My karma ran over my dogma
by Brian Keaney
or: Why my second Jeep shall forever be known as Luca Brasi
A couple of weeks ago I was out at a bar with a couple people I knew and even more I didn’t. One girl, whom I had only just met, announced at one point in the conversation that she was ill suited for her job because she really wasn’t a good person. I thought it was a very honest, if unflattering, statement to make.
I don’t often pray, but when I do it is usually that I might not be such a terrible person anymore. Not unsurprisingly, it often follows one of my many transgressions. Seeing as I have a difficult enough time being a good Christian, I don’t even attempt to be a good Buddist, despite my admiration for the Dalai Lama and respect for many Buddhist teachings.
One teaching that I don’t buy into, however, is that of karma. Sometimes good things happen to bad people, and all too frequently terrible things happen to wonderful people. I can’t say with certainty what the state of my little cousin’s soul is, but I doubt he has ever done anything in his short life to warrant being put into the situation he was last night. I without a doubt have, but again I doubt any of my past sins had anything to do with it.
After a wonderfully relaxing, and much needed, day on one of my favorite beaches, I took him out to ride the go-karts and hit some balls in the batting cages. I smoked him in the former but was embarrassed in the latter. As we left I noted the young girls hanging out the windows of their mother’s car to wave goodbye to him, and he asked to take a ride on the beach.
Always up for an opportunity to put my four wheel drive – the most recent set acquired less than a year ago – to good use, I happily obliged. We drove the length of the beach, and then turned out towards the tidelands. After roughly a half a mile of splashing through the flats we heard a loud BANG. I’m not sure if I cut the engine or if it shut off on it’s own, but the next thing I knew there was smoke pouring out of the engine compartment. Thinking it was simply steam from a blown gasket at this point, I opened the hood.
I noted that I smelled something burning, and the little one then pointed out the small flame emanating from the oil tank. After quickly shuttling him to safety, I called 911. It was not a surprise that it took the fire department a while to respond as gaining access to the beach requires driving several miles on a rock strewn dirt road through the woods, and then taking pressure out of the tires to get through the dunes.
The truck actually never made it much further than the woods, however, as two firefighters sent on foot to investigate determined that it was unwise to send a fire truck that far out on the flats with a flood tide rising – not that there was much to save at that point anyway. Once the gas tank exploded, I guess, they just realized that all hazardous materials would be consumed in the flames and it was best to let the rapidly approaching ocean extinguish the conflagration.
With the hour and tide charts as late as they were, they simply shuttled us off the beach and left the Jeep to Davy Jones’ locker. I’m told that a special machine will be picking up the now wheel-less vehicle from the sand sometime in the next day or two and placing it onto a truck for removal to its final resting place. I would very much like to be there to see it removed, even if I wasn’t as emotionally attached to this one as I was to the last, but I am otherwise occupied having recently chosen life and fixed-interest mortgage repayments.