« dysfunctional pets | Main | Why I Got Rejected »

June 29, 2005

Bad Car-ma

Bad Car-ma

Caustic Ever have one of those days that should come with a warning sign?  Full of little things gone awry which push you toward the brink of crying, “Enough already!”  When you’re sure if you step off the curb the cross-town bus will appear and mow you down?

Is there anyone who does feng shui on humans?  Who’ll tell you, not where to place your sofa, but if you should part your hair on the other side or stop wearing purple in order to get your karma back in whack?  If there is such a person, give her my number, please. 

I have lots of “one of those days.”  I’m chronically dropping things, tripping on sidewalk cracks, dripping toothpaste on a new shirt, losing an earring down the drain.  Yeah, I know, trivial stuff, but irritating nonetheless.  An example of recent molehills:

  • My AOL crashed yet again, requiring a call to tech support, which is akin to instant hypertension. Clearly, the inane recorded voice offering options to press buttons did not comprehend my cries of “Give me a human, dammit!”  I finally talked to “Chip”—whose Indian accent sounded a lot like “Bob,” the Dell tech support dude, whom I’d chatted with last week. Thankfully, Chip’s instructions worked, and I could get online again before the cold sweats hit.

  • My MSWord shut down mid-work, so I lost everything I had not saved.  If I never see another error message, I will die happy. Word does this to me on a regular basis, and Windows isn’t much better.  If Bill Gates didn’t live so far away, I’d egg his billion-dollar mansion and TP his trees right before it rained. 

  • My geriatric cat (let’s call him “Barfmeister”) spewed all over my freshly made bed, right as I was about to crawl between the sheets.  So as not to feel left out, my younger cat (let’s call her “Spaz”) pretended I was a piece of furniture, climbed up my leg, and left me bleeding.  (Sarah, can I nominate them for “Dysfunctional Pets of the Year”?)

But, hold on, this is my favorite:  the most expensive car wash ever.    

The day started out pretty well, so I almost figured the bad karma was over.  My mom and I went to Harrah’s, and I had $15 of free cash (I know, it’s never free) and a coupon for food.  We gambled on the penny slots, and each came out ahead by $30 or $40 and celebrated with free lunch at the Voodoo Lounge.  Afterward, I ran errands in the 97 degree St. Louis heat, seemingly without incident.  Hit the dry cleaners, the bank, and the Shoe Stop where I found a pair of deep-pink slides that match my Arden B. jacket (I’ve been looking for weeks).  I was feeling kinda lucky.

And then it happened.

I stopped for gas at the Mobil on Olive, because I love their brushless car wash.  I filled up the tank, pulled into the car wash queue, and took my turn inside the tunnel, singing along to Switchfoot’s “Your Life” as the blobs of bird poop vanished from the windows.

As I pulled out—and spaced out—I got a wee bit too close to the left side of the exit.  Caught my rearview mirror and heard a cracking sound.  Which is when I realized the mirror wasn’t retractable.  I backed up, straightened the nose of my Saturn coupe, and drove out to find the side mirror dangling from a cable, the screws that held the bracket to the car snapped like green beans. 

Though Harley forbids her kids from saying this word, I can’t help myself:


Driving with my window down and my hand clutching at my wounded mirror, I sped to the Saturn dealership, like an ambulance with a cardiac case that needed urgent medical attention.  Two folks from the service department dashed out to examine the injury, ultimately declaring it’d be $250 to order a new part and have it painted to match. 

Excuse my foul language again, but:

Double poopyhead!

It’s okay, I told myself.  The car was due for an oil change anyway, so we scheduled that for the same day as the repair job.  With utmost care, they duct-taped the mirror so I could use it while I drove home.  Which would’ve been great—albeit ugly--but the tape came unstuck in the heat, leaving the mirror hanging helplessly above Highway 40.  I’m sure other drivers stared and shook their heads, scoffing, “Look at the fool who broke her mirror in the car wash!”  I should just wear a T-shirt marked with a “B” for “birdbrain,” sort of like Hester Prynne’s “A,” only not as much fun to earn.

Friends wonder why I don’t have sharp knives in my house.  It’s because I’ve cut myself once too often with the dull ones that come in the flatware set.  I won’t take the risk.

But it’s nothing new.  My lack of grace is long-standing. As a kid, I played jump rope with a dog’s leash tied between a chair and a marble coffee table, ending in a trip to the ER.  I still have the scar on my forehead.  I was the “girl line leader” in first grade who got her thumb caught in the hinge-side of the door when the idiot “boy line leader” slammed the damned thing shut.  Yet another trip to the ER, where I almost lost the tip of my finger.  Caution_1

My being a writer is probably safer for everyone.  I work at home.  My main equipment is a keyboard.  I’m not flying a plane, driving a bus, or operating heavy machinery where I could take other people down when my karma heads south.  I deal with words, which are only as harsh as I make them and can’t draw blood unless a reader gets a paper cut from turning the pages of my books.

