Life is funny sometimes. In fact, most events in life are hilarious given enough time, distance and perspective. Sex? Imagine the faces you make and the awkward noises. If we weren’t so predisposed to being turned on by it, we’d laugh our asses off every time we watch a porno (not that I’ve ever, EVER watched a porno 🙂 ). Eating? Well who hasn’t passed gas on occasion…be honest. And the act of moving your mouth repetitiously, making the sloppy, slushy sounds in our gaping maws, the gulping swallows and even the simple act of sitting to get rid of it later–I’m laughing just thinking about it (yes, I’m a 5th grade boy). Even Work–most of us have an encyclopedia of bizarre tales from the workplace that leave us in stitches when we recount them after a few drinks.
The simplest actions we take every day are hysterical when you look back at them later with a little perspective…even some of the most traumatic.
Take for instance the hilarious tirade I was witness to last night. We have an acquaintance who is a dog walker. She’s a sweet young woman with a compulsive need to find center on everything. If there’s a fight, she’ll place herself in the middle, risking her own safety to calm things down. A friend in need? She’ll find another friend in need of something that will satisfy both people’s requirements by introducing them. Always in the middle.
Needless to say, being in the middle makes her vulnerable when things go bad. And though she’ll laugh about last night’s events when things calm down, at the moment, it feels to her as if she had been staked out in the desert at high noon with no sunscreen (she has very fair skin).
So, this dog walker… we’ll call her Anne for the purposes of this story. Anne has a college degree. In fact, she has some post graduate stuff going on too, but when she returned from serving her country (not in the military but in another volunteer capacity), events conspired to deny her employment in her chosen field.
Being ever the optimist, she took a part time job walking dogs for a friend’s business. She soon found that the money was good and she enjoyed working with the variety of animals. Fast forward a couple years and she has a thriving business, walking dogs, house/dog sitting, scheduled pet medication administering, etc. She’s always busy, sometimes flustered, always on top of things…a go getter.”
She had a roommate several years ago. The relationship was strained by, let’s just say, mild psychotic behavior on the roommate’s part…we’ll call her Chamber. Chamber was an only child, spoiled rotten by a single mom and born with an unfortunate Type A++ personality. Luckily for her, Anne’s proclivity for finding the middle ground kept them together longer than Chamber had ever been able to keep a roommate before (a year).
Anne’s nerves frayed until it was finally no longer possible to tolerate the bombastic tirades, spying, and verbal abuse heaped on her nearly every day. She packed her things, smiled at Chamber and said “I have to move back home to save up some money” (a polite lie), and said she wanted to remain friends–which amazingly, actually happened…they stayed friends. IN fact, when Chamber mentioned she was going on vacation a few weeks ago, she asked Anne to babysit her dog for her (gratis, of course… you know, them being friends and all). Anne agreed.
A few days later, Anne got a call from another panicked friend. Let’s call her Karma. (Yeah, I know. Cute, huh?) Karma is a little on the Asperger’s side. A very talented and exacting person, Karma is moving through her life in glacial fashion–slow, purposeful, undissuaded by obstacles.
Anyway, Karma works in her chosen field–that of theater and film. She is a very talented and highly sought after prodigy in the art world. Some shows and films refuse to begin production if Karma isn’t there to make the art departments whole. The fact that she works among acting divas, (some famous and some up-and-coming), should demonstrate that she is quite good at managing large (read oversized) egos.
Her panicked call was concerning her living arrangements between shows. One production she was working on had just concluded, but as it goes in the entertainment industry, there was an unexpected delay on her next production–a minor hiccup in the schedule. Not normally a big deal, but being in the industry she’s in, Karma is a gypsy of sorts, bouncing from production to production with no real home of her own.
Anne immediately saw the solution; she would arrange for Karma to stay at Chamber’s house, giving Chamber’s dog (Endless Waterfall) nearly round the clock attention in exchange for the room while Chamber was on vacation. Eureka! Everyone was happy.
Here’s where the drama starts…after nearly a week of calm, peaceful execution of the plan, with hardly any communication between the parties, Karma hit a mild bump in the road with her boyfriend (Yes, even Karma has those sorts of everyday trials). Despite the minor nature of the breather she arranged for herself, she set into motion a string of events that would ruin everyone’s afternoon, night and morning. She put her phone on “silent”. Bum, bum, bummmmmmm.
Late on Sunday afternoon, Karma put her phone on silent to take a short break from the stress. She took Endless Waterfall for a walk, then went into DC for some karaoke (no that’s not code for anything–she really went into town to wind down with some karaoke).
Almost as if sensing Karma’s phone had suddenly become unreachable, Chamber called to pass on new instructions for the care of her dog (with only one day of vacation left). Getting no answer, Chamber texted, then texted again. Then she texted Anne, asking where Karma was. “Oh, don’t worry. Karma is always there, even if you can’t see her,” Anne said, temporarily forgetting that telling Chamber anything but “exactly what she wanted to hear” was the wrong answer. Sadly, Anne realized a little too late what she had done…the Chamber was loaded.
“But I need her! It’s an emergency!” Click, click, click.
