It's a simple sentence really. There are, however, slight variations depending on factors such as the person ushering the line or the situation being referenced. I mean, sometimes "Well, you know," "Ooh," "Be careful because," "Oh brother," or even "Yikes" are sprinkled in the mix for good measure.
The old adage up for discussion is: "These things always happen in threes."
I don't like this axiom. It always references something very bad.
Firstly, where the heck did it originate? Theories abound but I submit that it was likely the brainchild of some doofus trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy who blurted out the theory and then successively caused three catastrophic events so he could look brilliant.
Anyway, my brother-in-law innocently issued said statement recently after Kerry mentioned that he'd, you know, accidentally backed my car into his truck in our driveway a few days prior.
The statement probably would've gone by with little more than a guffaw and a small roast of Kerry's driving prowess except that he then mentioned the horror which befell us the very next night - Friday the 13th, BTW. (Don't even get me started on that whole ridiculous superstition.)
And so, as the Kimerer clan chatted over the fact that we'd be without air conditioning during the hottest days in about a century, my brother-in-law looked at me and said, "Well, look out because these things always happen in threes."
Ah, I forgot the wary "look out" caveat.
But why? Why threes? And why only when it's something negative? My old pal and Kinsman native Fred Callahan mused over it briefly when suddenly, he made his own declaration.
"Aw, the heck with it. From now on, whenever something really good happens, we'll say, 'Hurray, these things always happen in 10s!'"
I've always liked that guy.
So our cars were a little smooshed and our heating and A/C unit nearly melted into the frame of our house. Did I mention these fixes don't come freely these days? OK, so, on top of all the inconvenience, we also had to pay a small ransom over the course of two days. Why did that necessarily dictate an impending third "bad thing?"
And, as day six with no air rolled around, I began to buy into the old theory - believing that the third cataclysmic event to hit our house might just be the demise of my husband or I. Heat makes people a little grumpy.
Either way, that's when it hit me: we'd already had our No. 3. Or, one, working backward, I suppose.
Because, on the island of Catawba only a few scant days before the two ominous occurrences, I'd been attacked - by a seagull while running on the shores of Lake Erie.
"Whoa - he's out to get you!" said a teenage boy flinging a stick in the air to defend me after the winged rat dive-bombed my head. Have I mentioned how much I detest birds lately? Surely ravens and crows litter hell's pathway but - more digression.
Confident we were safely past the third calamity, I headed out for a morning run only to find myself in dire need of ... a ladies room. I mean, like, NOW.
It was not a happy dance I was making as I searched in vain for an unlocked restroom at a local school building around 6:50 a.m. last Wednesday. And just like that, problemo numero quatro.
Hmpf. And help!
And, even though it made for one hellacious morning jog, I was happy (almost) to bust the "bad thing" hat trick - even though it meant No. 4 - simultaneously laughing and crying as I burned my running outfit.
But, the best news of all is that Kerry and I made it through the steamy week without hurting each other - heck, we even threw the preliminary divorce papers onto the bonfire with my clothes atop our old, useless furnace.
Anyway, I'm so thrilled because I have at least nine other happy things to look forward to next week. Hurray!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and denier of mean and nasty superstitions. Contact her thrice, but only with good news, at firstname.lastname@example.org.