The Misfortune of the Misfortunate

I’m just one of those people I suppose.  If something bad is going to happen it’ll happen to me.  It rained on my wedding day, I broke my leg the day before a job interview, the funniest one was when I went on holiday to Greece.  Booked a beautiful villa for me and the wife for two weeks, looking right over the beach, nice and secluded, not one of them tourist areas with kids running around drunk.  It rained for the two weeks we were there.  In August.  It never rains in Greece in August.  People always say the wish they had a money tree, I don’t want a money tree, if I had a money tree I’d pick it off and when I go to spend it they’d tell me it’s not ripe.

A couple of weeks back it all seemed to have changed though.  I won £20 on the lottery.  First time I’ve ever won anything.  I kissed that £20 note, looked in the mirror and said to myself, “John, this is where it all changes, this is where you’re going to get all the luck you deserve”.  And it did, I took my well earned money, went to the old antiques shop just down the road and bought this old painting that I’d be looking at for years.  I always thought it’d look nice on my wall.  Not sure why I was the only one that wanted to buy it.  The fella in the shop was delighted.  It’d been in the window for 12 years and not a single person had even asked about it.  I’d won £20 and now I’d got that painting.  Even the antiques fella had a bit of luck, someone taking the painting off him.  I must be spreading the luck now too.

Next day I was sitting there admiring my new purchase, hanging on the wall.  The wife doesn’t like it much, she reckons it’s ugly.  She just doesn’t appreciate the finer things in life.  Not like me.  Anyway, I’m admiring my new painting, I’ve got a day off work and I’m watching the rubbish they put on afternoon television.  Some antiques program.  This really well spoken geezer telling old ladies the ring they found in their attic is a long lost relic, or the book their granny gave them was one of kind and they’re now rich.  Then some fella comes on with a painting.  Exactly the same painting I bought the day before.  Unbelievable!  This old geezer tells him it’s worth a million.  Then he tells him there’s only 2 in existence.  The artist painted two for some reason.  I’m rich!  I’ve got a million pound painting on the wall!  I knew the wife had no taste.

Now, knowing how unlucky I can be I’m trying to think how I can get the painting off the wall without breaking it, then get it to an antiques dealer without something happening to it.  So I decide I’ll get a taxi the next morning.  I give some local antique dealer a ring and he says no problem he’ll meet me tomorrow.  This is it, life is changing forever, I’ll be a millionaire and I can buy a villa in Greece.  We can live there, it can’t rain every day.  I knew my luck had changed when I bought that lottery ticket.  All them years of bad luck were just testing me.  Waiting for the big one, the bad luck makes the good luck so much sweeter.

Waiting for the taxi in the morning, the painting all wrapped up, I’m spending all that money in my head.  I’ll open my own little art gallery.  Show the wife what true taste is really like.  I’ll buy something for her too, whatever she wants.  I can retire.  The taxi pulls up, some foreigner, can’t really speak much English, reckons he’s from some place in Asia.  I tell him about my painting, he says I can come out to his country and meet his family one day.  Not sure about that, a bit far away Asia.  I’d probably get sick, though maybe not, things being on the up and all that.

I arrived at the antiques place and walk into this big office.  Some fella shakes my hand and tells me he’ll be looking after me today.  He’s a bit eager to see the picture.  I’m a bit out of my depth here.  He takes the picture away into some room, says he needs some special light to look at it.  He comes back after about an hour and tells me he’s got some bad news.  The picture isn’t real.  It’s a very good fake though.  He’ll give me £100 for it.  I left my house this morning and now this geezer wants to give me a £100?  I’ll have to take it.  It’s better than nothing, I’m sure I can buy another one somewhere.

 

The wife thought it was hilarious, she said she knew it was fake all along.  Of course she didn’t, what does she know about art?  I should have known myself, like I said, I’m just one of those people.  I thought that was the end of it, but the next morning there’s a knock on the door.  Three policemen.  They said they’ve got a warrant for my arrest.  That antiques dealer was a crook, the painting was real, it’d been stolen from someone 20 years ago.  The police had raided his offices yesterday and found the painting.  He told them I’d sold it to him, that I was a criminal mastermind in charge of an international art smuggling syndicate.

So now I’m sitting here in a police cell and the police think I am a notorious art smuggler.  Even my good luck brings me bad luck.

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