Most of the time in life I feel that if it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. But looking back on some different points in my life, I’ve come to realize that that is pretty far from the truth. I’ve had some pretty good luck and here are three times that will help to make my point. This is a lengthy post, I hope you packed a lunch.
The first one is the most recent. Due to a horrible mix up between me and Huntington Bank, I had my car repossessed by them with only three payments left. To make the story quick, I was a few months behind and they wanted their money. I called one of their specialists to redo my loan and bring the payments down on what I had left to pay. The lady told me it would take 10 days and to not do anything until I heard from them, including make a payment. I had the money to catch myself up on the loan, but I was doing what she told me.
Eight days later, my car was repo’d and the only way to get it out was to pay it off in full. I didn’t have that kind of money. The guy I spoke to told me it had been a month since I talked to her. Yes, they lie. Who knew?
I let them have the car that I had paid on for five years and a couple of days later I bought a car I didn’t even see first. I mean, I needed a ride. I looked it up on Craig’s List and bought it the following day. An early 90’s Dodge Dakota with almost 300,000 miles on it for $600. No, this is not the lucky part.
I got all of my crap out of my repo, including the plates, and put the plates on my Dakota. A month later I had forgotten to get new plates and was pulled over by a very pissed off cop. After I explained the situation he decided to let me off light since I live in his jurisdiction. Instead of impounding the car like he was supposed to, he gave me a ticket and a court date and wrote it off as improper placement of license plate. He finished it up by telling me before I go to court to “get all of this shit taken care of.”
I arrive early to court like any decent human does. The host of the show told us all to make sure to have ready proof of insurance for the day we were issued the ticket. Silly me, I forgot about the insurance until the day before I went to court. I did have the proof with me, but it was most definitely not for the day I was pulled over.
I’m called up and asked how I plead. Guilty, of course. They ask me if I got the situation taken care of and I hand the paperwork to the bailiff. Like an ass I also say I have my car insurance info, even though he didn’t ask for it. He told me he didn’t want it and verified that I had indeed taken care of the problem.
The judge said I was dismissed. I was shocked. So shocked, in fact, that I just stared at him in disbelief. He looked at me and said, “that means you can go.” I snatched up my shit and left in a hurry. As I walked back to my Dakota a few blocks down the road I laughed the entire time.
The second bout of luck is almost the same story. I was in the process of moving from one house to another and was making my last trip with my belongings to my new home. I had my wife and my dogs with me as well as a car full of crap. My one dog hates riding in a car and was whining uncontrollably. I turned around to tell him to shut up and happened to run a yellow light through a major intersection, right in front of a cop.
He pulled me over and said the light was red, which I do know for sure it was not, but he’s law, so he’s right. He wrote me a ticket that, in the mess of moving, got set down and forgotten.
A couple of weeks later I’m delivering pizza and pulled over. The cop tells me why and I tell him why I didn’t pay and he calls the district where I was pulled over and they give me another week to pay. The following day I went and paid.
The lady who took my cash told me everything would be fine, but I would have to wait a certain number of days before my paying the fine went through the system, and then I would be able to go get my license reinstated. Apparently when you don’t pay a ticket, you lose your license. I asked her if I could still drive and she said I could and if I were to get pulled over I should just show the cop a letter that she gave me and it should be fine.
I was on my way to school at Computertraining.com, which is now no longer a school and currently being sued when I was pulled over and told I had to go to court. I showed the cop the letter and he said it didn’t matter, my license was still suspended and I had to go to court.
The morning I had to go, I went to the license burrow and got it all straightened out and then proceeded to court. The judge asked me if I wanted to go upstairs to a room to learn how to get my license back and I told her I already had. She looked at the proof and… dismissed.
Not too bad. But here’s the third. This is, chronologically speaking, the first incident. Quite a few years back I was working in radio as the morning show producer for a local talk station. I had to be up at 4 AM and typically worked until 1 PM. I was also a manager for a band. It was a Friday in the middle of February and the band had a gig that night.
I worked my shift, went home and didn’t take a nap. Instead I was up all day and that night I went with the band to their gig. They were the headliner, closing the place down at 2:30 AM. The entire time I was there, we were partying hard. I’m not just talking about drinking, this was a jam band. The stuff hippies love. I was up to my neck in alcohol and drugs galore.
After we left the show, I fell asleep in the car and awoke when we got back to the leader of the bands house, where my car was. I got in and decided it not be a good thing to hang out for the after party and began on my way home.
Almost home I see something off of the highway I was on that spoke loud to me. White Castle.
I got off of the exit and pulled into their drive-thru. Pulling up to the speaker, I rolled my window down, ordered my slyders, pulled up one space and passed out, window still down. Luckily my foot never slipped off of the break.
I was awakened by a flashlight in my eyes, to which I responded with a hearty, “WHAT THE FUCK?!” I look up and it’s the officer who hangs out all night at the Castle making sure nobody robs them. I look ahead and there’s nobody in front of me, but behind me a line of cars wrapped around the building.
He asks me how much I’d had to drink, that being the logical first question to ask someone who’s passed out in a White Castle drive-thru at a time after all of the bars have closed. I told him none, I was just tired. He told me to find a parking space and wait, the local cops were on their way to give me a DUI test.
I parked perfectly and waited. Finally the cops show up and have a meeting to discuss what had gone on. Then they get me out of my car and walk me over to an empty part of the parking lot. Inside, everybody was looking at what was going on.
There was snow and ice all over the parking lot and I wasn’t wearing any sort of coat. The temperature outside was a balmy 10 degrees and I was shaking hard enough to mix a drink.
The cops proceeded to give me my tests. The first was, naturally, to walk the line. I could just barely see the line through the snow and the ice made it really easy to walk, of course, but I did so and wonderfully. Next, they had me touch my fingers to my nose. Again, I passed with flying colors. For the final test, they had me hold my head straight and follow their fingers, moving my eyes only. They had to do this one twice. I apologized for all of my shaking and they said they understood.
Finally, the one officer said to the other, “I’m just not seeing it.” The other said, “me either.” They walked me back to my car and asked me why I fell asleep in the drive-thru. I told them my story, minus the drugs and alcohol, and they said I should get home and get some sleep. I got in my car and got back on the highway, still drunk and fucked up. I then began to curse loudly and beat on the steering wheel. I left without my food, easily the worst part of the night.
So there you have it. Maybe luck IS on my side. At least when it really counts anyway, and I’ll take that.