Monday, November 19, 2007

You Can't Spell 'Bad Karma' without 'Kar'

So, listen, there's nothing particularly special about me.

I've not saved any lives (that I know of), given three years of my life to the Peace Corps (though I've seriously considered it), or operated an animal shelter out of my apartment (Maude notwithstanding).

But I do try to be a generally, inconspicuously "nice" person. I don't push people in line, wave my middle finger at drivers who cut me off, gossip about co-workers, or yell at telemarketers. But I will loan out my cell phone to people in distress; return lost animals to their home; pull over to help when I witness an accident; donate when charities send me things I didn't want or need; give up my seat on the train; etc.

I mean, I try to treat people as I'd like to be treated. And though I'm anything but perfect, I'd wager that — more often than not — I succeed in my efforts.

And, I swear, I don't expect anything back in return. Nothing at all.

It'd just be nice if, maybe from time to time, karma could remove its very large knife from my severely scarred (and increasingly spineless) back.

I mean, I've started recycling everything again (I did this before I moved here, but only recently figured out how the recycling system worked in this city). I now use reusable shopping bags when I don't need plastic ones; and most recently I started volunteering at a tutoring center that primarily assists inner city kids.

But would you like to know what happened the first night I tutored there?

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Any guesses?

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If you went with, "I bet someone hit her (new) car and didn't leave a note" — you win!

They left their paint on my car; took some of mine; and left a nice dent where the front bumper meets the side panel.

The best part: I was in a parking garage in which half of the spaces were open. So these people don't even have the excuse of "tapping" my car while trying to maneuver into a tight spot. Only thing that could've happened was the result of complete and total carelessness. Changing the dial on their radio while pulling out, looking down to check cell phone messages, etc.

In any event, this is the fourth time my car has been hit — and no note left — in the four months I've had it.

At this rate, I'll be lucky if it's still running in a year.

Now before you lecture me on the general state of world affairs, you should know that I realize there are people out there who have it far worse. People who face seriously difficult circumstances every day of their lives. People who would think that, by comparison, I've lived a fairly privileged life.

And, in many ways, I have.

But I'm also a big believer that if we all treated one another a bit better, the general cosmic vibe would improve substantially, making life better all around.

So, please, Karma — if you're listening — tell me what I need to do to make things suck a little less.

Thank you.

15 comments:

M@ said...

I guess I'm lucky. I bought a new car a couple of years ago and not a scratch on it, pretty much.

But I DID have an illegal alien clinging to the hood of my car at an intersection recently. How did I know he was illegal?

Well, I didn't any documentation.

You're kind of like Underdog the way you just show up to help people.

michele said...

Ouch! I'm really sorry to hear you've been dinged... again! I feel privileged that I haven't been dinged in probably over a year and not yet on my car (which is still less than a year old).

Being dinged like that really totally sucks!

But karma is weird that way. I've had decades of my life where nothing went right (part of the joy of getting older is that you can actually measure things in decades! ugh!). I've also known people who seem to suffer from it all of their life. But thing is, it can also change from good to bad and vice versa in the blink of an eye.

I hope it changes for you... soon!

Winter said...

Amen. Infact you should make that last part into a bumper sticker.

Pamela said...

I know Karma. She has 5 kids - and they keep her pretty busy.
But, I'll put in a good word for you.

(ps. she also has a broken bone in her foot that's kept her from making the rounds)

Michael K said...

I don't know which city you live in but here in Chicago it is best not to own a car. I rent one when I need it and that's it. You might consider it if you've got good public transit near you.

Unacademic Advisor said...

I have to agree with Michael K here. It's nothing to do with you, as you well know. If you have a car in a city like that, it's bound to happen. It sucks, but you'll feel less frustrated if you just accept it.

Anonymous said...

I have said it before and I'll say it again: You nuked a bus load of nuns in a previous life and are working that bad karma off. It is the only thing that makes sense. I am still trying to figure out what Karma has against your cars in particular. You always seem to have really bad times with cars.
~BPP

Woodrow said...

That blows. Did the garage not have security cameras you could check?

XOXO said...

I disagree. I don't think there are better people out there with worse luck. Does that make you feel better? I didn't figure.
No wonder your parents made you wait at the end of your drive for your friend to go on bike rides. They knew all along...

Paradise said...

No good deed goes unpunished....

disgruntled world citizen said...

you must arm yourself with a stupid stick and remember to swing hard and aim high. that'll take care of the problem, or cause others, not sure which, but it might make you feel better to batter on something or someone. :D

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Matt - Do you have a parking garage, by any chance? Excluding this last incident, all of my dings happened when I was parallel parked.

As for the Underdog analogy... kind of amuses me that for all the weird things that happen TO me, I also witness a variety of unfortunate things happening to other people. I've never been a profound help in any of those instances, but stopping to offer never hurts.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Michele - I hate to be a pessimist, but I've pretty much accepted I'm a walking bad luck charm. Weird/bad things happen to me. But never so bad that they can't be recovered from. So I'm "lucky" in that regard. It's just that all of those little things really do add up...

Winter - I have so many bumper sticker ideas. Most recently: "I Put the 'Riot' in 'Patriot'" Whatever to do with them!

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Pamela - Thank you!

Michael K - Yeah, my dumb fault for not moving closer to the train. Right now, it's not feasible from where I live.

Un Ad - Aw, c'mon. Sure, a scratch or two. But four times in four months, with one incident being worse than anything that happened to my old car? And in an open parking lot, just like you'd find in a small town? When you own a car, sure, things are going to happen to it. But this has been kind of ridiculous.

BPP - I think you're on to something with that nun theory. How many Haily Mary's until I'm forgiven?

Woodrow - Actually, I believe they do have security cameras. But the damage is just bad enough to probably cost more to repair than my deductible, but possibly not worth even have to worry about an increase in my premium and/or the headache with the local police. I've never seen them be anything but rude and uncooperative with "minor" traffic accidents. Plus, there's a small possibility it happened at my work parking lot, and I just didn't notice until later...

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

XOXO - I just hope my bad luck doesn't rub off onto people I know. I honestly worry about it.

Paradise - Too true.