My mother always thinks of us McDangers as an unlucky family. As in, we never seem to win competitions in newspapers, the local grocer's Christmas draw, bingo, the Lotto etc.
It all changed utterly with the epic quiz triumph of a few months ago of course. Or did it? Well, judge for yourself.
On a recent trip to the gym, I parked the car right up against the wall, facing out. I went inside and toiled asthmatically for an hour and a half, then powerhosed myself hygienic and headed for home. Outside, I walked along looking forward to a humungous carvery refuelling, but there was a slight problem in the car park, however.
As in, the car. Or, no car, to be precise. The park end of the old car park bargain was being held up just fine, because it was still there, but the car end was sadly lacking, because my car wasn't. As in, car gone. Not where I left it. Dude, where’s my car?
I fretted skittishly. “Oh Jesus the car…robbed…Jesus, Jesus…fuck it…me good sat nav…shite…”
I stood there, frozen in panic with hand to mouth and mouth agape, scoping the carpark like a meercat.
Relief washed over me as I spotted it, quite a distance opposite where I thought it should be. What the fuck? How did it get there?
I strolled over scolding myself for forgetting where I’d parked. Or for thinking I’d parked somewhere else entirely when I clearly hadn’t, resulting in all this anxiety. This sort of thing isn’t unusual for me you see. My head is generally cluttered with random distractions, for instance, what it’d be like to have a competition for shooting oompah-loopahs like they were clay pigeons, so to overlook basic stuff like car placement is not unusual.
So I get to the car, hop in and I realise that the nose of it is uncomfortably close to the plastic bollard in front. Wha?
I get out and look at the front of the car. It’s resting against bollard alright, but no visible damage done to bumper.
Then I get back into the car, look down to my left and realise that the handbrake is off and the car is out of gear. My face puzzles itself up a wee bit.
So, I start doing the maths. I look in my rearview mirror and I see that for about 100m behind me, in a directly straight line, there’s an incidental corridor of empty parking spaces, just one car wide, all the way back to the wall where I thought I’d parked previously.
Where, um, I actually had parked previously. It would seem that after I’d neglected to put the handbrake on and abandoned ship, my car had rolled all of about 100m, dead straight through the only available gap in the parked vehicles, and had neither swiped the side or ran up the back of any of them.
I sat there blinking and ashen-faced, dumbfounded at finding out my dumbness, and realised that in sheer mathematical probability terms, I had just won the Lotto.
I’m a winner alright.