Lee Pitts: The Triplicate Theory
Have you ever noticed how bad luck always travels in threes? I’m warning you, if the cows get out on the road and then the water well goes dry I’d stay in the house, pull your shades and not answer the phone if I were you. Be very, very careful.
Just think about events in your every day life and you will clearly see my point. First you get married, then you have a kid and then you get divorced. See, bad things always happen in triplicate.
If the nightly news carries a story about an airplane crash you can bet good money that within a couple days there will be another airplane tragedy somewhere in the world. And you can bet your last dollar that I will not be flying on an airplane until that third big bird has fallen from the sky.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not superstitious. I am not afraid of black cats or broken mirrors. I have walked under many ladders in my time. I don’t put any faith in rabbit’s feet, horseshoes or four leaf clovers. But I do believe that bad luck always comes in three parts.
My wife is not a big believer in my triplicate theory. She says it can’t be proven by any scientific method and is a pessimistic attitude for a person to go through life with. Whenever anything bad happens and I say “That’s one, two more to go,” she gets very upset with me.
I have tried to prove the triplicate theory to my wife by pointing out certain events that happen around the ranch. There was the Christmas morning that we woke up to find the buzzards circling the calving pasture notifying us that we had a dead calf on the very special holiday. And on the way out to the pasture we got a flat tire in the truck. “Something else bad is going to happen,” I warned my wife. And sure enough we had to go to the in-laws for Christmas.
See there? Bad things always come in threes.
Then there was the February I was gone away from home on business. I swear, it was totally unplanned that my hunting trip to get meat for our dinner table perfectly coincided with lambing season. While I was gone, on three consecutive days three of our ewes gave birth to three sets of triplets. And none of the ewes even remotely recognized the existence of any of their own children. My wife had to bottle feed nine lambs every four hours around the clock without me there to lend verbal encouragement. Shortly thereafter we dispersed the sheep flock due to illness. My wife was sick of it!
For a brief time after this difficult period in the life of my wife she was a little moody and touchy for some reason. And then bad luck struck again. A cow tried to give birth to a calf that equaled half her body weight and despite my wife’s valiant effort to pull the calf it perished in the process. “That’s one bit of bad luck,” I said to my wife. “We can expect two more.”
“I wish you’d be quiet about bad things happening in threes, “ she said as she drove us back to the house. (I was too emotionally spent to drive)
So I was not surprised when we discovered the very next day that the cow was unable to get up. Sure enough she had split her pelvis trying to give birth to the dead calf. Knowing the prognosis was not good I asked my wife to take the rifle and euthanize the cow as I was way too despondent to do it myself. After she fired the shot I started to point out that was the second bad incident to happen in a similar number of days.
As my agitated wife fingered the trigger on the rifle she said, “Don’t tempt me.”
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