My beloved spouse has had a run of misfortunes recently: inexplicable illness, family bereavement, a recent dash to the eye casualty unit after a routine eye test freaked out the optician. In fact, generally, she does seem to be one of those people who are relatively unlucky in life. Some might say that being married to me was the icing on the cake as far as that’s concerned.
In God’s Debris, Scott Adams (Dilbert author and ‘interesting’ thinker – read his blog for more), uses probability theory to ‘prove’ that some people are more likely to be luckier than others. Most people experience about the median level of luck with good things and bad things happening in about equal proportion, but there are some people towards the top of the chart who have a real Midas touch, and others who bounce along the bottom getting hit by calamity after calamity.
On the plus side, living with someone who seems prone to being ill with various weird illnesses (mysterious swollen legs, misfiring endocrines, random detached retina) is a bit like having a ‘sickness lightning rod’ around. Basically, I’m not going to get hit by a malady while my lightning rod is there soaking up the possible illnesses. The odds are too high for us both to be struck down by something unusual, or even something usual. That’s why I have the muscular consistency of a doughnut but still have an OK cholesterol level, even though my Daddio’s had a quadruple bypass and my little bro has to watch his levels.
But, going back to the probability theory – you’d think that if someone was having a run of bad luck, they’d be fairly careful in life generally. I’m not overly superstitious, but when I got home last night and Cath told me she’d broken my shaving mirror, I did let out an audible sigh. Another 7 years?
Roll on 2013.