Yesterday, I averted disaster not once but twice.

In the first instant, I decided to make myself some steelcut Irish oatmeal.  I always follow the same procedure – cook them on high until they come to a furious boil, then turn the heat down to medium for another couple of minutes before turning it all the way down to minimum for the final five.  I set the pot on the stove and headed into the next room to check my email and update my blog comments.  At which point Jelly waddled into the room and barked up a storm, her way of saying “Walk me!”.  And so, I put on my coat, picked her up, and headed outside.  Because of her hip dysplasia, it takes Jelly a while to complete even the shortest of strolls – ten minutes from my front walk to the end of the block.  Then, another ten minutes up the opposite side of the street and back.  We had just reached the corner, the halfway point of our walk, when a certain uneasiness crept up on me, a simmering sense of foreboding fueled by a suspicion that I’d forgotten something.  Something very important.  But what?  What? And then it hit me.  The oatmeal on the stove!  Holy shit!  I scooped up Jelly and charged back up the block as fast as I could, tearing up the walk and onto the porch, scrambling with the house keys, unlocking the door and rushing inside, images of my kitchen engulfed in flames alive in my mind.  I raced into the kitchen to find – the pot sitting quietly on the burner.  I’d forgotten to turn the stove on.

Twenty minutes, I was out walking Bubba and Lulu when we happened to cross paths with an elderly lady walking her dog.  Of course, the mere sight of another dog is enough to set Bubba and Lulu off.  They started barking.  Her dog started barking back.  I reined in my dogs. She tried to rein in her dog, tripped and stumbled, almost losing her grip on the leash.   I tugged on my leashes, backing up, swung around to head off – and turned right into a sprawling curbside tree.  I felt the branch, sharp and solid, glance off my left eyelid and bounce painfully off my nose.  I blinked and, as my eyesight adjusted, blurred then sharp, I realized how close I had come to impaling my eyeball.  A quarter of an inch lower and I’d be sporting a rugged-looking eyepatch today.

Like speech gags and celebrity deaths, bad luck comes in three’s.  I know this for a fact because I’ve fallen victim to the Rule of 3.  I remember…

I was in fourth grade grade gym class and our phys ed teacher called on the students to help set up the trampoline.  I was a little wary of the damn thing because, only days earlier, I’d avoided serious injury after attempting a flip – and landing squarely on my head (#1!). That’s all I could think of us as we rolled out the apparatus and proceeded to unlock it.  Distracted as I was, I didn’t even realize my hands were resting on a metal roller until the connecting bar touched down on my fingers.  I pulled them away in the nick of time as – snap! – it locked into place.  One of my classmates, Steve Robertson, marveled at my luck.  “You almost got your fingers massacred!”he said as we opened the trampoline.  “Almost!”, I remember thinking (#2).  At which point the spring-loaded section we were trying to snap into place sprang back and landed my left arm, snapping it in two places.  Like kindling.  The palm of my hand was flat against my wrist (And that was #3!).  I cringe even now thinking about it.

If those Final Destination movies taught me anything, it’s that disaster, twice averted, only sets you up for a third strike.  However, if you manage to survive that third attempt by the Fates, then simple superstitious logic dictates that you’re home free.

I just need to survive that third attempt.

As a result, I spent most of yesterday and today indoors, double-checking my dumbbells before my workouts, cautiously sniffing my food before I eat it, bringing my old swim googles out of storage – just in case.

See you tomorrow.

I hope!

33 thoughts on “January 6, 2013: The Ominous Rule of 3!

  1. If, when I check my email tomorrow I see another post from you, I will know you have survived. Thanks for another fun read.

  2. Joey – I feel it is my personal responsibility to inform you that the only – I repeat, the ONLY – people I know who have ever experienced injury while engaged in…ya know…luboo-luboo…have been Canadian. I really don’t know what you guys do that’s different from American men, but whatever it is, it’s dangerous. Hospital-bound dangerous.

    So…you may just consider sleeping on the sofa for a bit. Just don’t roll over and fall off!! 😉


  3. Everything always happens to me in threes–bad things and good things. Now, the good things are pretty good. I won three contests in Nov/Dec, for example, but when it’s bad, it’s usually bad. Glad you’re okay.

