I know a lot of people say if they didn’t have bad luck they wouldn’t have any luck at all, but I don’t even have that. My life is just a series of escalating unfortunate events. That's why I'm the unluckiest man you don't know.
I should give you some examples. I once walked into a newsagents, asked for a lucky dip lottery ticket and ended up with six zeros. When I asked for a replacement the machine gave me 12 34 19 03 20 06, which wasn't only unlucky because they were in the wrong order, but it made up the exact time and date of the saddest moment of my life. In my despair I set fire to the ticket and vowed to never play the lottery again. Later that evening a £14,000,000 jackpot went unclaimed after Sapphire, a machine which shares its name with a long lost lover, drew the numbers 12, 34, 19,03,20,06 and the bonus ball 29. The 29 was particularly hurtful.
In March 2006, Sapphire and I were on a two week holiday in Rome. We were standing outside the Coliseum, very much in love, very much on holiday. The place was filled with men dressed like soldiers from an army ill-equipped to deal with tanks and chemical warfare. I knew it would be playing right into their hands, but I asked if we could have our photo taken with one of them. Handing my brand new five megapixel camera to a suspicious looking handsome man I asked if he'd mind taking the shot. I know what you’re thinking - he stole my camera, but sadly he stole my girlfriend.
His name was Vincent Flash, and he was the greatest man I’d ever met. After taking our picture we got to talking, and I couldn’t help but take a shine to him. Even when he did that thing where a man you’ve never met kisses your girlfriend’s hand and you think to yourself "You bloody bastard", he did it with such charm that part of me envied my girlfriend.
After some chatting we discovered that Vincent was staying at the same hotel as us. He was in Rome alone, having recently lost his wife, so we invited him to join us for dinner that evening. He didn’t even decline out of politeness, which I couldn't help but be impressed by.
It was at dinner that I realised I'd heard the name Vincent Flash before, but I couldn't remember where. After three bottles of wine, we were very much in awe of him. He had this incredible quality about him and his opinions were so right, even on things I completely disagreed with. I knew that we'd met a very special man.
After he excused himself to go to the bathroom I leaned over to my girlfriend and asked her if we should invite Vincent up to our room for sex. She took an unexpected amount of offence. It didn't help that when she said "I don't want to be part of a man sandwich" I corrected her and explained that it would actually be a woman sandwich, because the men would serve as the bread. Maybe I deserved the slap, but I felt hard done by when I was forced to sleep on the floor. When you pay £200 a night for a room you kind of expect a bed.
Whilst she was asleep in the soft bed, and I was awake on the hard floor, I used my phone to google “Vincent Flash”. There was a reason the name had seemed familiar. It belonged to the man who single handedly defeated the terrorist cell “Black Window” at the Jamaican embassy in Brazil last year, a feat which saw the loss of all forty five hostages. It was all over the news for most of that afternoon.
The internet was filled with rumours about Vincent. One web site said that he once punched a rabid dog so hard that a puppy came out. Another said the dog was already in labour and it was a cheap shot. Either way, it was pretty brave. According to his Wikipedia page he once interrupted a wedding, walked up to the best man and punched him in the face, then lit a cigar and said “No, I’m the best man”.
I won’t bore you with the precise details of the next few days, and not because they make me look like a gullible fool, but we saw a lot of Vincent that week. As each day passed I became more and more convinced that I had genuine feelings for him, and everything suggested that he felt the same way.
Finally, on our last night in Rome I made my move. Vincent and I found ourselves alone for the first time since we'd met. Sapphire was downstairs arranging our transport for the airport and I didn't have much time. Reading the signals that I knew to be true I placed my hand on his face and a kiss on his lips. It was at that very moment when Sapphire opened the hotel room door. Her cries of "How could you?" were met with "I should leave" from Vincent. As Vincent, the only man I've ever kissed, left the room, Sapphire pulled the battery powered thermometer/clock combo off the wall and threw it straight at my head. Glancing down at the cracked screen I saw that the room was 29 degrees. "I can't look at you." she said, picking up her handbag and walking out into the corridor where Vincent stood. In her hysterical state she took comfort in his arms, and she's been there ever since.