Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Karma, which originally was confined to the accumulation of good (and bad) energy as a determination of what one is reincarnated as in Hinduism, has morphed in popular usage to cover the more immediate consequences of bad and good actions without any apparent direct casuality. The biggest current example of this is the show "My Name is Earl", where the title character realizes that nothing good has ever happened to him, and wonders if it is because he has never done anything good, so he makes a list of everything bad he's ever done and resolves to make amends for each item. (I thought the second season was a little bit weaker than the first, though it does end with a bang.)

In any event I had a very funny karmic experience the other day (at least under the second definition.) On Friday as I was leaving work, I saw one of my friends crossing the parking lot, while talking on his cell phone. I got close and revved my engine, no reaction, which made me realize that he had no idea I was there. So I coasted until my front bumper was just about touching him and then I laid on the horn. To say I scared him would be an understatement. He jumped, he turned, he landed in his best karate stance ready, I suppose, to sell his life dearly. The adrenaline level was such that he needed to fight something and so he jumped on the hood of my car and bared his teeth.

You might think that the karmic consequences of my action occured immediately when I peed my pants because I was laughing so hard, but no it wasn't until the next day when I went to pick up my friend so we could go on our hike. He's a notoriously deep sleeper, so the plan was for him to leave the door open and I would just wake him up when I got there. Well somehow he woke up a couple of minutes before I did and was waiting to scare me when I opened the door. I admit he got me, the first time in many years which is why I made the connection, but not nearly as good as I got my co-worker (he needed to be closer, if he had put his face right at the opening I would have wet my pants, for real this time). So my speculation is that the difference in how bad I scared my co-worker, vs. how bad I was scared represents the amount that my act was justified. In other words it was right to scare him, just perhaps not quite so badly...

Fear is funny


Anonymous Ed said...

I don't like being scared/having practical jokes played on (which is why I tend to avoid doing them), but my policy is that a gross disproportionate response is always best. I figure if the other guy wants to get back at me, he'll go to jail for a long time.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I often hear stories about how much Ross likes to scare people, but the thing that makes me think that he tries too hard at this, and often succeeds, is the fact that most of his nieces and nephews seem to go through long phases where just the sight of him is enough to send them crying to their parents.

~Other Rob

3:17 PM  
Blogger aozora said...

The second type of karma is a bit quirky. I recall more incidents like ed described of the California Lottery dream (from the last entry) for myself. Maybe you got some credit for the jumping and gnashing of teeth.

6:55 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Speaking of bad karma, Ross... are you watching the Jazz games?

9:17 AM  
Blogger Ross said...

Yeah, a little bit. Why? ;)

7:07 PM  

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