Me, when I was seven, I had this bully friend and she, this hurly-burly fiend, she had this fetish for Lucky Knickers. In her world, it was a dead cert that if she wore them she always won a fight, always had her way, and was boss-girl supreme. This pig-headed gnasher, she would parade herself about with her hands on her hips, elbows jutting out, her mean piggy snout looking for trouble. Me, I was her pathetic little slave, lamely pulled along inside her shadow by her darker forces. I dreamt that one day, one day, I would give her a knuckle sandwich for tea, a juicy steak of fist, while meantime I yelled yellow insults at her from inside my head. Wazak! PIG! Ah me, I never did think to name my knickers Lucky and lick her when hers were in the wash.

Bunny that I am, me, I get to brooding on the other side of luck. The ‘Un’. Like the time when I was nine, and I was walking home from school through the woods and had this urge, this terrible urge to go—you get me. I needed a poo. Smack out of nowhere. I stopped and I waited, wringing my pegs one around the other, and I begged and I begged, sweat sopping my brow, heat mauling my mug. But try as I might, my crinkled little kiss of a bum-hole, it just couldn’t stop the journey my poo was bent on making, from out of the tunnel of my curly bowels, into the light of day. Yes, out it snaked, happy as Larry, slow at first, then packing my pants in a slurry of stinky ploop. Some say that Thomas Crapper invented the flush toilet, while others dissent, but it’s widely accepted he came up with the ballcock. Had he been thinking environmentally he might have come up with an earth loo, a self-composting situation. But I digress—although who’s to say Crapper wasn’t wearing his Lucky Smalls when he was flushed(!) with his nutsprick idea?

But luck, surely, it’s simply a state of mind—no? It’s an idea. A concept. It doesn’t actually exist—does it? You can be feeling lucky and circumstance can overwhelm your mind-state and unlucky things can happen. Equally, your mind can tell you you’re lucky and you are. The power of the mind is at issue. Plus cultural mind-set, superstition, belief. Is luck a religion?

Me, I get to thinking, it could be useful to wear your Lucky Knickers on important dates: with a boy/girl you fancy; for an interview; for an exam. I suppose Unlucky Knickers only become so after the event, and then spend the rest of their days knocking about, abandoned in the bottom of an undies drawer…