Friday, April 1, 2011

Luck - by Christopher

Last Friday I was enjoying some drinks at happy hour with workmates when a bird pooped on my jeans.

I didn’t notice it until after the same bird, perched on a branch fifteen feet up, pooped a second time directly on the back of my head.

That one I noticed.

I loudly expressed disgust and embarrassment, and my workmates enjoyed it thoroughly, and both poops cleaned off easily enough in the bathroom a few minutes later. Upon my return I shifted my chair slightly away from its original position (I couldn’t move far as I was crowded around a table packed with people).

That should be the end of the story, right?

Except that 30 minutes later the same bird pooped on my jeans again. It actually shifted its position to a different perch to poop on me again.

Or it was just a remarkably odd coincidence. And of course, my workmates got to have another laugh as I made my second trip to the bathroom to clean off bird poop.

What has been most interesting to me is the handful of times I’ve told this story I have heard a similar response from listeners: “Bird poop is good luck,” they’ve said.

I have never heard this myth before. But it has made me feel better about being pooped on 3 times. This, I suppose, is why it was invented.

Luck is a harebrained concept on paper, yet it’s something the human mind seems especially geared toward believing in. Just ask anybody to tell a story from their life where they have been especially lucky (or unlucky) and literally everyone has a story.

And, of course, anywhere you find harebrained concepts there are people more than willing to spend their money on them.

Case in point, For the low price of $12.95 author Steve Gillman is more than willing to teach YOU how to “have good luck” by sending you a copy of his self-published book Secrets of Lucky People.

He boldly claims that his book is, “More than just a book, this is a true course in how to have good luck,” because “after every chapter/lesson there are the exercises. These are designed to get you thinking like a lucky person. Do this easy ‘luck work’ and you’ll start seeing results in days.”

How many days? He doesn’t specify. Maybe in 2 days, or maybe in 10,000 days.

Steve even includes gripping testimonials to the power of his book, like this one from ‘Ana B.’: “The research gathered here is fascinating.”

But by far my favorite section of this snake-oil salesman’s website is near the bottom, where Steve makes his final push to convince stupid people to buy his stupid book.

Can you spot the section where Steve’s mind wandered to lunch?

For someone with such incredibly good luck, accidentally writing Catfish? as a headline in the middle of your webpage and never noticing it for years seems pretty unlucky.

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