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Comments by Larry Palletti

Luck Not Always a Lady

     There was a soggy envelope lying at the foot of my driveway the other day, with Please Read This!!! scrawled across its face.  A fast-moving fantasy pushed into my mind. Could this be a desperate cry for rescue from the kidnapped daughter of a wealthy international arms dealer?

I rushed to open the envelope. (Did I mention that the daughter was outrageously beautiful and disgustingly appreciative of my help? And that the arms dealer was looking for a public relations writer who knew how to handle a massive salary?)
Anyway, it turns out that the letter was even better than I had dreamed. And I feel this overwhelming need now to share it with you.

Here it is, verbatim, right down to the very nittiest of the gritty, misspellings included.

“WITH LOVE all things are possible.
“With love all things are possible.
“This paper was sent to you for good luck.
“The original is in New England. It has been around the world nine times. This has been sent to you. You will receive good luck within four days of recieving in turn you send it on. This is not a joke. You will recieve good luck in the mail. Send no money as faith has no price.
“Do not keep this letter. It must leave your hands within 96 hours. An RAF officer recieved $3,470,000,00 and lost it because he broke the chain. Wile in the Philippens George Welch lost his wife 51 days after recieving the letter. He failed to circulate the letter. However before her death he received $7,755,000,00. Please send twenty copies and see what happens in four days.
“The chain came from Venzuaela and was written by Saul Anthone, De Granda missionary from South America. Since the copy must tour the world you must make twenty copies and send them to friends and associates. After a few days you will get a surprise. This is true even if you are not superstious.
“Do note the following: Constantine Dias recieved his chain in “1981” he asked his secretary to make twenty copies and send them. A few days later he won a lottery of two million dollars. Carlo Dadall an office employee, recieved the letter and forgot it had to leave his hands in 96 hours. He lost his job. Later after finding the letter again he mailed twenty copies. A few days later he got a better job.
“Dalan Fairchild recieved the letter and not believing threw the letter away. Nine days later he died. In “1987” the letter was recieved by a young woman in California it was faded and barely readable, she promised herself she would retype the letter. She was plagued with various problems, including expensive car repairs. The letter did not leave her hands in 96 hours. She finally typed the letter and got a new car.
“Remember send no money. Do not ignor this. It works!”

WELL, MY MOMMA didn’t raise no fools, for the most part. When I get news like this, I respond.

And I can’t think of a better way to circulate that chain letter than to reprint it right here. I figure that if sending out twenty copies will get me all that good luck, just think what a few hundred thousand copies will do.

Tom Jones, my mail carrier, had better lay on a semi to deliver the great things that are on the way. Stand by, Tom. It’s gonna be a heavy week for you.
I remember a chain letter that circulated some years back, during my college days. I think maybe it wasn’t very serious. It was a “pyramid club” sort of thing. There was a list of perhaps ten names and addresses in the letter. You added your name to the bottom and crossed off the one at the top.

First, though, you had to pack up your wife and ship her to that first address.
Eventually your name would work its way to the top of the list. When it did, you’d receive a shipment of 3,696 women. And some of them, the letter promised, would be real winners.
“Don’t break the chain,” the letter warned. “In 1958, Oscar Branson of Peoria broke the chain, and he got his own wife back.”

THE POPULARITY of chain letters has dropped off in recent years, if my incoming mail is any indication. There used to be at least one every month, all of which got tossed in the wastebasket. The current popularity of e-mail is changing all that, of course, and the chain letters are again coming to the fore.

You know what happens when you don’t heed those dire warnings about sending out copies? “One Georgia man broke the chain, and he ended up writing stuff for an Internet service.”
The letters were big stuff once, especially after the Second World War. They’re illegal to mail now, which is why my latest receipt was dropped in the driveway and not at the post office. All of them carried the same message: fantastic good luck would come to those who kept the faith and mailed out 20 (or 50) copies.

And woe, of course, to those who failed to carry out the instructions.
Luck, good and bad, is the centerpiece of each letter – and of the lives of those who pay attention to the warnings such letters carry.

It’s a handy thing to have, Luck. Even Bad Luck is okay. It’s something on which one can blame all the little failures of daily life. No need to take personal responsibility – there’s always that darned Bad Luck.

A problem may crop up, though, when Good Luck gets credit for success. The person who wins on his own merit may not recognize his abilities. He’s too willing to lay his “good fortune” at the feet of Lady Luck.

AS A HUGE and profitable business, Luck is hard to beat. Go to the supermarket and pick up a copy of any tabloid “newspaper” on sale there. Check out a few of the ads. (This is something you should do periodically, even without cause. A glance through the pages of the Weekly World News or The National Enquirer is an education in gullibility that shouldn’t be missed. Go – buy a copy. See what drives our fellow citizens.)

Here’s one that sounds pretty good. For fifteen bucks, you can buy a Miracle Doll with Magic Wand that will grant you three wishes. “Please use wisely,” says an accompanying disclaimer. You don’t want to wish for the wrong thing; somebody might get hurt.

Here’s another: an African gizmo called a “money-drawing bag.” Send in your $12.95 and change all your bad luck into good – instantly. Comes with a genuine gold-plated magnetic crucifix. The bag, I assume is empty when you receive it. If fills up with money only after its arrival. And that’s a convenient feature. Should it fill up before its delivery, the shipping costs would be out of sight.

Or how about this one: Haitian love beads. “Attracts men and women to you like a magnet.”
Of course, if you already had the money-drawing bag, you might not need to spend the eight dollars for the love beads. With that bagful of money, you’ll attract “men and women like a magnet” without much trouble.

Presumably, you get your choice of either men or women. But maybe that’s where Luck comes in.

MAYBE THIS ONE is the ad I’ll answer. “Magic words.” For a measly $12, this guy will sell me a bunch of words that will bring me good luck beyond my most precious dreams. I can find lost treasures. Look and stay young. Win anything I want. Protect me against all sorts of perils. Get me all the money I desire.

All with words. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

The ad says it took the author “45 years of research and thousands of experiments” to find these lucky words. He says they really work, and I believe him. Look at his photograph; look at those burning eyes. He wouldn’t lie.

But I’ve a certain reluctance about sending him my money. You see, I know this stuff is as effective as he claims. Sad to say, it can work too well.
I did all this once before. The money-drawing bag did its job, and so did those magic words. But I should never have used them in combination with the Haitian love beads. I attracted the wrong sort of person.
The magic words were “stick ’em up.”
The person I attracted was a cop.
 


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