That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore
The GoldfishThe Forces of Predestination
Her Parent's House
F.A.O: whichever supernatural being(s) it may concern
Petty Domestic Misfortune Subdivision
Unit 4B., The Universe
13th February 2007Dear Sir or Madam,
As you will have undoubtedly predicted, I am writing to ask if you would please reconsider my case.
I have not always been a loyal customer of your organisation, naively assuming that my fortune in life was dictated by accident of birth, accident of circumstance and the decisions of both those around me and myself. You may well laugh. Clearly you are laughing. To be honest, even I was laughing yesterday when we arrived at our new home to inspect how the drying-out was progressing to find that the kitchen ceiling had completely collapsed.
My only excuse for a lifetime of scepticism is pedantry. For example, when I read this months' horoscope at Astrology.Com, it clearly states that for February 2007:
The second week will see the unexpected rear its head.
Forgive me, but should the word unexpected even appear in a horoscope? If am to expect the unexpected, then what is the point of reading an analysis of what I should expect? Far more unnerving was
Which sounds a little too much like haemorroids to me. Therefore I would very much appreciate it if my case could be looked at again.
I realise I am in no position to judge these things, but according to my calculations, I have already had everso slightly more than my share of petty domestic bad luck this month so far. I acknowledge that I remain very fortunate in all the ways a person would most like to be and if there is any more than pure chance responsible, I am extremely grateful. But I am still anxious to avoid haemorroids, or indeed any further accident or mishap, at least for the duration of this month.
As I am just one small mortal in a very big universe, I shall present the full itinerary of unfortunate events in this month so far in chronological order:
If nothing can be done, I should nevertheless warn you that it is impossible to break me this way. I'm sure you knew I was going to say that. Most of the misfortunes aren’t nearly as bad as they might have been. The computer was back on line within the week and I was able to fulfil the most essential address-changing tasks without it. I was not at all hopeful for the fish, used to house temperatures, surviving the trauma of moving as well as a night in the Travelodge carpark in temperatures of –4C, but they made it. We intend to release them into my father’s pond later today and catch them again later in the spring.
The oil tank isn’t actually damaged. The oil was delivered and the tank filled right to the top. The electricity hasn't fully recovered from the flood just yet, the boiler needs servicing in any case, so we haven’t been burning any oil off. In the meantime, the temperature has risen and the oil has expanded from fill to overflowing. It’s not nice, but it can only get better.
The landlady made an innocent mistake which has given the insurance company an excuse to reject a claim for however much it might cost to dry out and fix up four damaged rooms, plus plumbing and electrics. This could have been a complete disaster, but it shouldn’t be. Until the ceiling collapsed, there was nothing that needs doing which [...] couldn’t do by himself, given enough time. We'll work that out somehow.
And yesterday, in a portent I am determined to see as positive, I saw a kestrel in our new garden. A kestrel. I imagine it was a rather disorientated kestrel as it flew right at me while I was sitting in the car, and only narrowly missed colliding with the windscreen. I can't remember what a kestrel means in the folklore of various world cultures, but I am sure that it must mean something good in at least one of them. Unless the poor bird was merely overcome by the oil fumes (no really, it's not nearly that bad).
I look forward to hearing a decision regarding my case, which I realise, in the anticipation of this letter, may already have been made.
The Goldfish (Capricorn, apparently Gemini Rising)