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Jonah Bowe: I was born naturally unlucky — the jinx of my family

Some people are born really good at sports, some people are born good looking, some people are born incredibly intelligent, and some people are born naturally unlucky. Sadly for me the last one is the one that applies to me, I have always been the clumsy, or just straight pure jinx of my family.

I guess it all goes back to pre-school, when we were making green eggs and ham. My eggs and ham came out perfectly fine, but I managed to screw up the only thing I was actually doing myself, which was making the eggs and ham green. I was colorblind, and I put the orange food coloring in the meal instead of the green. I was the only preschooler who had to eat orange eggs and ham.

Kindergarten wasn’t any better. I can clearly remember my very first tornado drill. I guess my small kindergarten brain didn’t process the fact it was a Tornado “DRILL”. My principle came over the loudspeaker and said they had spotted a tornado in the southeast sky, and I had just seen the movie twister for the first time like three days prior. I went into an all-out panic — the panic of the screaming type. My whole class went out into the hallway like you’re supposed to in a drill, and my teacher came back into the room to find me huddled in the fetal position underneath her desk. Kids who were in my class still give me a hard time for that.

You would think things would have gotten better as I grew up, but they just never really did. There was the first time I went orienteering out in the woods for school. I was the kid who got the broken compass and got lost out there. Then there was the first time I rode the Zipper at the county fair and my seatbelt broke. I’ll still never go on that ride again as long as I live.

The most embarrassing moment of my life though (besides maybe throwing up after riding the Ferris wheel), was probably the first time I went snowmobiling. I was at my friend Ben’s house, and I had never ridden sled before (I think I was in eighth grade at the time).

I was having the time of my life out there, until we met up with a couple more of our friends who had a lot more experience than I did. We were riding in town, kind of by snappy park, and I felt myself starting to get buried so I made the mistake of hitting the throttle. The snowmobile pretty much launched itself, straight up a tree. I was last in line, so none of my friends noticed me missing for a while, and the sight they saw when they came back, was me trying to pull a snowmobile out of a tree, as it hung there by its right ski.

I guess it wouldn’t have been so bad if people hadn’t been driving by, and my friends hadn’t found it necessary to tell every single person they’ve ever had the good fortune to meet.

I guess bad luck is just something I’ve hoped will go away some day, but at least I’m able to laugh at myself when it happens, in realization that it’s probably something I’ll be stuck with for the rest of my life.