A LUCKY PUSH

“Don’t push your luck, Sue,” a jogging friend said to me, apropos of something or other. His comment surprised me. Luck? What was he talking about? What kind of luck did I have?

Take jogging. I was followed on a placid, tree-lined road in a rural-part of Warren by a weird guy in a red convertible. He continued trailing me, slowing down gradually as he got closer. He finally said, “Hop in. I know a great place to jog.” He frightened me. I hollered out “Leave me alone” and moved further into the woods—not a very smart move, I know. But I never jogged there again.

Several years later, I was jogging—I love it—tripped on a broken piece of sidewalk and sprawled face-first in Beach Haven, New Jersey. I knocked out a front tooth and damaged four others. Don’t ask about the dental bills . . . I didn’t give up jogging although from then on I did it with my eyes pinned to the ground.

Okay, forget about jogging. What about gambling? Black jack, bingo, the lottery? My pockets remain empty.

It’s obvious. I lack luck.

More examples abound. On New Jersey’s Route 78, I switched lanes too fast one day, just like everyone else—there wasn’t a soul in sight—until I heard the siren call of a cop behind me. He gifted me with a speeding ticket.

An unpaid volunteer preparing to do my part for the citizenry of New Jersey? Despite the beautiful January snow swirling around outside, the low visibility and my husband Ed telling me to stay home, I was on my way to a ten a.m. meeting of the Somerset County Review Board. I was driving carefully and there was no human being or moving vehicle around. None!

My car hugged the curb on the slippery right side of the street as I shifted into low gear. I repeat, there was nothing moving on that street. Yet, out of nowhere, a police SUV materialized on the other side of the road, skidded toward me and slammed into the driver’s side of my beautiful little Mustang, not quite totaling it or killing me. His SUV had pushed me into a snow bank. One-half block from my house for God’s sakes! In order to get out of the car and, since the driver’s side door was battered shut, I was forced to crawl over the passenger seat and scramble out the passenger side window.

The snow bank is another story.

By the way, the police are not responsible for any accidents caused by them that occur on their watch. In other words, I paid for the damage to my car that insurance didn’t cover that was caused by him, the cop working for the city that day. Some luck.

Well, maybe a little.

Or a lot. Meeting Ed was very lucky; he remains the best thing that has ever happened to me alongside the birth of my children.

Contrary to my friend’s advice I do push my luck, whatever there may be of it. And because everything in life requires some sort of effort, why not luck?

With that in mind, does your luck help you or hinder you? Do you even believe in it? Tell me. I want to know.

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Editor: Edwin C. Goldstein