It’s That Time of Year Again!


My late, ex-sister-in-law always said my family suffered from the “Slickster Curse,” not our real surname, but a moniker used throughout my Internet and Social Media presence, used in substitution to protect the innocent.

How she determined our dark dilemma is beyond me, other than as an explanation for the unexpected chaos brought upon her on occasion by members of my clan. The curse was mentioned also by her when bad luck came our way.

If our lives were ruled by a malediction, it must have been cast by someone in another one of our lifetimes, or several generations ago; for such an atrocity was never mentioned by my father, nor any of his siblings. However, the more I look back at our past ordeals and the regularity of misfortune, my brother’s ex-wife may have made an astute observation.

The problem with believing such a general damnation can result in self-fulfilling prophesies, whereupon unsavory results are brought about by one’s own foreboding, leaving nothing to chance.

Murphy’s Law, which states: if anything can go wrong, it will, has governed my being for as long as I can remember. Blaming that on the Slickster Curse would be too easy. There’s got to be another reason for it.

Why is it that a large percentage of people live normal, happy lives, with a splattering of adversity every now and then but not as a norm? Maybe it’s because they are the ones for whom I seek and acknowledge, not those whose lives are worse than mine. 

On Thursday into Friday, we had our first winter storm early this year, which blanketed the area with several inches of wet snow and ice, bringing down trees and power lines, cutting off the electricity in my neighborhood for about twelve hours. I started blaming my lucky stars for turning their backs on me and allowing such a catastrophe.

The power-steering pump in my car went south. Another grand is needed for replacement. I’m able to drive it in the meantime, but the Cooper handles now like an old Mack truck. My troubles could take several paragraphs to list, a cheap way of obtaining the quota for this five-hundred-word essay. Who wants to read about them anyway?

Yet, when I see reports about all the folks in California who are dealing with the horrendous wildfires that have taken the homes of thousands, killed over seventy people, with over one thousand missing, the intensity of my problems diminish to almost nil. My heartfelt condolences go out to those afflicted.

No matter how bad things seem, someone else has it more appalling. I should be counting my blessings instead of saying, “Woe is Me.”

Take, for instance, the Russian scientist who was stabbed recently by a colleague at an Antarctic research station where they worked. The victim reportedly revealed the endings of books the stabber was reading in his spare time. Talk about overreacting, but, when isolated as they were, nothing seems out of the ordinary. 

Fortunately, the man survived the stab wound. The attacker was charged with attempted murder. The latter will have a lot of time to read new books where he’ll most likely be going.

That wraps up another weekly tirade. Thanks for your continued support and allowing me to rant.  The holidays are about to begin. It’s time for me to be Mr. Nice Guy again. Happy Thanksgiving in advance. Don’t max out your credit cards on Black Friday.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at
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