HE ARRIVES TO CLAIM PRIZE IN AN AMBULANCE
The State of Montana is known for many things. There are three head of cattle for every citizen, for instance. Glacier National Park is also one of its claims to fame. But, in Woolsock, Montana, it’s “The Unluckiest Man In America” prize that has brought prestige to this small town for the last five years.
Weekly World News arried precisely at three to see the ceremonies. They were running late. Zeb Nightingale, the President of the Job Society, greeted us with a hearty elbow bump. “I’m sorry for the delay. Our winner, Karl “Crash” Zeman, is caught in traffic.”
When asked about the origin of the award, he chuckled. “It started out as a joke for some of us professionals bitching about the commute from Billings to Woolsock. We dubbed ourselves ‘The Job Society,’ after the Biblical figure, Job. God made a bet with Satan and Satan, basically, had complete control of Job’s life. He made Job’s life a living hell.”
“So, we met every week and bitched. About the sixth week, a waiter in the bar we frequented came up to us and said: ‘And you think YOU have problems?’
“He told us his problems. We asked him to bring his friends to the next meeting. They told us their problems. We were amazed. Once we discarded the one-offs, bitten by a shark or hit by lightning, we discovered that many guys’ lives just sucked. It’s not anything they do; it’s just that life just smacks them over the head everyday. And, almost to a man, they’re optimistic.”
KARL FINALLY ARRIVES
At that point an ambulance rolled up. “That must be Karl.”
The two ambulance attendants wheeled Karl up to us in a stretcher. A battered, smiling fellow elbowed us both.
“Sorry, I’m late,” he grinned.
“What happened?” Weekly World News asked.
“Well, I lost electricity in the middle of the night, so all the clocks were blinking and not telling the time. Because of that, I woke an hour late. I cut myself shaving, burnt my breakfast, set off the fire alarms, opened up the windows to let the smoke out and a police flash-bomb landed in my living room. It blinded me, of course, but I made my way to the front door, not knowing there were looters outside.
“I stumbled out, got caught up in the crowd, and wound up ten miles in the opposite direction from this ceremony. Then, the tear gas canisters went off and I couldn’t breathe or see. I fell into an open recyclable bin and passed out. When I came to, I was at the city dump, surrounded by shrink-wrap, soda cans and wine bottles. I stood up and started walking out of the dump, when I was attacked by raccoons! Then I ran for my life, sprinting over rats and onto the nearest paved street. I got hit by a Subaru. The driver was on the phone and didn’t notice me clinging to the windshield. She made a hard right and I was sent flying through the front window of a fish market.
OUT OF THE FISH AND ONTO THE BUMPER
“They chased me out, but the nearby seagulls in the dump got a whiff of me and started dive-bombing my head. I ran to the nearest bus stop and hid beneath its protective clear plastic enclosure. I saw a bus coming and raised my hand, but tripped. The bus hit me and I was stuck on its front bumper. The hospital was one of its stops. I pried myself off the bus and slithered inside the E.R., explaining my plight and telling them about this ceremony. And…here I am.”
Weekly World News replied. “Wow.”
He turned to Nightingale. “So, how are the wife and kids?”
“They’re doing fine,” Nightingale replied. “Now it’s time for you to claim your throne!”
KARL CLAIMS HIS THRONE
The two ambulance attendants carried Karl’s stretcher up a flight of stairs to the stage. They placed him in the middle of the stage while dancing girls and a really bad high school band (Playing “Born Under A Bad Sign.”) performed around him in a routine that could only be described as “a seizure.”
At the end of the “performance,” a top-heavy danseuse raised a crown over Karl’s head and accidentally let it drop. The crown landed on Karl’s forehead, opening a large gash. He screamed and clutched his head, rearing back and upsetting his stretcher. A screaming Karl, still in his stretcher, bumped down a flight of stairs, the ambulance attendants trying to stop his descent.
Karl’s stretcher ran into a popcorn machine, causing it to erupt like Mount Vesuvius and spew popcorn onto a cheering, appreciative crowd. The ambulance attendants caught up with Karl, who was beaming.
“He never disappoints,” Nightingale sighed.
Karl sat up in his stretcher and waved at us. “See ya next year!”
We waved back.
As the ambulance attendants returned him to the innards of the vehicle, he waved one, last time.
“And have a great day!” he enthused as the ambulance was T-boned by a speeding police cruiser assigned to escort him back home.