The Morris Misfortune

For many generations my family has been plagued by bad luck. My Grandfather’s most notable quote was

“I may be poor, I don’t have much to give my kids, but I can give them Three Names.”

Which he did.

Probably the most amusing thing about my family is the fact that all of the Men have a First, Two Middle and One Last Name and yet they still insist on using Nicknames.

I never met my Great Uncle Shorty, he’s always been called Uncle Shorty and it wasn’t until around the age of 12 that I realized there was no way that was his real name. He’s a notable person in our family because he’s a strong representation of the bad luck that seems to surround us. It’s questionable if the bad luck is because we’re dense, thick-headed or not so bright, whichever you prefer. Or if our bad luck is actually just that, bad luck.

Uncle Shorty was a railroad man, much like the majority of my male ancestors. The story goes, he was Standing at the back of the train, or walking the train, I digress he was on the moving train when a railroad tie flipped up and hit him in the chest. The legend is told that his co-worker saw the railroad tie and yelled

“Shorty! Duck!”

To which Uncle Shorty replied staring up at the sky

“Where?”

A Moment later he was dead.

Always assuming this was a tall tale because our family is full of crazy stories and long-winded salesmen, I am usually left skeptical and taking everything with a grain of salt. I researched the Story of how Uncle Shorty really died, something that bizarre should be in a periodical somewhere right?… Correct!

To my surprise I not only found the story, but the truth is much stranger than the story passed along in my family. Uncle Shorty was a brakeman for the railroad and while the train was moving, a steel rod flew off the top of a train car, ricocheted off a nearby bridge and struck Great Uncle Shorty right through the Heart. So, the tale is true, as for him searching for the duck, I’ll leave that one for the birds.

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