| #1. Roy Sullivan |
He was struck by lightning. Seven times.
Statistically, getting hit by lightning is a three-thousand to one chance. Therefore getting hit seven times is about twenty-two septillion to one. That's 22,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. To 1.
Still not long enough odds for Roy Sullivan, who was a U.S. park ranger in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. He was, in fact, hit by lightning seven different freaking times.
Some "scientists" theorize that Sullivan's occupation as a park ranger in an area prone to thunderstorms might have something to do with his problem. We prefer to think of him as an undiscovered X-Man with the worst superpower ever.
Sullivan first got struck in 1942 while on a lookout tower. The bolt entered his leg and exited his big toe, shooting the toenail into space. Sullivan has also been hit while driving down a mountain, fishing, and inside of a ranger station. You've got to wonder if there's something wrong with you when lightning searches you out inside of buildings. It set his hair on fire and Sullivan decided to carry a pitcher of water around with him wherever he went. Three years later he got struck in the ankle and since we're pretty sure ankles don't catch on fire the water was useless.
Even Sullivan's wife got in on the action while drying clothes outside. They were hanging metal laundry on a steel wire when they both got hit. Things cooled down for two years, but by his sixth strike Sullivan reported that he was actively trying to escape clouds that were "following him."
Lightning didn't do him in, though. Sullivan sadly shot himself when he was 71 years old, over a girl. Take that, lightning.
#2. Jeanne Rogers
Pretty much everything.
Jeanne Rogers lives her life like a sitcom. She's basically a female George Costanza. She's more of an encumbrance than a friend, really, resembling those annoying hostages in first person shooters that have terrible AI and need to be led to safety while continually stumbling into danger.
Sure, she hasn't been struck by lightning as many times as Roy up there, but she has been struck. Twice.
Then, when she was 18, Rogers was with a friend on a cruise ship taking pictures. She backed up a little too far and fell over the railing into the ocean. Her friend ran to get help but slipped and knocked herself unconscious. The Three Stooges were painting a wall nearby but were too engrossed in their slapstick routine to help. After regaining consciousness, Rogers' friend got the boat to turn around and pick her up.
Years later, she was walking down the street with her son who suddenly yelled, "Mommy, funny bird!" at which point a bat grabbed her fucking scalp. Panicked, she started frantically knocking on doors to get help, but each time someone answered the door they decided screaming was a better way to spend their time. The screams angered and confused the bat, which started pissing in her hair and scratching her scalp.
Crying and desperate, an acquaintance finally gave Rogers the keys to her car so she could drive herself to the vet. The acquaintance opted not to drive Rogers herself because it's funnier that way.
The unfunny parts of Rogers' struggle with adult-onset ineptitude include being mugged, shot at, strangled, and falling into an open manhole. "Dying doesn't scare me, but living scares the crap out of me," said Rogers.
She also accidentally pantsed Mister Rogers at a swimming pool. Not her husband Mr. Rogers, mind you, but the actual Mr. Rogers of children's TV fame. So that more or less makes up for everything.
#3. Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Only two cities have ever been destroyed by atomic bombs. This man was in both of them.
Born in 1916, Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a business trip to Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. As he stepped off a tram an atomic bomb blew up less than two miles away, fucking shit up in an extraordinary way. Eardrums destroyed and temporarily blind, Yamaguchi scrambled to figure out just what the hell happened.
After spending a night in an air raid shelter, Yamaguchi decided Hiroshima probably wasn't the safest place to conduct business, so he went home.
A few days later, Yamaguchi was in the office of his supervisor, regaling him with the story of his near-miss with this mythical city-vaporizing super bomb. And just as he was trying to explain to his boss that it's impossible to sell cars in a city that's literally on fire, there was the distinct sound that few men on earth but Yamaguchi would have recognized: that of another atomic bomb, again detonating just two miles away.
Not only did Yamaguchi survive (while somehow not gaining any superpowers from the ordeal) but he's still alive today, at the age of 93. Yamaguchi currently uses this tragedy to enlighten people on the dangers of atomic bombs. He has written books on his experience and is an anti-nuclear protester, though it seems like he'd be the one guy out there saying we shouldn't worry about nukes because, really, you can just walk away from that shit.
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