Today I did a very non-Greek but super-British thing.  I went out for a walk in the rain.  With no umbrella.  Or jacket.  My grandmothers are simultaneously rolling in their graves, but what can you do, there were things to be done and it had been raining all day.    

So off I went to the bank.  When I looked out of my window in preparation for my outing I thought it was raining but not heavily, so I would be ok in a long-sleeved top and a sleeveless hoody.  (Obviously I was also wearing trousers and shoes, but this isn’t a fashion blog, you don’t need all the details).  When I got outside I realised I had underestimated the rain a little and it was actually raining quite hard.  Never mind I thought, it’s only water, soldier on.

By the time I had walked the ten or so minutes to my local bank, the sleeves of my long-sleeved top were quite wet, but my hoody was keeping the worst of it out.  Of course walking into a bank wearing a hoody, sweats and trainers always trips some kind of alarm, so I was prepared for some funny looks.  As I went in, I felt a large and heavy raindrop on my nose.  It was so hard it made me jump.  I pushed off my hood and went in.  There were people waiting and I got in the queue.  The drop on my nose didn’t seem to evaporate and I wiped it away with the back of my hand.  When I looked down at my hand a minute or so later, I saw something sticky and white on it.  Slowly my brain started to put together the pieces of the puzzle and it turns out that I had walked into the bank with bird shit all over my face.  As I approached the counter, I was wiping my face with a tissue and the bank teller (real name J. Lo.  No really.)  asked me what I wanted,  I explained what I wanted and handed over my card etc.  He was giving me really weird looks so I thought I would explain.

“As I was coming in I felt what I thought was a rain drop, but actually was a bird dropping on me.”

He looked startled and then sympathetic.

“Oh dear you poor thing, and oh, bless! Your scarf…”

I looked down.  No doubt about it, I had been bombed from a great height and the bird had hit multiple targets.  I could see the panel of judges holding up numbers for him at the Birdshit Olympics.

5.9          5.8          5.9          5.7          6.0          5.8

“Superb drop there, Monty.  You got maximum damage onto a moving target! Forehead, nose, and then as it descended you also got the scarf, the hoody and the shirt below.  That is a 7.3 degree of difficulty dropping and you nailed it!  Bravo Monty Bravo!” (For some reason, I feel like the judges and Monty would be extraordinarily British)

Image

Gary Larson – The Far Side – How birds see the world.

Yep, there on my scarf, hoody and shirt was the evidence of Monty’s talent.  And lunch, one assumes.

But J-Lo wasn’t finished there.  He went on:

“Don’t worry, it’s very lucky you know.”

I sniggered.  My opinions on the ‘luck of being pooped on’ are well documented. My theory is that whenever something wholly unpleasant happens to you, some well-meaning person in the vicinity starts talking about luck.  It is the consolation prize ideology, and I don’t agree with it.  For example:  being struck by bird poo? Lucky.  Spilling wine everywhere?  Lucky.  Lost at cards?  Lucky in love.  A gecko in your room on top of your bed?  Lucky.  Spiders?  Lucky. Rabbit’s foot? (er what? It can’t be lucky for the rabbit.) Do I need to go on?  All of the afore-mentioned are considered lucky, but really?  Is it possible that I am lucky because of all the possible targets, that bird picked me?  Why am I lucky?  Because I am special and unique: the only woman in the bank with slimy, sticky bird poo on my face?  Because I have a home nearby with hot water and a washing machine?  Because I am going to win the lottery tomorrow? The answer is simple.  The person sharing this well-meant but entirely erroneous message is trying to make you feel better.  They are in their small way attempting to make you feel like what has just happened to you isn’t so bad.  It’s silver linings thinking in its simplest form.  I can appreciate it and I am a silver linings person myself, but in the bank earlier I must confess I wanted to grab J-Lo and wipe my hands on his shirt.

“Here you go J.  Now you can be lucky too.”

Obviously, grabbing bank tellers whilst wearing a hoody, sweats and trainers and covered in bird doodoo is frowned upon, so I resisted, but it was a close call.

Once home, showered and clothes tumbling around in the washing machine though, I started thinking.  Maybe someone was trying to send me a message.  In the last few days, I have walked past a couple of pennies I have noticed on the ground.  I am not particularly superstitious and don’t really believe in picking up pennies.  But maybe Lady Luck is trying to send me a message, and so sent me a good luck charm I couldn’t avoid.  Maybe I am destined to win the lottery tonight.

Of course,  I don’t believe in all that stuff, but just in case, I am going to buy a lottery ticket today, touch wood a lot, and keep my fingers crossed all day.

You never know.

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