In which we learn about the luckiest man in the world...
My Chinese almanac says Today is not a good day to demolish your home.
I mean, what can one reply to that, except to say: phew.
A vast number of people in Asia are obsessed with the concept of Good Fortune.
This is a tried-and-tested scientific process whereby installing a goldfish tank in your office will cause you to become a billionaire by the end of the week.
However, an alert reader points out that the concept of luck was redefined by a remarkable incident in Chiba, Japan, a few days ago. Police stopped a motorist on suspicion of driving a stolen car. The driver then confessed that he was also a murderer.This was extremely lucky for the cops, as the police commissioner will surely write Solved Murder Case and draw a smiley on their end-of-term reports.
Curiously, the lucky cops case in Japan has turned out to be even luckier for the driver, a man from Ibaraki.
Investigators yesterday checked his confession, decided it was truehe was the murdererand then let him go. It turned out that the statute of limitations had run out eight weeks before the mans confession.
Local press in Japan reported the lucky-cop, lucky-villain incident under the headline Ibaraki Man Gets Away With Murder.
Thats not what I would call the ideal line under which one would want to achieve local celebrity, but one cannot deny that this is guys luck quotient must be incredibly high. Readers from Japan may wish to contact him to ask for ideas for lucky lottery numbers to pick (although they may wish to not get too close, and prefer to phone him from a call box in Brazil.)
If you do get some lucky lottery numbers, dont use them in Malaysia. Thirteen people yesterday got into trouble with the authorities for an offbeat incident involving luck and fortune in Selangor. The problem with the 13 tipsters was not their accuracy level (supposedly very high) but the fact that they were dead.
Thirteen ghosts in graves in Bukit Jagra transmitted lucky numbers into the brains of visitors, who then went off and amassed fortunes, or so the locals said. The spirits did this so well that there have been queues of people at the graveyard for months, and a numbered ticket waiting system had to be organized, as you get in your local HSBC.
But local officials decided that this was all too weird for Modern Hi-Tech Malaysia, Country of the Future and Home of Laksa, and recently turned up at the graveyard with hammers. They demolished the site, thus halting the operation and leaving the 13 ghost tipsters, er, dead. Well, deader, anyway. Disappointed would-be lottery customers went off to pick their numbers by the use of more rational, scientific methods (many of which appear to involve the use of chicken entrails.)
Now I would not want you to let this report lead anyone to think that people in Asia have superstitious, primitive beliefs when it comes to luck.
Absolutely not. State-of-the-art machinery is involved in luck dispensation at the Sathit Chonlantan temple in Pattani, Thailand. It is widely accepted that Thai soldiers and police officers who have obtained temple tattoos and received a swift kick from the head monk (but only if he uses his right leg) become bullet-proof. The operation costs considerably less than the Pentagons US$380 billion defense budget.
So many uniformed men are flocking to the temple to be made invulnerable that the tattooists have had to lower their needles and invest in an automatic tattooing machine. But the swift kick in the lower parts from the head monk cannot be done by machine, and is still done manually, er, podially.
The temple also dispenses anti-violence bullets. Instead of gunpowder, the cartridges are filled with 108 herbs and invisible spiritual power. Carrying one of these means that you cannot be shot, although you can still merrily blast away at other people (are Asians pragmatic or what?).
Now I need to stop writing this, because it is nearly the weekend, and I need to collect my one billion dollars and decide what to spend it on. A lottery ticket? A tattoo? Or a swift kick in the nether regions? Decisions, decisions.