Costa Concordia

costa concordia


Apollonia, that sweet elfin little thing, was complaining about some situation in her life the other day. “You know what it’s like?” she said. “The Costa Concordia.”

“The cruise ship?”

“Yeah. Think about it. You’re sailing along, enjoying yourself. People are waving at you from shore, so you bring the ship in a little closer to say hello. It’s a nice sunny day, and everyone’s happy. Ciao! Ciao! And then –“ She clapped her hands. “Boom! On the rocks. And the ship tips over on its side. All hands lost.”

We both brooded on this for a while. “Well, it’s not as if they couldn’t have done something about it,” I said. “The captain knew he was too close to shore. He was tempting fate.”

“That just makes it worse. You know you’re tempting fate, but for a long time nothing bad happens. You convince yourself that nothing bad can happen, or it would have happened already, right?”

I hate to admit it, but Apollonia has stumbled on something profound here.

We bumble through life like the idiot captain of the Costa Concordia, steering our ship without a care in the world, as if nothing terrible could ever happen to us. Ciao! Ciao! And then BOOM!

Look at this stupid cancer. It’s probably been growing inside me for a year or more; I only just noticed the problem in May or June, as a sore throat that didn’t get better. I thought nothing of it. I steered right toward the rocks without seeing them.

Not to be a fatalist, kids, but life is full of nasty surprises. Be watchful, be wary.

And don’t sail too close to shore if you can help it.


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