Napoleon remarked (why did he make that common mistake of trying to invade Russia – in winter) that a general is NOTHING without “fortune” (French pronunciation) on his side. True. And Lady Luck is fickle. In fact if Lady Luck were so unlucky as to be my daughter I’d tell her a few home truths. The way she grants favours, or not, isn’t the way to go about it.
First of all: She has no sense of justice. None. In fact, if she was that child faced with a marshmallow she’d be out of the door before she could chew it.
I dislike many sayings. Not least the one and only: “Du bist der Schmied Deines eigenen Gluecks”. Loosely translated: Everone is master of their own luck. Bah to that. I do take responsibility for myself (and others) but don’t give me a horse’s hoof. That way you’ll limp on the home stretch.
Anyway, IT’S ALL RELATIVE. “It’s all relative” is my mantra. You can apply it to anything in life. That way (relative) happiness lies. Naturally the likes of Looney and his mind will point out to me that in order for something to be relative you need something to measure it against. True.
I measure ‘it’ against, say, fairy tales. Particularly on a Sunday afternoon. Or a particular Maupassant novella, the title I won’t name lest it’ll break your heart on reading. Yes, fairy tales, as opposed to Maupassant: You briefly, emphasis briefly, spend many an hour cleaning the castle’s hearths under the malevolent eye of your step mother. One hundred years later you either go to a ball and leave your dainty shoe behind and/or are being kissed by a prince. No wonder I only eat apples vetted by me and in the privacy of my own company. And go barefoot.
I won’t tell you which one is my favourite fairy tale. It’ll give too much away about me – even to the obtuse among you. Instead let’s settle on another one. A grim one as the Grimm Brothers go: “Von einem der auszog das Fuerchten zu lernen.” One who went out to learn fear. Not a difficult task you might say. Take it from me. It is [difficult]. Particularly if you are not afraid of the dark. Anyway he did find something he was afraid of. Lucky him. And no, it wasn’t that which we all fear, it was – nemesis of my own life: A COLD FISH.