I remember every detail about the first time I almost died.

Everything…except for the actual date. But my parents will never let me forget that it occurred on Friday the 13th. I sometimes wonder who came closest to dying that night: me or my parents. I was about two or three years old, sitting in my parent’s room as the two of them scurried around in preparation for a romantic night on the town. My babysitter had not yet arrived, so I was keeping myself busy with miscellaneous distractions.

I was sitting underneath the ironing board, which itself supported the accompanying iron. This iron was plugged into an extension cord, which itself was plugged into the wall. The setup for my calamitous experience is now complete.

I soon became possessed with a desire to unplug this extension cord. I flexed my scrawny toddler arms, wrapped their pudgy hands around the cord, then proceeded to issue a swift yank with all my might. GRRR! — nothing. The plug was still firmly in place. I would need to tap all of my power to achieve this monumental task. Instead, I would end up tapping another kind of power.

I bit down on the cord with my mouth and used both my clenched jaw and arms to attack the cord. The strain was incredible…and I bit down so hard that my teeth cut through the insulation. In an instant, my field of vision filled with pools of emerald light and waves, and my world became one warm sensation that trickled to all corners of my body. I was being electrocuted to death.

My mother came out of the bathroom and saw me only from behind: a little boy sitting on the ground, arms sticking out, with his entire body buzzing in a frantic jittery motion. She is still sometimes haunted by the misinterpretation she voiced, “Man, that boy is so hyper!” My father recognized what was happening to me — and with the swiftness of Hermes and the skill of Babe Ruth, he grabbed a broom and provided me with my second jolt of the night, as his batting motion sent me flying towards the other side of the room (and away from the electricity).

When the two of them surveyed my damage (which was hard to see through the copious amounts of blood everywhere) they could see that I had vaporized a nickel-sized hole out of the corner of my mouth. It was as if someone cut it out with a pattern stencil and discarded the excess.

To this day, I still have a scar on the corner of my mouth and cannot smile a full smile. Instead, I smirk when I smile — which, if you know me, is a perfect compliment to my mischievous personality. “Yes, it’s true that I am always up to something, and my smirk proves it!”

Moral of this story: there ain’t nothing wrong with being superstitious.