Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th's Unlucky Spotlight: Jeanne Rogers

(photo at Bangor Daily News)

When I first heard the story of Jeanne Rogers, I was skeptical that this woman even existed.  For one thing, every article I found about her either cited web pages that no longer existed or simply cited other unsourced articles.  Secondly, if my luck was anywhere near as bad as hers, I would have probably died/locked myself in a padded room years ago.

Fortunately, her hometown newspaper, the Bangor Daily News, was scanned and archived by the good folks at Google.  The following was revealed in an interview she did with the paper about her incredibly awful streak of bad luck through the years.

While on a cruise with a friend to Martha's Vineyard, rain had made the ship's deck floor incredibly wet.  This, however, did not deter Rogers and her friend from trying to take a picture by the rails.  For those of you that haven't guessed what happens next, Rogers slipped and fell over the side into the water.

The hilarious/scary part comes when her friend ran to get help, but slipped on the floor of the deck and was knocked unconscious.  Fortunately for Rogers (who still had her life vest on), the ship was eventually alerted that a passenger had fallen overboard and they went back to retrieve hour later

While waiting for a bus in Hartford, Connecticut, Rogers was struck by a bolt of lighting.  Instead of giving her super powers, it blew off her shoes, burned a small hole into her right ankle, and melted her pantyhose into her legs.  The damage to her nerves was so severe that she is now unable to wear shoes, even in the winter.

Rogers was struck by lightning again, this time on a metal bracelet that she was wearing.  Fortunately, she did not suffer any major injuries from this incident.

"Not gonna mess you up this time, just 
reminding you I'm here...and I can still kill you."

Her husband, who she has since divorced, came home one night in a drunken stupor night and attempted to strangle her to death.

By this point, anyone would hope/expect that the earth was done taking on giant dump on their head, but Rogers troubles still had a ways to go.  The following incidents do not have a specific year attached to them:

The Mugging
One day while running errands for her place of work, 3 men attacked Rogers and took her pocketbook.  Instead of just being satisfied with that, one of the robbers decided to also take a silver bracelet she was wearing that was a gift from her sister.

Rogers completely Hulked Out and socked the guy in the nose, causing the other muggers to flee. While thwarting a mugging attempt may seem like a turning of her luck from bad to good, things were about to get much worse.

Bat Attack
One day while delivering orders for the cosmetic company she worked for (seriously...they still sent her out of the office and into the world that seemed to want to kill her), Rogers had her young son along with her.  As they walked through Middlefield, Connecticut, he looked up in the sky and said "Mommy, funny bird!  Mommy, funny bird!"

Before she could recall if she had ever consumed alcohol during her pregnancy, a bat swooped down and embedded itself in her hair.  Rogers began running to different houses, knocking on the doors, and pleading for help. Each time she was met with screams (and probably a few profanities) and a door slammed in her face, which just ticked the bat off even more. This caused the creature to dig its claws into her scalp even deeper and urinate excessively on her head.

She finally ran across a "friend" who offered her the form of shoving her car keys at Rogers and telling her to drive herself to a vet.  When Rogers arrived (and what must have been the most bizarre and uncomfortable car ride ever), the vet put a mesh bag over her head and sprayed smoke into it, which dehydrated the creature to the point of falling asleep and out of Rogers hair.

Rogers was forced to wear a beret (before hipsters got to say it was a cliche style choice) for 3 months while her hair grew back from where the bat had ripped it out.

Seeing Way Too Much of His Neighborhood

While swimming at the Hartford, Connecticut YMCA, Rogers heard an announcement over the P.A. system that there was a phone call for "Rogers" at the front desk.  

As she left the pool, she inadvertently (or so she says) pulled the cord of another man's swim trunks. As Rogers finished answering the phone call (which was actually for her), the front desk attendant informed her that another person with the last name Rogers had also attempted to leave the pool, but it seemed that she had inadvertently pulled his pants down in front of everyone.

His name: Fred in the Mr. Rogers of the popular childrens' television show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood.

To his credit, Mr. Rogers was just as nice in person as he was on the show and actually apologized to her for getting the way of her exit.

Why don't you try taking me out to dinner first, good neighbor?

Jeanne Rogers says that she can now laugh at the series of unfortunate events that have befallen her over the years. When asked if she ever feared some sort of freakish, accidental death, Rogers simply replied:

"Dying doesn't scare me, but living scares the crap out of me."

My advice to Ms. Rogers:  Considering your luck, it would probably best best not to invoke the words "crap," "poop," or any other term for fecal matter.  That's one area that you haven't seemed to have had a mishap with...yet.

"I think I ate too many rodents and insects today; 
there's gotta be some lady's hair I can land in and poop all over..."