I recently received a chain letter. It said it had been sent to me for good luck – and it was lucky because it was the first letter I’d received all year that wasn’t a bill.
It explained I would only receive the luck if, within 72 hours, I made 20 copies and sent them to all my friends.
This didn’t seem very lucky as I’d have to pay a small fortune for photocopying and postage and then hope my friends would still talk to me afterwards.
It also said that the original copy of this letter was written by an ancient Zulu guru – which, judging by the letter, must have had good typewriting skills – in his attic in Zambia and that this letter had been around the world nine times.
Knowing what the post is like around here, it really didn’t surprise me.
To prove the prophecy of bad luck on those who didn’t send the letter on, it told how Jonas Redenski – a Chinese fighter pilot in World War II, received the letter but forgot about it and left it in his trouser pocket.
Three days later he was shot out of the sky and killed.
Later, whilst his wife was going through his old clothes to give to charity, she discovered the letter and sent out 20 copies.
She won a fortnight’s holiday to Majorca and discovered on the return trip that the pilot of the airliner was her late husband who had been miraculously re-incarnated.
Other amazing stories followed.
What confounds me is how such anecdotes of good fortune have been passed on to these chain letter writers who leave no forwarding address?
Initially, I had a good laugh about the letter – and especially when it told me it wasn’t a joke.
However, on reflection, maybe I shouldn’t have done.
Because four days later, after ignoring the letter, I did, indeed, receive bad luck.
I’d been sent another 17 chain letters!