much as an overnight stay in a hospital as a result of an accident (touch wood again!). Conversely, I have never won anything big, lotteries and such, or even smaller prizes like 50/50 draws at hockey games.
I wouldn't say that I am overly superstitious, either. Like most, I am a little more aware of my surroundings on a "Friday the 13th" day and I try to avoid walking under ladders and I toss salt over my shoulder after it has been spilled. Other than those kind of things, and maybe a few more, I wouldn't say that I was fanatical about it. Just enough of a believer to, I don't know, not push my luck, as it were!
After the "First Aid Station" ribbing, from my co-workers, I started to wonder about how lucky, or unlucky, I really was. So, I did an inventory of the old memory banks to see if I could see a pattern developing. Maybe there was an incident, recently, that turned my luck.
Could it have been that stupid "Chain E-Mail" letter that I broke a couple of years ago? Who knows? Could it just be that I am a bit slower, as I age, and I am now unable to move my thumb away from a swinging hammer, as I once could? Is my brain so overloaded with thought that I lose concentration, on the task at hand, and cause mistakes? Nah, let's go with the damn chain mail!
What is luck anyway? If you look it up in the Webster's New World Dictionary, it's right there between Lucifer and lucrative! Seriously! Look it up! You can draw your own conclusions regarding that! You can also spend a couple of hours looking up "luck" on the old on-line encyclopedia-Wikipedia. Both sources state that: "Luck is a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person's control. Luck may be good or bad."
Another '70s fictional character also had something to say regarding luck. "Dirty Harry" Callahan asks the wounded criminal, "You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well,...do ya punk?" I guess it all comes down to your point of view. I may be a bit of a klutz and I'm not holding my breath on winning a big lottery or anything, but in the overall scheme of things, I think I would still consider myself pretty lucky.
"It is bad luck to be superstitious."-Andrew W. Mathis