“Okay,” Anne texted back. “I’ll see if I can find her.”
“If I don’t hear back from you in ten minutes, I’m going to come home…and Karma better be gone.”
“What’s the emergency? You know, in case I get hold of her.”
“That’s not as important as me talking to her…get her to call me. Just tell her it’s an emergency.”
Anne spent the evening trying to find Karma. Text after text, call after call. And an increasing stream of belligerent texts and calls from Chamber. You could almost hear the click, click, click of the bullets being pushed into the magazine.
“You people have no sense of responsibility.”
“I can’t believe I agreed to help you out like this.”
“This is no way to run a F***ing business.”
“I’m so pissed right now I can barely breathe.”
“You’re so lucky I’m not there right now. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to look at your stupid faces.”
The angry texts kept rolling into Anne’s inbox and the calls kept ringing between texts. Poor Anne almost couldn’t concentrate on her calls to Karma with all the chimes and ringing from her phone.
“That’s IT!” Chamber blasted in one text. “I’m coming home a early…I’m leaving now!”
Meanwhile, Karma was singing Xs and Os at the top of her lungs, enjoying her evening.
Anne finally had to give Chamber a 1 second silent MP3 custom ringtone so she could concentrate on her own dog walking duties as she busily continued trying to contact Karma. Before the harassment became so distracting that she blocked Chamber’s ranting, profanity filled text blasts, Anne read one more hate mail. “THAT”S IT!!!! I”M SO OVER YOU F***ING PEPLE. I”M CAWLLING THE F***ING POLICE AND YOU BETTER BE OT BEFORE I GET BACK OR THER WILL BE HOLY F***ING HELL TO PAY!!!!!!!!!”
You can always tell how angry someone is when double quotes are used as apostrophes and the message is filled with spelling errors in everything but the profanity. The Chamber was loaded with a tactical nuclear round…a 155mm self propelled weapon of mass destruction.
Meanwhile, back at Chamber’s apartment, Karma returned, relaxed, smiling and happy after her three hour break from reality. She took Endless Waterfall for another walk before slipping into bed. Oh…she also plugged her phone in, not wanting to wake up to a dead battery. Sadly, Karma had forgotten the phone was on silent and didn’t bother to check it because it hadn’t rung all night.
At 5:15 A.M., Anne went to Chamber’s house and saw Karma’s vehicle parked in the lot. She knocked on the door for a few minutes and was rewarded with Karma’s smiling face. “Hi!” Karma said, wiping the sleep from her eyes.
“Dude! Why didn’t you answer your phone?!”
“Huh?” Karma walked back into the apartment and picked up her phone. “Oh…I must have left it on silent. It would have chimed in 15 minutes anyway. I set the alarm so I wouldn’t forget to walk the dog this morning.”
Upon seeing the fully loaded inbox, Karma flipped to the last message from Chamber. “…better be out of the house by the time I get back!”
Karma calmly packed her bag, walked through the house to the front door, and pocketed the $50 gift card that had been left as “compensation” for the week of dog/apartment sitting. “Okay. I’ll go now.”
Anne shook her head, worrying about Endless Waterfall. After saying goodbye to Karma, Anne walked Endless Waterfall once more, took photos of the apartment (you know, as proof it wasn’t trashed when they left), then locked the door behind her.
Karma called Anne a little while later. “I didn’t want you to worry about me. The gift card Chamber left, was enough for me to get two nights of Air B&B. So I’m covered until I have to be on set Tuesday.”
Anne let out a sigh of relief, thankful that at least one of her friends was stable after the explosive brouhaha. Chamber, on the other hand, had spent the night in the airport on standby, waiting for the first available flight home. Anne had a late start on her dog walking duties due to having to drive out to walk Endless Waterfall, but other than that, nothing had really changed from the day before.
Chamber had basically destroyed a friendship (a rare thing for her to have anyway), ended her vacation two days early, spent the night in an airport waiting for a seat on a flight that never came, threatened to call the police because a friend of a friend didn’t pick up the phone on the second ring, and funded Karma’s last two nights of gap-housing with the ridiculous $50 gift card.
Obviously, the names have been changed to protect the innocent (and to make the story sillier than it already was), but isn’t that just the most hilarious thing? I might just have to write a story about it.
Have a great day and if you happen across a wild eyed young woman with too much adrenaline, who appears to be off her meds and answers to the name of Chamber, give her a wide berth. Just saying…Karma has a way of stirring things up.
I hope you liked my little fact based tale. In other news my new book, Hedged, will be released on Thursday, July 28th. I hope you’ll drop what you’re doing and download a copy (or order a print copy on Amazon). I think it’s winner. I had a blast writing it.
S.L. Shelton is the author of an Amazon Bestselling Political Thriller/Action Espionage Series, (The Scott Wolfe Series). Follow him here on WordPress, on Twitter @SLSheltonAuthor or Facebook. His wife Diane suffers from an advanced cancer and is in aggressive treatment, consuming time, energy and resources. If you feel the desire to help, you can make a contribution to the GoFundMe that their daughter set up, or buy his books.