Unlucky Man

Image by makingmilly via Pixabay. CC0/Public domain license.

Dave knew he was born unlucky. Growing up, he was very careful, which helped him stay alive. One of his adult unlucky days started with his alarm clock not ringing. He knew if he was late again, he would lose another job. Then he found his car wouldn’t start. He was soon on a bus and hoping for the best, but not really expecting it.

He walked in, late again, and was fired on the spot. His girlfriend, who worked at the same place, told him they were through. He carefully walked home. He was always careful where he stepped. He had once stumbled off a curb and broke an ankle. Watching where he stepped, he noticed a penny. He picked it up. He said to himself “Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.” He then did something he had never done before. He bought a lottery ticket.

His ticket took the big prize. He was now a millionaire. He didn’t need a job. He bought a car that was reliable, just so he could carefully drive around. He threw away his alarm clock.

After that, he kept picking up pennies and having more good luck. He got a new girlfriend, who was also rich. He wondered how a penny could have changed his bad luck to good.

He kept picking them up. He now had hundreds of them in his pockets. Walking one day, he was struck by lightning and killed. He forgot to be careful and had pushed his luck too far. A young man came upon the carnage. He noticed the pennies strewn around. He picked one up and said “Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day, you’ll have good luck.” I hope that young man will stop at the one penny. Or keep them in jars at home.

Categories Fiction

Dennis Nyback is a legendary independent film archivist and historian. Formerly of Seattle, he now resides in Portland, OR with his 13,000 film collection and a clear conscience.

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