When I stopped for it the next day, she pointed to a spot on a back shelf saying, “I put it right there with a note attached, but ...” A second cashier interjected sheepishly, “I’m really sorry, but another guy named Doug stops in every …
I shouldn’t have been surprised, but even I was taken aback by the luck of this one. A while back, my Billings Gazette subscription had run out, and since I can no longer do check-by-phone since a collection agency pilfered my checking account on Sept. 11, I was briefly forced to buy it on the newsstand.
During football season, the daily sports page is integral to my betting sideline, so when I forgot to buy a copy one evening, I called the convenience store and asked if one could be saved for pick-up the next morning. She cheerfully said, “I’m setting one aside as we speak.” Nice lady.
When I stopped for it the next day, she pointed to a spot on a back shelf saying, “I put it right there with a note attached, but ...” A second cashier interjected sheepishly, “I’m really sorry, but another guy named Doug stops in every morning, and I asked him if it was for him. He said, ‘I don’t know; I guess it must be,’ so I gave it to him.”
I left politely, but once outside moaned, “Well, of all the ##!!! Doug luck!” Yes, that adage, “Of all the dumb luck,” should be revised immediately. Also, “If it weren’t for Doug luck, I’d have no luck at all!” The dejected should shout, “I’d be better off Doug!”
About a mile after takeoff, on Mountain View Drive, I noticed the roaring wind seemed to be battering the passenger side facing north, rather than from the west from whence these brutal gales originate. I tightened the windows, but the cold air persisted and my dogs looked as baffled as I was. Just past Cody Paint & Body, the car was suddenly filled with a chilling wind that now seemed to be coming from everywhere!
I had the oddest feeling there was no longer a roof above us, and a glance over at Trina’s ears swirling wildly seemed to reinforce that ridiculous notion. I reached my hand up and it went straight into the cold all the way to my elbow. My glass T-top had blown away somewhere along a 200-yard stretch of dark highway.
My stinking Doug luck has also sabotaged what might have become a wildly-successful sports-betting career over 30 years. I shan’t rehash legendary, fluke, past losses, but until 2 weeks ago, I was enjoying a fairly profitable current season. The day after Thanksgiving, when I’d painstakingly studied the Boise State/Nevada game and ciphered what I believed might be the gambling coup of the year, it all changed.
I realized Nevada had the horses to not only stay within the plus-14 pointspread set by the Vegas experts, but to feasibly actually beat the undefeated, seemingly-unbeatable Boise Broncos. I hadn’t bet a big underdog to win a game outright all year, but this 5-1 shot was too enticing to pass up. My little $20 bet could win me a cool $100, but since the game was scheduled for 8:30, right after the game I was watching on the same channel, I had 10 minutes to spare.
At 8:21, the announcer chirped, “Because of the late starting time, the Boise State contest, which we’ll join in progress immediately following this one, has already started. Like a rabid bat out of hell, I flew upstairs to my computer, but my frantic attempt was met with the words, “We’re sorry, but your current wager is invalid.”
Long, sickening story short, Nevada did indeed play a near-perfect game, but still would have lost by 3 points had Boise’s ever-reliable kicker not missed a ridiculously simple, 24-yard field goal as time expired. Had that game started when scheduled, there’s no doubt that field goal would have split the uprights. But Doug luck prevailed, and the haunting reality of that missed bet ushered in a continuous succession of similarly-unlikely last-second losses, rendering me just $118 short of closing down shop for the year.
So hey, don’t ever angrily wish upon even your worst enemy, “I hope you rot in hell!” That’s not nice, especially with the heat down there and all. Temper it with, “I hope you wallow in Doug luck for all your natural days!” That’s plenty bad enough, believe me.