karma!

this morning i was wandering through a small store and overheard the clerk telling a customer - whom i will assume was his friend - the following story:

...what happened to my finger you ask? well let me tell you Jim... talk about Karma;

Saturday after spending a couple hours couped up in a car with the wife who has to constantly tell me (his voice changes for effect) 'you're going too fast' and then 'you're going too slow' and 'you missed a turn' and 'could you please stop tailgating' blah blah blah.  and, when we finally get to the park she starts in; 'you knew how much parking was going to cost and why do i never carry the right bills and how come she always has to haul out her purse to pay for for my expenses...'

yeah, i know; like she wasn't at the ball park on my dime? the ingrate...

but wait Jim! it gets better... 

so we shuffle in the park and find our seats and two minutes after we sit down she needs to pee.  of course she can't go alone because 'what if this or that or the other thing happens and besides she needs a drink.'  so, off we shuffle to the toilets where i hang around trying to convince her to use the guys toilet because you and i both know there isn't a man in the crowd who didn't pee BEFORE he found his damn seat. 

yeah, i know. and i did offer to go get her drink while she waited in line to pee but again; 'what if this or that or the other thing happens..'.

right?!? i wish it would happen sometimes too Jim... but hang on, it gets so much better...

so... finally she's in and out of the toilet and we get her drink and make it back to our seats. course all the way its bitch bitch bitch bitch...  and if you think it got better once we were in our seats oh hell no!  then she starts complaining that it looks like its going to rain....

so i dig out and pop open the umbrella.  'its too high... its too low... can the people behind us see?' so i sit there just waiting for the national anthem thinking at least i'll have 5 minutes of peace...

and finally they ask us to rise to sing and i there i am with my right hand over my heart feeling like a idiot holding a damn umbrella over her head so she doesn't get wet IF it rains, but do i get peace? no sir! she's still bitching....

and just as the music starts

WHAM! CRACK! BOOM!

 a lightening bolt hits the stadium, skips over to the stands, dances along the upper deck, skips over to the metal rod on the top of my umbrella, travels down the handle and kareens off my wedding ring.  burned the skin right off my finger! i drop the umbrella and when i look to see where its gone, there's my wife on her ass three rows down and finally she's not saying a damn thing....
 

mom, do you remember...

i took my mom out for a breakfast muffin today.

i ordered a caramel cappuccino to go with my muffin because it sounded like a lovely combination...
mom ordered water, because, she said;  i already drank my limit of coffee today.

wait!? there is a coffee limit?!? good god! is the city rationing coffee for tourist season?!? man i'm glad i already had that cup at home and that cup at uncle lar's before we got here!


unamused she busied herself with the menu while i amused myself by remembering my childhood...

in particularly the day - just after coffee had more than tripped in price and my parents seriously were rationing it - that my young in a hurry to get outside bottom bumped a freshly opened 3 pound can of Hills Brothers Coffee off the counter. .....




trying to catch it was my first mistake.

there i stood with the lid, which i caught between two fingers and my thumb, watching the can bounce off my bare feet sending it into a dramatic roll which scattered very aromatic grounds all over the kitchen.  after which the nearly emptied can rolled down the entry steps and came to rest against a dirty pair of shoes on a sand covered floor.

i held my breath. i didn't dare even blink. in fact, the only muscle that moved - against my wishes - was the one in my head, which shifted into overdrive. can i reach the broom?  i wonder...  if i can reach the broom maybe i can scoop it all back into the can and no one will be the wiser. yes. yes! that really could work.  now, where was the broom?!?

i looked up to locate it but met the fiery eyes of my mother. she just stood there in the dining room doorway, curlers in her hair, tight scarf over those and arms folded so tightly in front that it bulged the pack cigarettes rolled in her left sleeve as if it were one huge muscle mass...

fear caused me to continue holding my breath as she unfolded her arms and snuffed her half smoked cigarette out on the stove top - the tattoo of satan on her bicep leered at me.

involuntarily i shivered. i had no defense whatsoever. i couldn't lie when i was covered in the stuff.  she'd never have believed me anyway... Trouble now snickered behind me, his fault pointing finger burning a very deep hole in the middle of my back.

"sorry..."  i muttered through tears, more to myself than anybody else. after which there was nothing but that agonizing you know your punishment awaits silence. 

finally, my mother stepped toward me - her tattooed arm outstretched in the self same way that always caused Trouble to back into the corner while assuming the grade school tornado drill position...

i felt her hand on the lid. i swallowed hard imagining the horrific ways in which i was about to lose the limb still clutched tightly to the plastic lid and wondered if by some act of god i would still be allowed to keep the other limb.

a thousand and twelve death scenarios later she gently pried the lid from my hand and told Trouble to get the the broom. 

"it's only coffee." she said; "and we send it through a filter anyway. so, as long as you and Trouble keep your big mouths shut, your dad will never know.  now, get your bleeding toes off my floor and find yourself a bandage...." 

thankfully, the can had cut the top of my toe when it hit and blood had, for some strange reason, always softened her heart.

i couldn't have planned that better myself! i thought as i watched her filter the last dustpan full of grounds back into the can.

and, to this day, i would swear her satan tattoo winked at me as she snapped the new and improved vacuum seal lid back on the can....

the waitress brought out a magnificent tall clear glass of cappuccino topped with whipping cream and sat it under my nose snapping me back to reality...

"hey mom? do you remember me spilling that can of coffee grounds all over the kitchen floor?"

"no. but i do remember you making kool-aide with my expensive kosher canning salt..."

and from somewhere in my past i heard Trouble and my mom's satan tattoo start laughing right out loud.