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I am lucky

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Lucky’s cafe. Photo by it’s d-lo/flickr

Like lots of people, I have Google as the home page on my web browser. On the Google page, there is a search box where I can type what I am looking for. For example, I can type “English lessons” if I want to find web sites which teach people English. Underneath the search box, there are two buttons. One says “Search”. If I click this button, I get a page of Google search results about “English lessons”. The other one says “I’m feeling lucky!” I have often looked at this button and wondered what it did, and whether I really had to feel lucky before I could click on it.

So, today I decided to make a podcast about the word “lucky”, and to click on the “I’m feeling lucky!” button, just to see what happens.

“Lucky” means “fortunate”. If I say, “I am lucky” it means that good things have happened to me. Maybe I have won the lottery. Maybe I have just met the most beautiful girl in the world. Maybe bad things have happened to other people, but not to me. I have escaped. I am lucky.

So now I will click on the “I’m feeling lucky” button. What will happen? Will I win a lot of money? Will I enjoy good health and happiness and live to be 100? No, actually. The click takes me to a Google page about the Google logo. I am disappointed. I expected something much more exciting. I do not feel very lucky at all.

Kevin does not feel lucky either. Last Saturday was the worst day of his life. Or, at least the worst day this football season. Last Saturday, Kevin’s team, United, lost 4-0 to their old rivals, Albion. “How can this happen?” says Kevin. Now, most people who were at the football match know why it happened. It happened because United played really badly. But Kevin cannot agree. “It was luck,” he says. “Albion were lucky. The referee did not see a foul against United’s striker. And United were unlucky that the referee disallowed their only goal.” If you are a football fan, you will know how Kevin feels. Your team never loses because they are bad. They lose because they are unlucky.

But now let us meet someone who is really lucky. His name is Adam Potter, and he lives in Glasgow in Scotland. He is a keen mountaineer. A mountaineer is someone who climbs mountains as a hobby. Mountaineering can be great fun, but it can also be very dangerous, particularly in Scotland in winter. A week or so ago, Adam and some friends and his dog set off to climb a mountain near Ben Nevis, which is the highest mountain in Britain. As they climbed higher, snow and ice covered the ground. They stopped, and Adam suggested that they should take out their ice axes and put crampons on their boots, to stop them from slipping. And at that very moment, he slipped on the ice. He fell down the side of the mountain, over rocks and cliffs. He finally stopped falling and slipping and sliding 1000 feet (about 300 metres) down the mountain. Now, if you or I had fallen 300 metres down an icy Scottish mountain, we would probably be dead. In fact, more than 20 people are killed every year in falls on Scottish mountains. But Adam was lucky. He was unconscious for a minute or two when he stopped falling. Then he stood up and took a map out of his rucksack to work out where he was. He looked up to see the mountain rescue helicopter looking for him. The mountain recue team expected to find a dead body. The leader of the rescue team said, “He is a very, very lucky man.”

Adam is in hospital, recovering from his injuries, but he does not intend to stay there for long. In 8 weeks time, he plans to travel to the area around Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, for a ten week expedition. Lets wish him lots of luck.


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