Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Karm(hic) Justice

Regular followers of this blog may recall my recent announcement that I was giving up alcohol for Lent (click here for reminder). A sacrifice made all the more impressive when you realize I’m not a big church goer, or even a believer in a God who has nothing better to do with his time than to spy on us to make sure we’re not eating meat on Fridays. In fact, I’m pretty sure the people at Pizza Hut were the ones who made up that rule.  But, regardless of my beliefs, I did have faith that I could go 40 days without drinking. And I can…just not all in a row.

I made it to Day 28 before breaking down, when my friends’ band played a show for the first time in forever, making it more of a reunion than a typical night out.  And what goes better with old friends than cold beer? So I thought to myself, What Would Jesus Do? And when I couldn’t come up with an answer, I decided to ask him. I put a crumpled up piece of paper in one hand, held them both out, and told my nemesis Renee to pick one, after saying, “Jesus, if you don’t want me to drink tonight, make Renee pick the hand without the paper and I will obey.”

She picked the hand with the paper, and I raised my hand to signal the waitress. That first beer was sooo good, and so was the second. But soon, I found myself hiccupping uncontrollably. And not the cute little “hic” ones either, they were the big, chest caving, throat clenching kind. I’m not going to say they ruined my night, but they definitely hindered it.

Twenty-four hours later, I was still hiccupping away. And that’s when it occurred to me that maybe someone “up there” was angry at me for breaking my Lenten promise and was smiting me with hiccups. Stranger things have happened. In fact, it reminded me of another time, long ago, when I found myself the “victim” of karmic justice.

Back in my Deadhead days, I would often buy tickets to sold-out out of state shows from this broker (aka scalper) for ridiculously marked up prices. It sucked, but I thought it was better to pay more to have a guaranteed ticket rather than drive 12 hours and risk not being able to score one at the show.  So this one time, I ordered  a pair for my friend Matt and I for a Friday show in Albany. The tickets showed up one day under my doormat – I wasn’t home, so the delivery guy just left them there, even though I was supposed to sign for them.

Seeing an opportunity to screw the scalper, and score an extra pair of tickets to the show, I called the broker a few days later and complained that the tickets I ordered never showed up. He put a trace on the package, learned that the delivery company had no proof that the package was delivered, and was forced to overnight an extra pair of tickets to my house. Huzzah!

Before leaving, Matt and I decided it would be really cool to use the extra tickets to “miracle” someone (Deadspeak for a free ticket that is bestowed upon a stranger in need) – but – on the way up, the plan changed to where we would trade the extra pair for the Saturday show and see both.

We were barely off the highway before we saw a guy selling tickets. We explained to him that we were just looking to trade, and he accepted willingly. He even offered to “upgrade” our Friday tickets to floor seats. We thanked him, gave him our four Friday tickets and drove away with two new pair for both shows feeling like we were pulling a fast one.

Turns out the tickets we traded for were counterfeit. We ended up having to buy another pair, for even more than the originals, and missed most of the first set. And while I can't say our entire weekend was ruined, it was definitely hindered.

Twenty years later, after a day spent hiccupping and regretting my decision to drink, I realized that maybe the Lord does work in mysterious ways. I went into this feeling pretty secure that there was no one up there paying attention to what I did, yet there’s no denying someone is messing with me! And for once I know it’s not Renee (for she was smited too, and spent the next day in bed with a raging hangover!)

So, if there is someone up there, please know I’m sorry for listening to Jesus and breaking my promise. It'll never happen again.

Oh, and that ticket thing was all Matt’s idea!

1 comment:

  1. All Matt's idea LOL! It's funny how things end up.
    I don't blame you for drinking those beers though. Sometimes beer is just too good to pass up.

    I posted something about God today too! Great minds think alike--too wild :0)