We're not saying these are the unluckiest people in history; we realize the world is full of starving children and cancer victims. But sometimes you see people who have weird, one-in-a-million instances of bad luck, often over and over again, and you can't help but wonder if they didn't piss off a Gypsy at some point.
We're talking about people like...
They've been attacked by terrorists more times than John McClane.
It wasn't just New Yorkers who were traumatized by the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Tourists from all over the country and the world were in the city at the time, as they would be on any given day. Tourists like the English couple Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence, whose relaxing vacation was interrupted by the worst terrorist attack in history, experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime horror.
Wait, did we say once in a lifetime? Because four years later, on July 7th, 2005, they happened to be in London, during the worst terror attack in their history. A series of bombs exploded across the city's transit system, killing 52 people.
At this point they may have felt cursed or, worse, that they were unknowingly starring in an action film that kept doing shitty sequels. But, you know, New York and London are both massive cities and really, the odds are that at least one family would happen to be in both places on those fateful days. Right?
But it wasn't over. Three years later, they took another vacation. This time, to the exotic Indian city of Mumbai.
There they saw the worst terror attack in that country's history, as shooting and bombing attacks killed and wounded hundreds.
News stories say the couple "refused to cut short their holiday" after the Mumbai attack. It's kind of hard not to imagine them as Clark Griswold, screaming "NO! Not this time! We took this fucking vacation and we're going to enjoy it, damn it."
By the way, if there is a support group for "I'm pretty sure I'm living in a series of horrifying yet increasingly unimaginative sequels", they can join Regina Rohde there. She was a student at Columbine High School during the worst school massacre in history, where 12 people were killed. That record was beaten eight years later, during the shootings of 32 students at Virginia Tech... where Rohde was studying as a grad student.
She almost went down with a sinking ship... three times.
Traditionally, sea captains considered it bad luck to have a woman on board when they weighed anchor. Women were said to make the sea angry. On the flip side, the superstition said, if the woman was naked, it would calm the sea. If only Violet Jessop had gone around showing off her hoo-ha, perhaps the Titanic would never have hit the iceberg.
Jessop's story doesn't start on the Titanic, however. It starts on board Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic. In 1911, Jessop was a stewardess aboard the luxury liner, getting her bottom pinched by mustachioed men in long coats who added a "harroomph" to the end of every sentence. Or so we assume.
On September 20, 1911, the Olympic collided with a British warship. No one was hurt in that mishap but Violet Jessop decided to move on, to serve on a much bigger, unsinkable ship: the Titanic.
Look how unsinkable!
There she brought not only the same bad fortune but also the captain of the Olympic, one Edward J. Smith. Then there was an iceberg and, well, you've seen that movie. Now, we know what you're thinking. It's hardly bad luck that she was on two boat accidents when it was the same captain both times. Clearly he was the problem, right?
We're not done.
You see, Jessop made it to one of Titanic's lifeboats and could only watch as the world's largest metaphor slipped under the waves, setting the stage for James Cameron's disappointing follow up to True Lies.
Then in 1916, after a short time away from the sea, Jessop signed up to serve as a nurse aboard the Britannic. Sure enough, it floated into a mine and quickly sunk. This time, Jessop's lifeboat didn't get far enough away from the sinking boat, forcing her to jump into the water. Her head klunked in to the keel of the boat but she survived and, for the third time, made it back onto dry land.
Violet Jessop died of congestive heart failure in 1971. She was buried at sea.