11062011

What does it take to make a person believe in karma, in pre-destination?

For me, it was a late night bike ride in the early 1990s.

I was heading up to my then-girlfriend's house in Red Hill, home from working late at 4ZZZ, (some say best radio station

in the world.) I rode a bicycle back then, before green was a marketing mechanism. I loved cycling. Measuring my top speed down a straight on Mt Coot-tha, getting white-line fever cycling to Byron Bay and back the next day, balancing and doing other childish simple tricks.

So along Boundary Street Spring Hill I pedalled. Suddenly, a shout and a pain between my shoulder blades. An old Kingswood swerved past.

I'd been egged. Surprisingly painful at high-speed, now it had ceased its motion I had yolk and albumen running down my shirt. I clocked the number-plate of the boxy green Holden. I watched it turn left at the end of Boundary.

Not stopping to clean off my shirt, not even really thinking about it, I cycled after it. David n Goliath. Lion and lamb. No thought in my head other than catch them.

When you think about it, the odds of a bicycle catching up to a car at night, up hill, are pretty high against success. Hence my blossoming of a belief in karma, in pre-destination when, about two kilometres uphill, just past my girlfriend's house I found the same Kingswood parked out the front of the then Red Hill Night Owl.

I couldn't believe my luck. I turned back to Rachel's house, went inside and grabbed four or five jars of opened food from her fridge. Ran outside without saying a word to anyone, and ran down to the car which was only a hundred metres away.

I then emptied can after can through the providentially opened window, onto the driver's seat. Peeled tomatoes, corn kernels, I cannot remember what it was, other than it was runny and sticky. I was probably hopping from leg to leg in glee. Such a rich feeling, this karmic revenge. I had experienced nothing like it.

I didn't stick around to see the reaction, and I didn't get caught. I don't know if the perpetrators ever linked their egg behaviour with their ruined car seat.

I hope the driver sat in it.

And now, twenty years or so later, I still hang on to the idea of karma. That one night, that one event, justifies me sitting meekly by as evil bosses get richer and richer by ripping off customers. I know she'll end up with foodstuffs on her seat one day.

I know there's a danger in succumbing to passivity from a belief that some supernatural agency will checklist cross off every wrong. I should put more energy into actively righting her scams. In minimising the harm she does. And when she's on holiday's, we all do this. Members get a month of decent treatment every year whilst she spends the quarter million she's scammed the previous year on her annual Queen Mary Cruise. It isn't fair, and it doesn't redress the imbalance, but it feels good.

Like pouring cream on a bastard's car seat.

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