Bad things happen in threes.
I'm not quite sure where I picked up that bit of folk idiocy. I suspect my mother is to blame. But anyway, it's bugging me now.
Two weeks ago, I ran the car into a small rock that someone had thoughtfully dropped in the middle of the road. The impact bent the arm of the suspension, and made the car unnecessarily interesting to steer. It cost $400 to fix.
Last week it was the TV. That only cost $100, plus a week of Making Our Own Entertainment.
All this is bad enough, but what's worse now is waiting for the third shoe to drop, if you see what I mean.
Has it already happened? Is it the nice house we saw last weekend, that - by the time we got around to making an offer for it - had already been sold, for less than we were willing to offer? (I blame that one mostly on the bank, but partly on my own incompetence.)
Is it something health-related? Susan is currently struggling with a cold, and I've been fighting an ongoing battle with my innards for longer than I care to tell you.
Or is there something worse, something more dramatic and acute, lurking around the corner to complete the set?
I don't know. If no-one had ever told me that bad things happen in threes, I wouldn't be worrying about it. But on the other hand, I wouldn't have understood all those cultural allusions and references either.
So I can't really blame my mother. Blame myself, rather, for not believing me when I tell myself superstition is bollocks. I'm such an idiot.