Seltzer Luck

As I get this blog started up, I think I should tell you about the phenomenon of Seltzer Luck. Despite what it implies, this phrase actually refers to decidedly unlucky things that continue to happen to me (I apologize to my wife for passing on this ability to her). I should point out that in the grand scheme of things, I am a very fortunate person who is loved, healthy, and doesn’t really have much to complain about.

Seltzer Luck is defined as the tendency for ridiculously silly things to happen to me (and, now, my wife). A quick example: when I was in high school, my dental implant–fastened securely for several years–randomly fell out…on the night before Christmas (that was an interesting way to ring in the holiday). To provide further detail about Seltzer Luck, this condition flows from a spring that is always replenished. Speaking of water, instances of Seltzer Luck have tended to involve either too much or not enough water, sometimes simultaneously. When I was in Paris on a summer research trip in 2013, I received a message that my apartment in Lexington, KY, had flooded due to a freak occurrence involving a neighbor’s washing machine. Almost at the same time, I found out that I had NO water in the small apartment I was renting in Paris. Later, once I moved to Pittsburgh, my wife and I had to have the entire bathroom ceiling in our apartment replaced due to a pretty extensive leak from my upstairs neighbor’s apartment (likewise, my wife and I returned to our Pittsburgh apartment on more than one occasion to find that several of our radiators–not just one–had sprung leaks and hosed down our office, bedroom, and dining room).

Just as I have other water-related examples, Seltzer Luck has also shown itself in other ways. In another apartment here in Pittsburgh, a newly renovated place, we had to deal with several months of a centipede infestation. Though a few of these harmless insects materialized on practically a daily basis, this might not seem too unprecedented in the warm, wet months of summer. HOWEVER, what was strange is that no one else in the building had this problem, and our apartment is located in the middle of the building’s top floor. I’d argue that this was Seltzer Luck once again.

Our elderly Shih-Tzu (Vinny) has been another source of Seltzer Luck on more than one occasion. My wife and I don’t often go out in the evening or take spontaneous trips (I’m getting old I guess).  Yet when we decide do so, Vinny has almost torpedoed our plans in several instances. The day of a charity event/evening out a few years ago, Vinny became ill with a severe case of kennel cough, ultimately requiring an emergency trip to the vet, an IV, and overnight monitoring. More recently, as I planned a trip for my wife, Vinny developed a severe eye ulcer. The result was eye surgery, 8 medications a day (this is not an exaggeration), and weeks of us carefully monitoring his recovery. Of course, we are very lucky that there are such knowledgeable, caring providers in the area, and we’re grateful that Vinny is back to normal (more or less). But the ridiculous timing of such occurrences is, well, unlucky in a Seltzer Luck kind of way.


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