Airport Counter Staff: “Anything to check in, sir?” Me: “Yes, these three.” Staff: “I’m sorry, you’ll have to take them on board with you.” Me: [sighing]: “Okay, fine. Come on, kids.”
I used to think red-eye flights with children were the worst way to pass a night, but then someone showed me a recent news report about a burglar who had the worst night ever. He broke into a building but could not open the safe. So he took it home, but still failed to pick the lock. Panicking, he drove to the riverside and threw it in-but the river was frozen solid, and the safe just sat on top of it. Police in Denmark, where this happened, laughed and admitted that they felt sorry for the thief. Poor guy.
Then an email arrived from reader Kavinda Babile who told me of a person in Asia who had a Very Bad No Good Terrible Day. Some guy organised a ritual protest in Sri Lanka in which coconuts would be smashed to express displeasure against heavy-handed law enforcement officers. But the protest was interrupted by angry farmers who said the coconuts being used had been stolen from them. And then members of the crowd complained that their wallets had been stolen by other members of the crowd. Then organisers realized that the normal response, to ask police for help, would be ridiculous. Clear lesson here: If you are going to organise a gathering of folk who don’t like law enforcement, don’t. It’s as likely to work as a Rock Concert For Meditation or an Animal Rights Barbecue.
These reports reminded me of the time I asked a Satanist why his famous religion had so few members. He said their official policy was to be evil which was not conducive to making friends or partnering with charities. In the end, all they ever did was file complaints against Christmas decorations every year.
But we can’t refer to frozen rivers without mentioning US amateur fisherman Harry Jenkins of Minnesota, who had a legendary Very Bad Day. He parked his truck on a frozen lake and then threw a stick of dynamite to blow open a fishing hole in the ice. His dog thought he was playing fetch and ran over to bring the dynamite stick back. Harry ran for his life. The dynamite vaporized the dog. The explosion cracked the ice and the truck fell into the water. His insurance company couldn’t give him any money because staff were laughing too much.
But of course you can end up having a bad day just because of something small.
I felt SO OLD when one of my children told everyone that I was “born in the 1900s”. Her shocked friends looked at me as if I was Neanderthal man. It didn’t help that I had just had two wisdom teeth removed and could only drool and grunt.
If you’re having a really bad day, cheer yourself up by giving someone else a bad night. Instead of spraying mosquito repellent on yourself, spray it on the mozzie, so all the other mozzies avoid him and he’ll develop self-esteem issues.
It’s an inhuman thing to do, but remember, I am Neanderthal man.
(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via his Facebook page)