The Unfortunate Luck of Albert Jackson

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Albert Jackson was a strange, silent sort of man. He liked routine, but he didn’t mind change all that much. He was the kind of person who woke up every morning to do his job. (Albert worked as a garbage man for the East Coast Garbage Company.) He was a short man, not quite reaching 5’4”, and he had been engaged now for a year to his longtime girlfriend, Marilyn Prout, who he would be marrying soon. Albert, it should be noted, had an unfortunate habit of unconsciously and constantly running his fingers through his hair. Albert, unfortunately, was also a very absentminded person as well (a truth that had brought him bad luck for the majority of his life).

On the morning of May 6th, Albert decided to attend work even though his wedding would occur the next day. For someone who was getting married within twenty-four hours, Albert was very calm indeed. He woke at his usual hour, devoured his breakfast, then donned his green jumpsuit and headed to work. The day was long and boring, but what else could it be when one collected garbage as a living? When the work day finally came to a close, Albert went out with some friends (who, for some odd reason, kept glancing at him and cracking up) for a few rounds of congratulatory beers before heading home. At around 6:37 that afternoon, Albert rushed through the front door of his apartment and promptly tripped over his umbrella stand.

When Albert awoke, his vision was swimming and he couldn’t focus. He let his head rest on the floor for a moment before he tried glancing at the glowing light emitting from the microwave in the corner of his kitchen. When the numbers on the little screen focused, Albert saw that it was seven o’clock at night. He gently raised himself and felt his forehead; there was a slight bump. “Great,” he muttered under his breath. After regaining his balance and shaking off his dizziness, Albert ate a quick dinner. When he finished cleaning up, he decided to just take a shower and go to bed. Dragging his feet, he made his way to the bathroom. He took off his clothes and flung them in the general vicinity of the laundry basket without caring where they landed. Next, he switched the dial on the shower head to the temperature he preferred and turned the shower on. When he turned around, steam had already covered the mirror, but Albert hardly noticed. He took out his shaving cream, lathered up his face, picked up his razor and swept his hand across the fogged up mirror.

Glancing at his reflection, his mouth dropped open and the razor fell from his grasp, only to create a loud, metallic clatter against the cool porcelain of the sink. Looking into the mirror, Albert could now clearly see why his friends had been laughing at him. There was thick, black gunk imbedded in his hair. For a moment he just gaped in utter silence, then he cursed. After getting his temper under control, Albert leaned over the sink and muttered, “Damn, how did I manage to do this? What the hell am I supposed to do now? This stuff has to come out.”

Unfortunately for poor Albert, the gunk wouldn’t budge. A half hour later, Albert called his sister, who was a hairdresser, to help him. When she arrived and saw his hair, she told him, in no uncertain terms, that she couldn’t help him and that she would have to shave his head. And so she did. And what about Albert? He turned up to his wedding bald as could be and refused to give an explanation to Marilyn, or their guests, as to why the sudden change had occurred.





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