Might it be good feng shui to surround my desk with CAUTION tape?  Possibly. Or perhaps I could drape the tape across my chest, like a beauty queen’s sash.  Because I do believe I’d make a really good “Duchess of Klutz.”  Just don’t give me a tiara.  Those things are sharp. 

Suehouston_5 Cheers,


P.S. My mom suggested insulating myself in bubble wrap.  The FedEx guy suggested I use Saran wrap, but that's another blog entirely.


Interesting that your mother suggested bubble wrap, because I was going to suggest that you move into a bubble, like John Travolta in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble (TV, 1976). One of my favorite actresses of all time, PJ Soles, has a bit part in it, according to IMdB. Like, totally.

I hope you have that rubber stuff over your keyboard to protect it from spills, and dress generally as the Pillsbury Doughboy. Oh, and drive Sarah's Teen Safety Car, or whatever she called it, which apparently can't hurt anything including itself.

Susan, I have one word for you: iMac. Our Dell PC is currently in the basement with a spyware beast living inside it. It wouldn't allow us to reformat the hard drive. After two weeks of frustration, we went to the Apple store, bought an iMac G5 and have never regretted it. Of course, now we're getting a new computer system at work, new software AND new hardware. And the new Dells look exactly like the one in the basement. Be afraid...be very afraid...

"I finally talked to “Chip”—whose Indian accent sounded a lot like “Bob,” the Dell tech support dude, whom I’d chatted with last week."

Heh! When my wireless network router suddenly stopped recognizing my laptop, I spent an hour on the phone on hold waiting for Belkin tech support. When I finally got a human, this voice with the thickest Indian accent I've ever heard came on and said, "'Allo, this is Eric..." At which point I blurted out, "You are not!"
Long pause. "Excuse me?"
"Your name is not no damn 'Eric'!"
Long pause. "Sir, I do not..."
"Forget it. Here's my problem..."
I really shouldn't drink while on hold.


I suggest you give up and eat Nutella from the jar. That's what I'd do. Better luck tomorrow.

If Microsoft had any competition, they would be out of business so fast. I hate their monopoly and their products.

Word dropped out on me so many times that I finally set it up for auto backup so I only lose 1 minute's worth of work at most.

As far as Dell/XP is concerned, I've decided to take a more drastic solution a la Mac Mini:


And don't feel bad about being a little klutzy, I broke my wrist sliding into second base... demonstrating how to slide to my daughter's softball team. They didn't ask me back to coach the next year.

Okay, JJ, you made me feel better. Some of us are just not born to be ballerinas (or great sliders into bases). I think you guys have me convinced to buy a Mac instead of a new Dell this time around. I will start checking it out (I need an iPod anyway...so I should probably hit the Apple store in the Galleria and kill two birds with one charge card). Polly, can I substitute chunky peanut butter for Nutella??? Still waiting for Saturn to call and say my new mirror came in. Sigh.

I forgot to take my cell phone out of my jeans pocket before I put them in the washer, today. I remembered just in time to not have to buy a new cell phone. Last time, I dropped my cell phone in the yard before a huge storm. It was fried.

I backed into my garage door from the inside once. I had pushed the button to raise the door, but forgot to check to make sure I was clear, before I reversed. New tail fin for me.

Adrienne! My long lost twin! Do you think we should start a club for klutzes? Or for chicks with bad karma? Maybe we could hire Josh to do a detoxifying ceremony and rid us of our bad luck. Hee hee. Thanks so much for sharing!

Hmmmmmmmm sounds like we should be sisters. In the early days of June I backed my Honda Accord into a truck crunching my tail light. I had to accelerate to get out of this lumpy driveway and WHAMMO and crunch...my stomach contracted cuz I knew dh was not gonna like this. I do live near Bill Gates and anytime ya want directions........tho I myself have done well with MS products and my very snazzy Sony Vaio laptop and even AOL. Who knows why?

Susan I will trade my two teenage sons for all of your bad karma any day!!!!!!!!!

Janice, you definitely qualified for sistership with the Honda manuever. I will send your Certificate of Authenticity ASAP. Can you toss a couple eggs at Bill's house for me? As for trading your teenaged sons for my bad karma...um, you're right. I'll re-direct the feng shui adjustor to your place. ;-)

You can solve the Word problem by updating it to Word 2003. I had that problem with my last version, too. Just died constantly! When my new computer came with Word 2003, all that disappeared!

At least something would go right for you!

Love your blogs, gals!

Shannon McKelden

I just love this blog! And, while I know I shouldn't be laughing (hysterically) at this post. I AM! And, thanks my day is not so bad now....

Nancy, I'm so glad I made you feel better! My work is done. :-)

The comments to this entry are closed.

The Breast Cancer Site