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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lucky for some

Some people have all the luck. They can accept every invitation extended. They only get sick when life has conveniently paused for them to snuffle in bed with a bottle of Olbas Oil and a big fat novel. I am not one of those people. I'm the kind of person who holds a grudge against self entitlement to such a degree that I snipe at those chosen few whose time management and general contentment is not due to overzealous reading of Bill Cullen tomes, but rather through a concentrated streak of luck.

During a very inconvenient bout in bed this week I finally got around to reading Freakonomics, a book concerning odd and unexpected correlations. The book's authors draw lines between schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers, estate agents and the Ku Klux Klan - all in terms of crime and progress. My highest qualification in the field of economics was a Leaving Certificate honours C3, so bear with me if the following question sounds nonsensical. Do lucky people commit more 'victimless' crimes?

It's impossible to quantify luck, but I do notice from personal experience that my lucky friends are the ones much more likely to cheat on their social welfare returns. Friends with bachelors degrees teach five grinds a week and can easily earn an extra €150 a week on top of their €200 or so dole payment. One friend had to be physically restrained from going to the post office to claim social welfare for his brother (who conveniently already had a job... in Canada).

It's much more likely that these people may well be lucky, but they are also used to things going their own way. Similarly, they are very surprised when it all goes pear-shaped and the government discovers that Fluffy the Pomeranian can't legally be considered a dependent child.

Myself, not so much. Every Tuesday when the dole cheque comes in the post I rip open the envelope expecting to see a crumpled note scrawled in blood asking why I didn't declare the tenner my nan gave me on my last visit home and that they're coming to put me in the chokey. However, I accept no money on the side for fear of repercussion. I'm safe as houses. That was, until this week when an ominous-looking letter arrived threatening to cut me off. In blue ink. Some people really do have all the luck. If you meet one, tell them I'd like mine back please.