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By View From Falling Downs
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Empathy for the luckless

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I was still in my teens when I found myself on a Greyhound making its final approach into the Kenora train station. Local folks were standing up at that point, knowing we were ready for touchdown, and I heard a guy say, as he was gazing out the window… “there’s a lotta dogs out tonight.”

I took that as a generic reference to the many folks visibly impaired when you looked out the window. I got off the bus, and facing a two hour layover, found time to buy a loaf of bread and a sixpack nearby. Sat down by the railroad tracks for my own personal picnic.

This old geezer wobbles up and sits down. I offer him a piece of my loaf and 1/6 of my sixpack to wash it down.

He tended towards the taciturn, but once we got to a couple more hunks of that loaf and 2/6 of my sixpack, he let out that he was from the White Dog nation.

I had one of those learning moments that you sometimes hear about but seldom experience firsthand.

Dogs… White Dog Nation… everything suddenly fell into place!

The “dogs” were the down and out from the local res. I’ve never forgotten what I learned that day at the Kenora International Bus Stop.

Of course you don’t have to be First Nations to be luckless, although there can be no doubt that it helps.

A lot.

I used to tour up to Grand Valley now and then to meet up with the local game warden, who managed a huge wilderness area nearby. We’d get together over pitchers of beer and a basket of wings at the local. One night there’s a local at the next table recounting the following horror story;

“…so I was commin’ home from a visit with my lawyer, who’s gonna do my impaired charge, and I was like two driveways away from my place, and a fuckin’ deer runs out in fronta me. I know you gotta report this, so I leave my car there, walk ten minutes home, and call the cops. Then I have a beer.

So I have a couple beer and the cops finally show up, and I tell them about the deer. Yup, my car’s still out there. I didn’t want to disturb any evidence, so I walked home and called you guys…

Well, long story short, they fucking charge me with impaired driving!

I didn’t even have the heart to tell my lawyer…”

Now THAT’s luckless!

Game Warden guy, on the other hand, was having quite a run of good luck going at the time. I remember being at his place when he pulls out a big green garbage bag stuffed full.

Stuffed full of weed!

“Hey, is this shit any good?”

It was decent enough. How do you get a gig like that? The taxpayer funds your digs, you’re encouraged to own guns, and you can grow fifty pounds of weed on the wilderness reserve without anybody even noticing?

But a run of luck only lasts so long. If you’ve been enjoying a run of good luck, brace yourself; it’s about to turn.

If, on the other hand, you’ve been in the shithouse of karma for the past twenty years, cheer up!

That’s about to turn too!

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