For as far back as anyone could remember, Ralf M. Ludwig was very peculiar and superstitious. While that was definitely the case; a series of later events made him even more paranoid about fate, luck, and fortune. Each Friday afternoon he cashed his paycheck at the local branch bank. After being short-changed on one occasion, he obsessively counted his money after that to verify that he had received all of his pay.
On an unfortunate day thirteen years ago, Ralf was counting his paper currency when tragedy struck. He had absently tossed the loose change into his pocket but realized it would be difficult to determine how much was new. All his existing coins and the new ones were haphazardly mixed together.
Being completely distracted by this accounting complication, he absently stepped off a curb and into peril. In that pivotal instant tallying up his coins, Ralf was knocked unconscious by a car exiting the drive-thru window.
When he awoke in the hospital, his surroundings were unfamiliar and his mind was disoriented. He vaguely remembered walking out of the bank while counting his pocket change but all else was blank. Eventually, the mental clouds started clearing up. With a few moments to reflect, he even remembered how much change he had. You guessed it. Thirteen dimes and a nickel.
About that time a voice said; “Well, you finally decided to join the land of the living, huh?” He focused his eyes toward the attending nurse. Before he could respond, she explained that he had been unconscious for a week after being struck by a car.
“A week exactly?”; he asked with more than a mild amount of interest.
“Yes, today is Friday the 20th; a week after you were admitted.”
“Oh no! That’s seven days after Friday the 13th!; He said fearfully. “…and I had just finished counting thirteen dimes and a nickel when it happened!”; He exclaimed. “What… room number… am I in?”; He inquired.
“Umm, you’re in room number 679. Why?”; The nurse asked hesitantly. She was disturbed by his extreme agitation regarding such insignificant facts.
Ralf’s eyes grew to the size of saucers and filled with paranoid terror. “That’s thirteen more than six hundred and sixty six!”; He whispered with a trembling voice. He began hyperventilating and pleading for his lucky rabbit’s foot.
“Mr. Ludwig! Please calm down. All of those things are just coincidences.” She tried to reassure him but nothing could convince him otherwise. Eventually the nurse was instructed to give him a sedatitive.
“Doctor, we can’t keep him under sedation forever. What can we do to keep him from having further superstitious episodes like that when he wakes up?”
“Unfortunately, superstition isn’t considered a mental illness by the American Medical Association so the only treatment I can prescribe is this.”; The doctor said.
“What is that?”; she inquired before accepting the object in his outstretched hand.
“My lucky rabbit’s foot and horseshoe.”; The doctor grinned.