    Have a great night! Off to celebrate hubby’s birthday.

  4. Having curbside trees is definitely unwise as they only create problems; roots getting into sewer lines & pushing up the sidewalks, and since many of them don’t get enough water/nutrients, they are not as healthy as they should be which results in weak limbs and diseases. Not to mention that when they fall over they block or damage something usually like cars, roads, buildings, etc. And yep, people also get injured & even killed. 🙁

    So you’re currently waiting on Number 3? Maybe wrap yourself in bubble-wrap & wear a football helmet to be extra safe? 🙂 How long does it take to bypass Number 3 anyway, if it doesn’t happen relatively quickly? Meaning, you get Number 1 and 2 in one week, but say two or three weeks pass by…. = is the coast clear now? Is there a set amount of time until you are back to waiting for a Number 1 again? 🙂

  5. Uh oh. I’m not sure the universe will let you actually *avoid* the third thing. You just have to come through unscathed.

    Maybe we could start a pool for what time the third thing will happen and what sort of thing it will be. It’ll have to wait till football is over today though. 😉

  6. Oh, and two other things:

    1. I have mentioned before that I often put eggs on to boil, and forget, resulting in a mess I call ‘pop eggs’. Exploded cook egg yoke is HELL getting off the ceiling. 😛

    2. Next time you make those Irish oats, may I suggest adding a sprinkle of pumpkin or apple pie spice (cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, pumpkin also has ginger in it), along with any combination of the following: raisins (or other dried fruit, including – but not limited to – cranberries, cherries, or dates), fresh chopped (and peeled) apples, strawberries, blueberries, or any other fresh fruit you may have on hand. For softer fruits, like strawberries or blueberries, I add them right as the oatmeal is done. I sweeten it with maple syrup (the real stuff), raw sugar, or honey, depending on my mood. OH! And I cook the oats in milk, not water.

    My favorite is the spice with raisins and apples, second favorite is with the spice and blueberries, and third favorite is the spice with mixed dried fruit (raisins, craisins and/or a berry mix). I know you’re not a huge fan of fruit, but if you also cook up some yummy savory sausage, it goes great with the fruity oatmeal, especially if you dip! 🙂


  7. Poor Joe. At least something was telling you not to turn the stove on. I could picture the oatmeal boiling over. How many times I’ve ruined oatmeal because I got distracted or I turned my back for two seconds. That almost happened yesterday. I was making myself oatmeal for breakfast. I boiled the water, and put the oats in and covered to let it simmer. Then, I went to make toast. Next thing I know, the pot was nearly boiling over. I ran quickly to stove to shot off the burner. It didn’t boil over, but almost did. I was afraid to even take off the lid.

  8. *whew* All is well! No fires. Not even burned. Just … a bit … crispy, is all. 🙂 Do take care Joe. If I have to send you a “get well” prezzie, I’m sure the restraining order will have to be adjusted. 😉

  9. I’d think a bit of physical brain fog after your brain swelled 3X is to be expected.

  10. Isn’t Akemi away at Yellowknife? Then it’s just you and your pups. (Ominous rumble…)
    Be careful on any stairs. My cat Stash has an annoying habit of weaving through my lower legs as I stand at the top of my staircase (usually half asleep), preparing to step down. He does this for at least 3 steps, no matter how much I scold. It’s a miracle I haven’t gone head over yet.

    Also, stay away from knives used for other than knife-ly things. Today I pried a large magnet off a surface using a knife. Came close to losing a finger.

    Hey, maybe I’m waiting for #3 myself. (Ominous rumble, again…)


  11. Oh boy, you be careful, coz if Akemi comes home and you are hurt , no luboo-luboo or whatever she called it. BIG Trouble…but seriously, take care..

  12. G’day Joe

    Thanks for the laughs. You can be lucky sometimes. Stay safe and double think before you do ANYTHING!!!

  13. LOL….I’ve done the stove/burn thing with rice. Not pretty and horrible odor!

    Oh… careful Joe, need you healthy!

