Six weeks of healing and therapy had Mr. Ludwig back on his feet. He had a slight limp but could get around reasonably well. He was discharged from the hospital and was on his way home when he stopped to buy a copy of ‘Horoscope Digest’. It was his ‘go-to’ source to find out what fate had in store for him. The magazine was $3.50 so he placed a ten dollar bill on the counter. The cashier said; “With tax that comes to $3.65. Out of ten dollars, your change is $6.35. Here’s a five but the rest will have to be out change since I am out of ones. Thank you and come back.”
Ralf thanked the clerk and walked away from the newsstand while reading his horoscope of the day. To his surprise; the usually upbeat, unspecific column was very dark and direct. It read; “Your luck will take an immediate turn for the worse. An unheeded omen will surface again to put you back where you came from. Look out for pitfalls!”
Remembering what he believed put him in the hospital previously, he swallowed hard and reached into his pocket. As he reluctantly examined the contents, there were no quarters or pennies. Slowly he counted the change, hoping the undeniable truth of the horoscope could be wrong for once.
“Eighty, ninety, a dollar, a dollar ten, dollar twenty, a dollar twenty five. I only have a twelve dimes and a nickel!”; He exclaimed with relief. “Maybe horoscopes can be wrooo-nnn-ggggggggg aaaahhhhhh!”
At that instant he fell into an uncovered manhole on the sidewalk. As his body lie twisted and broken ten feet beneath the road, he painfully reached into his other pocket and found the damning dime. If there ever had been any doubt about the various superstitions that influenced his life, they were no more.
A witness to the accident called an emergency crew who rescued him and took him back to the hospital. This time he was in for an extended stay. Because he hadn’t completely healed from his first coin obsession disaster, the recovery for this one would require more medical care. During this extended period he had plenty of free moments to ‘understand what it all meant’. The attending nurses just frowned when he tried to explain what went wrong. They kept using the word ‘coincidence’ in their redundant arguments until he realized they were too stubborn to accept the truth.
To prove his iron-clad belief once and for all; he cautiously carried fourteen dimes and a nickel in his pocket when he was discharged. After a week without any catastrophes, he got rid of two dimes and had the same uneventful result. Then he added the 13th dime back. Tempting fate, he hoped he could quickly discard it when he spotted disaster approaching.