The Thing About Luck Is…

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As we know, luck comes in many different forms. There’s Mr. Luck, Lady Luck, beginners luck, tough luck, dumb luck, and the luck of the Irish. There’s the kind of luck you can be down on; the luck you have to make; the luck you have to draw; the luck you have to say another word for if you mean to say luck. The luck you say after good night; and the kind of luck that is either just good or bad. Well guys, here in the PCA offices, we have been experiencing a bit of the old fashioned bad kind.

Over the past week, each of my colleagues, including myself, have had our share of misfortunes. No, it wasn’t a black fly in our Chardonnay nor a free ride when we already paid, but rather, just a series of unfortunate events. I had a sudden appendicitis and needed surgery. My colleague lost her cell phone and is dealing with a sick child. Another got a speeding ticket; yet another had to deal with the trauma of her young baby falling; and yet another got sprayed in the face by a fire hydrant on a rainy day.

Sure none of these were life threatening events, outside of my surgery, or the possibility of identity theft or, god forbid, a serious injury to a toddler. A whole lot of small bad luck is just as unexplainable as one serious instance of terrible luck. It is hard to understand, you never know when it is coming, and it’s just plain tough. Fortunately though, there are films out there that can help shed some light on some of the rules about the unexplainable paradigm.

The Producers, for instance, is a prime example of the dangers of making your own luck. Take the plot: An unlucky producer decides to make his own luck by creating a horrible show in return for money, thus successfully turning all of his bad luck into good. The result of course, is that his failed show becomes a huge hit and all of his short term good luck becomes bad luck and he loses all of his money. EESH

Not only is this a prime illustration of how messing with good luck can lead to bad luck, we also learn that in show business you aren’t even allowed to use the word. Opening night of the show, the producer wishes good luck to his lead actor. Immediately, his investor (a flamboyant theater enthusiast) is mortified and breaks into song about the dangers of uttering such a word. As the song goes, “It’s bad luck to say good luck on opening night. If you do, I tell you. It is certain by the curtain you are through! So what do you say instead, the producers beg. What you say is break a leg.” Cause that makes sense.


Matt Damon stars as a poker player who has to play against a Russian mobster (John Malkovich) to repay the debt of his deadbeat friend named “Worm” (Edward Norton). The perfect example of not how dangerous the luck of the cards can be…Kind of.

Sure, he loses all of his money and gets beat up by cops at one point, but luck really fails to explain why in one scene he and his fellow poker players are able to take money off tourists like it’s nothing. You see, cards and luck are tricky things.  You don’t always need the best hand to win in poker, unlike blackjack. Poker is about skill. And, as one of the famous lines in the film goes “Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker EVERY YEAR? What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas?

While I can go into depth about films about luck in love (see: Good Luck Chuck, Serendipity, or literally any other romantic comedy) or the luck of the Irish (see: Rudy), I believe I am better suited to end this blog with looking at a few positive results from the unfortunate events which have plagued the PCA team. As we know, nothing is worse for your luck than harping on only the bad.

For me, I now can use the “oh I was stabbed defending someone” line at a bar this weekend. My colleague who was sprayed by a fire hydrant now knows that his beard was food-free that day. My boss who lost her phone got an upgrade, which has much snazzier features. My colleague, whose baby fell, now knows how resilient children are. And my boss who got a speeding ticket gets the chance to fight for his rights 3 hours away from the city to avoid paying a ticket he didn’t deserve . Well, I guess that one just sucks. But who knows maybe on his way something good happen. You just never know…

Todays Poll
Which film with “luck” in its title is your favorite?

Good Luck Chuck
Good Night, and Good Luck
Just My Luck
The Lucky One

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