Voice: Yes, hi. This is Karma calling for Susan.
Me: Uh, yes? This is she.
Karma: Awesomesauce. Hey, I just wanted to check in and tell you that you need to go on and get the repair guy for your stove too.
Karma: Your dishwasher and refrigerator are down, right? I’ve got the right Susan?
Me: Yes, the refrigerator went out last night, but what’s this with the stove?
Karma: It’s going down this afternoon, but since you let that old lady cut in line at the grocery Thursday, I’m giving you a heads up on the stove.
Me: So you’re telling me my entire kitchen is about to be inoperable?
Karma: Well, you just got that new toaster oven. It’s got a few miles left on it. Oh, speaking of miles…
Me: STOP! Not the car. Not. The. Car.
Karma: You didn’t think you were just going to skate by, did you?
Me: I never think that, but what exactly are you talking about?
Karma: (Sighs audibly) You really want me to go through all this?
Karma: You got the check for the insurance overpayment, you and Chuck got in a lake trip a couple of weeks ago, Friday you had a fabulous idea for a short story, you had three good hair days in a row, and you’re back in a regular workout routine. You didn’t think all that was going unpunished, did you?
Me: What? First? That check is going to get plowed back into the kitchen, we weren’t even alone at the lake, I’ve totally forgotten the idea because I didn’t write it down because I got distracted by this major allergic reaction to God knows what that’s made my chest look like an unabridged Braille dictionary, and I pulled a muscle in my shoulder. Also? None of this is actually karma. So why are YOU calling?
Karma: Oooooh, I see that liberal arts education wasn’t a total waste. It’s like that whole “black fly in your Chardonnay” thing. Very good.
Karma: That’s not actually irony, these things aren’t actually karma. BUT thing is, there are like four people in The Balance Department on vacation, so I’m helping out.
Me: Balance Department?
Karma: (Another sigh) The Universe and I go way back. He did me a solid a few years ago–long story, but let’s just say I ended up with a sweet back end deal on a Pāli Tipitaka translation. Anyhoo, The Balance Department is exactly what it sounds like. It makes sure you get bitch slapped…
Karma: Ooops! Kidding. I’m, uh, kidding. Right. It makes sure you, ah, don’t get the big head or have any consecutive 24 hour period without having to cancel something, fix something, or spend money you don’t have.
Me: How is that balance? That just sounds like being a dick.
Karma: Hey! Language! It’s rain on your wedding day! It’s ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife! Potato, potahto.
Me: Okay, but what you’re telling me is that I’m right. I’ve been right all along. I really do get punished for enjoying something.
Karma: It’s much more complicated than that. Don’t make it sound so, so Catholic.
Karma: This really isn’t my area, okay? But because I’m Karma and because you did that thing a couple of weeks ago where you left canned goods at your mailbox for the food drive the Post Office did–even though I totally know you put in those cans of salmon you bought two years ago thinking you would make croquettes…
Me: I thought I LIKED salmon croquettes!
Karma: …SO you weren’t so much giving to charity as cleaning out your pantry. Point being, you did a charitable act, so I’m giving you an explanation as best I can.
Me: You know this is why I’m not writing, right? See, it’s not worth it. I write, I publish here and there. I get an idea for a book. Book gets published…
Karma: Let’s not get ahead of…
Me: BOOK. GETS. PUBLISHED. And then? I get a flesh-eating virus, my fabulous hair stylist moves to Idaho, and whatever spell Chuck is under that made him marry me wears off and he realizes he would be less miserable eating at Golden Corral on Seniors’ And Kids’ Night every night of his life than he is being married to me, AND I finally get to the point where I realize I feel and look so bad that I’m willing to–feh–exercise every day, BUT instead of feeling and looking better, I get some weird rash on my chest that can only be hidden by a turtleneck sweater, and if you think for one minute I’m going to get undressed with the lights on…
Karma: I think you’re veering into TMI territory here.
Me: Fine. MY point is why should I ever think ANYTHING is going to work out EVER when you’re here, on my phone, telling me IT WON’T.
Karma: Your freezer still works, right?
Me: (Sighs) Yes.
Karma: And did you or did you not get ice cream the other day?
Karma: And is it not still there along with ice cream cones because you’re doing that thing where you eat like a five-year-old?
Karma: YOU’RE WELCOME!
Me: Well played, sir.
Karma: I gotta dash. That band that does that song about dying young and getting laid out on a bed of roses is due for a serious bout of icy diarrhea.
Me: Good, I hate that song!
Karma: Who said it had anything to do with the song? That song happens to be humanity’s gift for coming up with a television show about coupon clipping.
Me: I’m hanging up now.