  14. I definitely know the feeling. We hit a moose a few weeks ago and walked away (usually it’s a morgue or ICU), a few days later a very young kid got away from his mom and ran in front of my car and I managed to stop about a foot from him (both his mom and I nearly had coronaries), and just a few days ago 2 moose ran in front of the car, we turned a corner and the same 2 moose (mom & youngster) ran in front of the car again and we missed them by a couple of feet….at least, I think we got our 3 in…although hubby was with me for the moose incidents, and I was alone for the kid incident, so do we still have another incident on the horizon?? or just the hubby?

    @das will you be my bff? you always keep me laughing….

  15. I don’t know, most of that (other than the arm thing. EW.) sounds like good luck as you narrowly averted possible disasters. Sounds like you’re walking under a lucky star to me. Well, if I believed in superstition of course, which I don’t.

    “a simmering sense of foreboding…” Heh.

    I’m back safely from PEI – it was sure a short trip, but nice. Weather on the way back was crappy though, it was slow going through the snow squalls part of the way.

    Did Akemi already leave for NWT?

  16. @Joe on the rule of 3’s:

    My camping friends and I used to have a saying…”eliminating all of the easy things that could go wrong only makes the final result that much more bizarre!”

    Perhaps you need to set yourself up for an easy stubbed toe, or bruised shin, otherwise, by avoiding “the small stuff” you could be setting yourself up for some broken bones or a trip to the emergency room. It’s for your own good. 😉

    @Tam Dixon:

    Thanks for the travel wishes…I made it to Vegas without issue and I even got to watch the end of the Ravens-Colts game. Now I have some free time until the presentations to the technical press tomorrow afternoon, then the show starts in earnest on Tuesday.

    @For the love of Beckett:

    Sorry for your Colts loss. It looked like Luck was making the throws, but the wide receivers weren’t making the catches. Wishing you better luck next year.

    Now I’m wondering how the Ravens will fare against the Broncos…

  17. I can’t believe in less than an hour you almost: 1) set your house on fire, 2) gave an old woman multiple contusions wrestling her dog, AND 3) poked your eye out. I think you need to add full body armor to the goggles. And Akemi needs to stay as far away from you as possible, and take the pups with her. AND, good luck! 🙂

    I got a great Christmas gift, which I was a little embarrassed about, since none of my friends are real sci-fi fans, let alone know anything about Stargate. But it rocks!

    @for the love Beckett You are such a sweetheart! I’m so sorry to hear about your neighbor. It was wonderful of you to watch out for her, and make her part of your “family”. In my case, my neighbors and I have all grown old together in our not so great apartment building. Many, many years here. We’ve all had our struggles with life and health, but have laughed through most of it. It’s a little tougher for them these days. But we haven’t stopped laughing. 🙂

    And a belated congrats Deni!

  18. We have a *saying* in my Family…
    “When Something GOOD happens. Then, Something BAD happens. Something BAD happens. Something not all THAT bad happens, but IT could have been better. Something BAD happens….”

    And… “LIFE *Sucks* and then, You live FOREVER!”

    Face it, we’re ALL pretty much SCREWED!

  19. Commenting in the morning of the next day, I hope you are still with us, uninjured, ready to write another blog. I agree with the rule of 3’s for both good and bad luck it seems, although I have seen bad luck come in 6’s sometimes for me I hope you have an accident-free day. Patrick returned to school this morning and I plan on getting a LOT of stuff done.

  20. I think you should prepare for tomorrow…or maybe just spend the day under the covers. Thanks for the laugh Joe, you always bring a smile to my face!

  21. At least you’re alive and well Joe, that’s the main thing 🙂

    Speak about eye stuff, I think I’ll need an eye exam soon. Sitting infront of a monitor can give me eyestrain easily enough and sometimes get headaches lol

  22. Hey Joe,

    Just wanted to update you on my Secret Santa project. Elsbeth absolutely loved the package I sent her. She emailed me right after she opened it and expressed her thanks, saying it was more than she could have ever hoped for. Her brother who is also a Stargate fan was extremely jealous. Here is her write up.

    Thanks again, I owe you one, as soon as I get over this cold 🙁

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