There was a man born so lucky that, although he didn’t know he was lucky, he had lived to the very ripe old age of 98 while mostly resisting the incredible good fortune that came his way every day. He stepped over dropped million dollar lottery tickets, tossed out winning prize claim letters as “junk,” hung up on phone callers wanting to inform him of a windfall, passed by eccentric billionaires in the street handing out fortunes as “weirdos,” left unclaimed fortunes in sweepstakes…
And when the old, lucky man was finally on his deathbed, and all the lucky coincidences left to him just couldn’t keep the old vessel alive any more, he was so still and peaceful he imagined he was dead.
Then his son walked into the room and stood beside him.
“Surely this is heaven, with my family here with me,” thought the old man, but he wasn’t dead yet.
“My son,” the old man whispered, “after forty seven years.”
“Tell me about the curse,” said the son.
“Don’t lie to me!”
“There is no curse.”
The old man stared at his son, truly unaware of the unfailing good fortune that had allowed him to live this long despite his lifelong resistance.
“Then I alone am cursed,” the son began, “for I have no luck but bad, make no moves except wrong, no venture other than disastrous. I have not only ruined myself, I have ruined my family as well, for my wife and children are at this moment days from eviction and then starvation.”
“I have no money…” the old man offered, “but what I have is yours. Sell what you want. Sell all of it.”
“Thank you, father, but that will only buy a month or two at most. What I need is good luck for a change!”
“Your mother always was the lucky one. She was our good luck charm, remember?”
The son looked with doubt at his father.
“She ran out on us.”
“She married a rich man. I don’t blame her for that.”
“He was a bore who lost it all so how is she the lucky one?” asked the son. “You’re the lucky one, father! It’s always been you!”
The old man smiled as his vision became cloudy and his heart slowed.
“Tell me how to change my fate! How do I be like you?”
His breath labored, the man closed his eyes.
When he woke he was not in heaven.
He was strapped to a chair in a dark and strange place.
There was someone standing in front of him.
It was his son.
“Tell me father or swear to God I’ll torture it out of you… I won’t hesitate to kill you to save my family! Tell me how to change my fate and be lucky like you!”
The old man shook his head.
“There is no curse and there is no luck… It’s just the way life goes…” he managed, feeling his heart slow.
“No! That can’t be true!”
The son attached an electrode to his father’s foot. He moved to a panel mounted on a small desk.
“Don’t make me do this, father,” he said, lifting the wooden cover over a crudely wired metal switch.
“Just tell me the truth for once in your life!” he yelled.
The old man’s voice was barely above a whisper.
“I’ve never lied to you.”
Enraged, the son put his hand on the switch intending to flip it but instead received the bulk of the charge himself, a victim of his own inexperience as an electrician.
When the power company and fire department found the old man they brought him to the hospital, where staff remarked on how invigorated and lively he seemed compared to earlier that day.
So much so in fact doctors increased the old man’s life expectancy almost ten percent.