2007.03.14 Scared of black cats? Give me a reason...or six

Written by David Green.


Last Monday night, a small black cat dashed across the street in front of me as I neared home. I remembered an old acquaintance who used to say if she saw a black cat sitting on the edge of a street, she would turn around and go in the other direction before it could cross her path. She would have had to have been quick to beat this one. Since I don’t believe in that sort of thing, I quickly forgot about it until a very odd string of coincidences.

 The first inkling of trouble came late Tuesday night when I noticed the ice cream in my freezer was a bit soft. I turned the adjustment knob a bit colder, put a thermometer in the freezer and reminded myself to check it in the morning.

Wednesday morning came, and I found the freezer filled with items in various stages of thawing and the fan happily kicking out hot air. The thermometer in the freezer read 75 degrees, which was nearly ten degrees warmer than the apartment itself. Maybe I should have just left the food on the kitchen table and slept in the freezer. Maybe if the freezer was bigger.

I hauled the assortment of formerly frozen fruit, ice cream that no longer was, limp fish sticks, etc. to the Dumpster, made a call for a repairman and then headed for work.

There I was told the news that our printer had shorted us on our paper count. Instead of being able to grab fifty or so copies from our extras for the week’s ad run, there was a grand total of five papers left over after subscription and newsstand commitments were fulfilled. 

Most of those frugal advertisers who count on getting a complimentary paper from me were out of luck last week, not to mention the people who frequent the Wauseon sales outlet I supply. That’s just another example of why Mr. Green says you need a subscription.

With a much lighter load than usual, I headed to Wauseon. I had previously seen posters in a fast food restaurant advertising the fact that they now had cheese-filled tater tots and finally decided to try some with my lunch. I like tater tots, and what could be better than tots with cheese? I was about to find out the answer was, almost anything.

Given a choice of six, nine or 12 tots, I went for the 12 pack. When I saw how small they were, I initially thought I should have bought two orders. After tasting them, I dropped that idea quickly.

The first one or two were passable, but the more I ate, the less I liked them. By tot five, I was sorry I had ordered them. After eight, I gave up and left the remains for whatever vermin might inhabit the restaurant’s Dumpster. I also kept the Buick’s driver’s side window down for a bit, in case the tots I ate made a return appearance.

At this point, I thought things should be looking up as that was three bad things that had happened already and those “they” people always say bad luck comes in threes, right? Well, keep counting.

I next went to visit one of my ad accounts, one I had missed the previous week because the manager was out to lunch when I stopped by. This week, the business was closed, inventory and office equipment cleaned out. I quickly surmised he’s not going to be running any ads this week, either.

The rest of the afternoon went pretty normally, except for one account where I found out one of my favorite employees had gotten another job. That’s someone else I’ll probably never see again. This day just keeps getting better.

Finally, it was time to go home and after not having to dodge any out-of-control semis on U.S. 20, I figured I was done with the bad luck thing for the day. Or maybe not.

While eating dinner, I, at one point, noticed a small, hard piece of something. Not sure what it was, but not wanting to spit out a mouthful, I swallowed it with the rest. Then I noticed a funny feeling in my mouth. Yes, I had managed to break off a corner of a tooth.

At least nothing else bad has happened since. I’m still not convinced that the black cat had any connection to anything that occurred, either. But, as always, it’s still a good idea to buy a subscription.

    – March 14, 2007 
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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