Lisa Scottoline: Lightning strikes twice at my house

Fork lightning striking down during summer storm
Who says we shouldn’t be afraid of lightning?

Women worry.

Men worry, too, but — let’s be honest — not as much.

They can’t help it; they lack estrogen.

I’ve never known a man who worried as much as I do.

We begin with my late father, Frank, whom I adored, mainly because he never worried about anything.

He always said, “Everything is going to turn out all right in the end.”

And you know, he was right.

So if something came up that would make me worry, I would worry worry worry until the end, and then everything turned out all right.

If you were my dad, and something came up, he never worried, and everything turned out all right.

See what I mean?

In between the bad thing and the end, there was worry, if you were me.

And if you were my dad, you were smiling.

So whenever I start worrying about things, I tell myself to be like my dad and remember that everything is going to be all right.

This had been working for me so far, until we came to my latest worry.

Lightning.

Laugh all you want, but lately I’m worrying about lightning striking my house.

And as soon as I started to worry about that, I realized that lightning is probably the perfect example of something that is crazy to worry about.

Every bad thing in the world is measured in terms of likelihood against a lightning strike. So is every good thing.  As in, you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than winning the lottery.

Yet I play the lottery every week.

So why aren’t I worried about lightning strikes?

Obviously, I should be.

I’m underachieving in the worry category.

And I say this because, sadly, a friend of mine in another part of the country had a lightning strike on his house. I felt so terrible for him and sent him a note, but I told myself that probably wouldn’t happen to me because I don’t live where he lives.

But one week after that, lightning struck a fence post in my backyard. It must’ve happened during the night, and I didn’t see it until I went out back. The post had exploded into wooden pieces that were scattered everywhere, with black burn marks on them.

Worried yet?

And then I remembered that three years ago, lightning had struck a tree in my front yard, and it fell over onto the garage roof.  Amazingly, there was no damage, and I was able to save half the tree, but there it stood outside my kitchen window, saying, “You think lightning doesn’t strike twice?”

It does at my house.

I’m so tempted to make a Thing One and Thing Two joke, but at this point, you can fill that in for yourself.  I know you can. Not everybody can compare their marriages to natural disasters, so I’m lucky in that regard.

Anyway, I called up a lightning-rod guy, and he came over and answered all my questions, like, do lighting rods attract lighting (no), what do they look like (spikes or balls on a stick), and what color do the balls come in (I’ll get back to you).

Yes, I actually asked him, “What color are your balls?”

Also, I had thought that I didn’t need a lightning rod on the house because it was “grounded,” a term I heard someone use once and still don’t know the meaning of.  But he explained that even though the house is grounded, it can still get struck by lighting and burn to the ground.

Truly, grounded.

So, actually, I wasn’t worrying enough.

He gave me an estimate to install lightning rods, but it wasn’t cheap, and I wasn’t sure what to do.

I mean, did I need them? Or was I worrying uselessly, as usual?

So I turned to the internet for answers.

I know, I’m lazy.

So what follows is generally unreliable, and, remember, this is a humor column.

It said online that the odds of being struck and killed by lighting is 1 in 74,000.

But it didn’t say anything about the odds of a house getting struck by lightning, so I tried to evaluate other odds.

For example, the odds of getting attacked by shark is 1 in 11.5 million.

Good to know.

Still staying out of the water.

I can never forget Jaws.

And the odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 175,223,520.

Yet I play every week.

And intend to win.

Finally, I learned that the odds of getting killed in a plane crash are 1 in 9,700.

Wait, what?

OK, that’s way too high.

No wonder I’m afraid to fly.

When I win the Powerball, I’m buying a plane and a really big mattress to fly right underneath it in case, well, you know.

So what did I learn from my research?

Nothing.

Regardless of reality, I worry, and I worry about all the wrong things.

So I decided to get the lightning rods.

Even if it will be all right in the end.

Thanks, Dad.

Look for Lisa and Francesca’s new humor collection, “I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool,” and Lisa’s new Rosato & DiNunzio novel, “Exposed,” in stores now. lisa@scottoline.com.