I knew I was having bad Karma when I landed on the "Go to Jail" square three times in a row while playing Monopoly with my children last week. I finally rolled doubles and got out of jail for the last time and promptly landed on Boardwalk, where my son had just built three hotels, six houses, and a multi-million dollar theater complex. He shouted, "You owe me $6,500 in rent!" I looked down at the $8.00 in ones I had left. "Call the bill collectors," I muttered. "I’m going to have to hawk everything I own."
It wasn’t until the next morning when I realized that moment had been a foreshadowing of events to come.
I sat in my car and turned the key. Nothing. "This can’t be right," I said to myself as I turned the key again. Dead silence. I wiggled the steering wheel and turned the key one more time. This time there wasn’t dead silence because I was shouting, "$&*#*&$&**#&$&$&&&#** CAR!"
I went inside and called my husband and then I called the car repair shop and a tow truck driver named Joe who said he’d be over shortly. My husband ran in the door a short time later, breathless, red-faced and obviously very stressed. "What’s wrong with it?" he asked.
"When I turn the key, nothing happens," I replied.
He took my keys and went out to the car. Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but I know when a car doesn’t start, it’s not going to start, but perhaps he thought maybe I had gone temporarily senile and forgot which way to turn the key to start the car. He turned the key. Dead silence. He turned the key again. "$&*#*&$&**#&$&$&&&#** CAR!" he yelled as sweat rolled down his forehead.
Just then, my knight in a shining armored tow truck showed up. Joe hopped out of the truck and said, "So, you’re a writer I see." (He saw my license plates that said WRITER. Obviously Joe WAS a rocket scientist.)
"Yes I am." I replied. "I have a second book coming out soon."
He smiled, showed me mostly gums and two lonely teeth, and said, "Is the book X-rated?"
"Oh yeah," I panted. "Definitely." I would have told him anything he wanted to hear if it would have meant I was the recipient of a discount on the towing charge, but unfortunately, it didn’t work because my husband ruined the moment when he shouted, "HOW MUCH IS THIS $&*#*&$&**#&$&$&&&#** CAR GOING TO COST ME?"
Joe was a man of mystery and kept the price a secret as he tinkered under the hood of my car. Somehow he got the car started, charged us $950.00, and we drove it to the car repair shop where they labored over it for five long days. On the fifth day, they rested and then made out my bill. "That’ll be $6,500," they said when I came to pick up the car.
"Do you take Monopoly money?" I inquired.
They shook their heads, so I was forced to shakily write out a check for $6,500. I then instructed them, "Don’t cash this for 6,500 years." As I drove the car off the lot, I thought I heard a funny noise.
Later that afternoon, I drove to the grocery store where I bought $150.00 worth of groceries. In 95-degree heat, I put the groceries in the trunk where the approximate temperature was 185 degrees. I got in the car and turned the key. Nothing. I turned the key again. Dead silence, except for … you guessed it … me yelling, "$&*#*&$&**#&$&$&&&#** CAR!"
I marched two blocks up the car repair shop (now the fact that the car repair shop was only two blocks away was definitely the only good Karma I had experienced in six days). I opened the door and yelled, "My $&*#*&$&**#&$&$&&&#** car won’t start and I am a suburban Mom and I have $150.00 worth of groceries in my trunk!"
Those mechanics looked scared and they marched right down to my car along with me and looked under the hood. They tinkered. They muttered. They pounded. They shut the hood. "Start ‘er up," they ordered. I turned the key. It started. "Loose cable," they told me.
"I could hug you right now," I said, "but I’m not going to because you’re sweaty and dirty and really stinky." I added huskily, "But how about if I bring you a copy of my new X-rated book of humorous essays when it’s published?"
"Cool!" they said.
My good Karma is back, but it may be short-lived if those mechanics tried to cash that check.