Bad Luck

The Fisher family was cursed with constant bad luck.  That’s what dad used to tell our family, when I was still a boy. From time to time, he’d announce the latest misfortune to happen to the Fishers.  There were small electrical fires on a regular basis in their home. The children were habitual visitors to the emergency room because of various accidents. BadLuck-BadLuckBrian

One time, the oldest son was run over by a wayward car while he was waiting at a crosswalk.  Another time, Mrs. Fisher and the daughter were seriously injured when a car full of drunken teens smashed into the Fisher car stopped at a city intersection. Once, during a family visit to the Fisher’s home, their youngest son swallowed two of the plastic houses from the “Monopoly” game.  He was rushed to the emergency room.

One year, Mrs. Fisher filed for divorce, then decided not to divorce her husband.  A year later, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died.

If some of the Fisher’s misfortune hadn’t been tragic, their bad luck could have been the running story-line of a television situation comedy.  The Fisher family should have been used by an encyclopedia as a prime example of terrible luck. I’ve often wondered about the Fisher family.  Perhaps they suffered from some sort of collective psychological disorder. Maybe they believed that fate was not on their side.  I don’t know how superstitious they might have been.  I’m convinced that superstition played a large role in the Fishers’ lives.

At those times when I’ve run into a series of unfortunate personal events, I’ve been tempted to blame it on a streak of bad luck.  Even though I don’t believe in fate or bad luck, I still experience inauspicious moments regardless of whether I’m feeling upbeat or not.

I thought about the Fishers after hearing that December 28th is considered to be the most unlucky day of the year by people who are superstitious.  They believe today is

The Flying Dutchman ghost ship on December 28th

The Flying Dutchman ghost ship on December 28th

even less auspicious than when the 13th of a month falls on Fridays. I wonder who conducted the poll and how did the polling company determine exactly who was superstitious.  Did the people confess to being superstitious?

Why is December 28th supposedly the unluckiest day of the year? Is it less lucky than “Unlucky Day” on December 31st?

I looked a bit deeper and found some connection between this date and a minor Christian holiday called Childermas. The holiday commemorates the killing of the Holy Innocents.  Childermas commemorates the legend of Herod’s alleged infanticide according to the Book of Matthew in the Christian Bible. Of course, this could be considered an inauspicious event.  Roman Catholics celebrate Childermas on the 28th and Eastern Orthodox churches have Childermas tomorrow, the 29th.

In Spain and many Spanish-speaking nations, the day is played out like a sort of April Fools’ Day, with pranks and jokes.  I’m sure the targets of the practical jokes feel quite unlucky.

I don’t remember any especially unfortunate personal events ever happening on December 28th throughout my life.  Perhaps that’s because I don’t feel particularly unlucky nor lucky.  Maybe I should feel thankful that my good days far outnumber days that seem bad.

I have little interest in games of chance.  I’m not particularly fond of casinos.  I only enter a casino if I’m accompanying somebody who wants to gamble. However, if a person is passing through Nevada, you cannot avoid gambling situations, regardless of where you go. I think every business in Nevada has slot machines.   I have only won one small jackpot.  When a friend and I were motoring to California, we entered Wendover, Nevada.  We decided to fuel the car and eat lunch at a restaurant/filling station there.  I think it was called “Stateline”.

While we were waiting for our meal, I decided to drop a nickel into one of the slot machines near our table.  I remember pulling the lever and the sound of clanging bells.  My prize was $50 worth of nickels.  I scooped them into a large cup and returned to the table to eat. I paid the restaurant tab and tipped the waitress with some of my winnings.  Neither of us played any other machines nor entered any casino as we passed through Nevada that day.  We “knew” that the only place our luck would manifest was that one time at Wendover.

There is one physical feature I have that is considered to bring bad luck to anyone near me.  That is my red hair. We redheads have suffered because of the many fantastical ideas and beliefs by many other people. The ancient Egyptians were peculiar in their treatment of redheads.  A few of their pharaohs were redheads who were greatly feared. On the other hand, redheads were considered very unlucky, so many red haired people, usually women, were buried alive.

The ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, described redheads as being emotionally un-housebroken and inauspicious people.  The Greek commoners believed that redheads turn into vampires after we die.

The Inquisition was particularly unhappy with redheads. The Church alleged that a person with red hair had stolen some of the fire of Hell, hence we gingers had to be burned as witches.  Maybe the red hair genocide is the reason there are so few of us around these days.BadLuck-CatWalksUnderLadder

Despite being an attribute of Nordic and Germanic peoples, red hair was loathed by the Aryan centered Nazis. The party considered redheads to be degenerates. The proliferation of red haired people was believed to be harmful to the “master race”.

Regarding hair color, our culture has long believed that black haired cats signify evil and bad luck. Ever since the Dark Ages, black cats have been considered as agents of witches or even witches incarnate.  A contemporary, popular superstition says that you will suffer bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.  I like black cats.  I have lived with a couple of them at one time or another, so black cats have frequently crossed my path.  Does my red hair luck and the black cat luck cancel each other out?

So, what do you think about bad luck, now that you’ve read about it on the unluckiest day of the year written by a black cat loving, ginger-haired blogger?

Good luck with that.

mini-moiThe Blue Jay of Happiness quotes Jean Cocteau. “We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, History, religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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