THE SONIC BOOMER
When I was young, I liked all numbers, letters and colors equally, but when you’re a child, people ask you inane questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” Not realizing you don’t need to have one, you come up with an answer — orange.
Orange was never my favorite color, but everyone in kindergarten was saying red or blue, and I felt kind of sorry for ol’ orange. I was 22 before I knuckled under and admitted that I, too, prefer red to orange.
Another brain teaser is, “What’s your lucky number?” Um, 12 million… dollars, that is. Otherwise, I don’t know.
I chose 5, hoping it would become lucky for me out of gratefulness. Here’s what I learned — 5 is an ungrateful number. Four and one, however, seem to like me. All the best addresses I’ve lived at have had at least one 4 and one 1 in them. That ought to count for something.
Therefore, I’m looking forward to 2014 as my lucky year. And it will be because of how I define “luck.” My father once told me, “You’re always happy because your expectations are so low” and I figure, with that as my benchmark, I ought to be lucky, too.
So far, 2014 is going very well. For example:
• Have not been involved in an automobile, train or airplane accident — lucky!
• Have not lost car keys, house keys or anyone else’s keys — lucky!
• No checks bouncing — lucky!
• Roof over head, food in tummy — lucky!
• Nothing I own destroyed by fire, vandalism or flood — lucky!
• Family still speaking to me despite holiday revelry — lucky!
• I have my health, sort of — lucky!
I had to qualify that last one because I already had one cold this year, but it was only a 24-hour bug that knocked me flat with nausea, fever and vomiting — lucky!
Wait a minute. Maybe that’s what my dad was talking about. Maybe I should raise my expectations beyond the brevity of illnesses. Maybe if I did, I’d get happier and luckier.
OK, OK. Let me think. In the same way that I initially chose orange as my favorite color, I am now having trouble defining my new perception of “lucky” as mere money, diamonds, vacation homes and boats. I have to be creative with it.
All right, what about this? In 2014, I will consider myself lucky if I continue to have everything listed above plus money, diamonds, vacation homes, boats and my own magazine.
You laugh, but I’ve been thinking about this. It’s a get-rich-quick scheme if I ever had one. You’ve heard about The Knot magazine with wedding and honeymoon suggestions for engaged couples? Well, what about all these aging baby boomers with their IRAs and stocks and inheritances just sitting around unused?
I am going to market to them via my new magazine, The Plot. It will tell them everything they need to know to plan their own funeral — where to find the best cemeteries, florists and officiants; what to wear; guest list dos and don’ts, etc. There are scores of interesting articles to be brought to light, in addition to boring, rudimentary essays on wills and trusts.
I’ve heard you can have your ashes sent skyward with fireworks or compressed into a piece of carbon jewelry. You want to be tossed into a river? Which one? We’d give you vital information on currents so you’re not accidentally washed ashore at a Girl Scout camp. And what about those loved ones left behind? We’d show you how to use your will to reward your friends while effectively cutting off Uncle Henry once and for all. My magazine would be chock full of useful tips like that.
Yeah, I’d say getting The Plot published in 2014 would be lucky. And one heck of a long shot. On second thought, good health would be just fine.