West Hills resident Michael Bean is an ordinary guy. He has a wife, two kids, and two dogs. However, He doesn’t own a car. He doesn’t own a house. He doesn’t own a lawnmower. As a matter of fact, Michael Bean doesn’t own a single thing.
Anything Michael buys or owns ends up broken.
|Just a few of the items Michael
Bean has owned and lost.
“It all started back when I got my first job,” explains Bean. “With that first paycheck, I ran out and bought myself a record player. It lasted about three days before falling off the shelf and into about a million pieces.”
It took him a couple of years to catch on to his misfortune. “At first I thought it was just coincidence, maybe other people had similar problems. Then after my third car fell apart, I began to get suspicious,” he said, taking a sip from one of his wife’s Rubbermaid cups. “You know, most people ignore those extended warranties that they try to sell you when you buy something. I bought those. It wasn’t long before the warranty companies would cancel my policy and refund my money.”
His wife, Myrtle, thinks his problem is humorous, but that it has drawbacks. “You know at first, it is quite comical,” she said. “You sort of beg him to buy something just so you can discover what happens to it when he gets it home, or in some cases, BEFORE he gets it home. Needless to say, he doesn’t do any Christmas or birthday shopping around the house!”
He once had a Dewalt portable belt sander spontaneously combust in the garage.
“Every now and then, I try to beat the system. With that belt sander, I thought maybe, just MAYBE, I could do some woodworking. I ran out to Home Depot and got the sander without thinking, ran home, and sanded some wood. Thank goodness I left it in the middle of an empty garage. When we returned home it was smouldering and as soon as the outside air hit it when we opened the door, it ignited. You shoulda seen the looks on the faces of those guys at the return desk,” he quipped.
He has owned and lost a little bit of everything. From an airplane to lawnmowers, from computers to power tools. “The funniest thing that happened was the time I bought some real estate. A friend convinced me that if I bought an apartment building as investment property, the luck of the tenants would cancel out my bad luck. He was wrong,” explained Bean. The apartment building collapsed 30 minutes after he signed the paperwork. “Thank goodness I had insurance, and fortunately they didn’t investigate my claims history.”
The axles fell of his lawnmower, then the starter malfunctioned, broke the flywheel, and knocked a connecting rod through the cylinder block, all with a single turn of the ignition key. In a drunken stupor, he bought an airplane and before the ink had dried, a gust of wind picked it up and flipped it over the fence at the runway.
“It’s probably a good thing that gust of wind came along before I got to take my first flight,” he mused.
He had to adjust his lifestyle to accommodate not owning anything, which was a difficult task at first. Then, he met Myrtle and things got a little simpler. They were able to convince his company to make his paychecks out to her so at no point would the money be in his name. “If she bought anything with my money, it tended to have a 50/50 chance of breaking within the first six months.”
Scientists from around the globe are studying his condition, and many times they accompany him to Wal-Mart and other places to see if they can identify what force interacts on items he purchases. One well-meaning scientist gave him a computer to keep track of times between purchase and point of destruction. The computer lasted about two days.
“I try not to think of it as bad luck,” he explains. “It’s more like an inconvenience. It could be worse, ya know. I could be French.”