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Fortunately, Unfortunately: Sisyphus and the Boulder

November 24th, 2018 by Michael Dyet


Hmmm, what is a writer to do when life turns him into a disgruntled character?

When I was a child, I had a favorite book titled Fortunately, Unfortunately which spun a story of a comical series of fortunate and unfortunate events. I’m not sure why, but I loved that book. This week I found my life imitating this very scenario.

Unfortunately, my chronic back problem flared up Thursday morning. Fortunately, I was able to stretch it out enough to go to work. Unfortunately, it tightened up again that evening. Fortunately, Advil and I are on a first name basis enabling me to go to work on Friday.

Fortunately, my chiropractor has Friday hours. Unfortunately, he had booked the day off. Fortunately, he arranged for someone to cover for him and I was able to book an appointment. Unfortunately, I also have a squeaky belt in my car which started up again. Fortunately, I have a garage I trust and was told I could bring my car in that day for an adjustment.

Fortunately, the IT Department at work gave me a laptop upgrade Friday morning. Unfortunately, as I was logging off to leave for my afternoon appointments, I discovered that my Outlook Calendar was blank – all appointments and meetings lost in cyberspace! Fortunately, no one heard me cursing a blue streak.

Unfortunately, the squeaky belt needs to be replaced and is located behind two other belts that need to be removed for the replacement to be done. Fortunately, I saw the wisdom in having all three belts replaced at the same time. Unfortunately, the garage was booked up and could not do the work until next Wednesday.

Fortunately, after leaving the garage, I had time before my chiro appointment to pick up some groceries. Unfortunately, I forgot that it was Black Friday and the mall parking lot was a zoo. Fortunately, a good spot had just opened up and I only took out one of the three little old ladies in my way as I accelerated to grab the space.

Unfortunately, on my way to my chiro appointment after shopping, I took Bovaird Drive forgetting about the 410 bridge construction that creates a big traffic snarl. Fortunately, I had time to spare and made it to my appointment on time with only minimal expletives uttered.

Unfortunately, the “Check Engine” light came on during the drive home. Fortunately, that usually indicates that a sensor needs to be reset and driving the car is still safe. Unfortunately, this time the car started coughing and threatened to stall indicating it is likely an ignition coil crapping out. Fortunately, the car windows were up so no one heard me cursing like a drunken sailor.

Fortunately, I was able to get the car home. Unfortunately, the garage was closed by the time I got home and called them. Fortunately, I had no major plans this weekend. Unfortunately, I will not be able to use my car to drive to work until the repair is done which means I’ll have to rent a car for a few days.

Fortunately, I have a healthy sense of the occasional absurdity of life and am only mildly freaking out. Unfortunately, next week is going to be a very expensive and stressful week.

So what is a writer to do when life turns him into a disgruntled character? Take refuge in metaphor, of course. Some days we become Sisyphus rolling the boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down inches before we reach the top. The upside is that this series of events will eventually find their way into one of my stories and repay me for the week of frustration.

Now Available Online from Amazon, Chapters Indigo or Barnes & Noble: Hunting Muskie, Rites of Passage – Stories by Michael Robert Dyet

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel which was a double winner in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2009. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

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