Mont St Michel.
I had dreamed of visiting it all my life and there I was, standing at the base looking up.
Thankfully I then looked down to fiddle about with my camera, for at that moment, a majestic seabird, soaring high above the barren marshes, pooed on my head.
“How lucky!” said our tour guide.
I have heard people say this before.
Now perhaps I am unlike some people, but having bird excrement in one’s hair is not what I would call lucky, especially as I had no means of cleaning it up save a near empty packet of “moist towelettes” and a paper napkin.
It was a wonderful day but I did not attribute the excellent weather or unique experience to my early encounter with the bird. I spent an hour in the shower at the hotel scrubbing my head that evening.
I still recall with horror visiting the zoo with my Grandfather as a small child.
My Grandfather was a very fastidious man.
As a consequence he was wearing his best suit to the zoo.
Now Perth Zoo does not specifically display Pelicans, but as it is near to our river where Pelicans like to dwell, one had stopped by for a visit, ensconcing itself at the top of a palm tree just as my grandfather said something like “Observe the hippopotami.”
Now if luck is measured by quantity, then my poor grandfather was the luckiest man alive at that moment, for pelicans, we discovered, are capable of producing the most astonishing quantities of “luck”. There was a whooshing sound and I can still see my grandfather, covered from head to toe with “luck”, his best suit ruined and a face of beetroot red. Unluckily for me, the hippopotami were forgotten and there was a swift conclusion to our special “day out”. My long suffering Grandmother certainly did not suggest how lucky Grandfather had been despite the obvious evidence bespattering his best Harris tweed.
In Paris, notorious for the “little presents” that the various beloved pet dogs are free to leave anywhere on the pavements in the true French spirit of liberté, égalité, fraternité, I once observed a stunningly beautiful French woman who looked like she had just stepped out of a Chanel Fashion show step into a remarkably large “present” on the Boulevard St Michel.
I can assure you that she did not smile happily at her ruined Manolo Blahnik and cry “J’ai de la chance!”
So I am afraid that I cannot kid myself into believing that unwanted encounters with “do dos” constitute good luck. The best luck is what happened to me just the other day.
I was passing under a large gum tree and a kookaburra laughing overhead paused for a moment. Something rushed just past me and splattered harmlessly on the ground.
I walked away unscathed, but instead of anyone saying “how lucky” when I told them, all they said was, “Ew gross!”
People are weird.