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Christopher Burns Christopher Burns
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Murphy's Law

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Sooner or later a shot to the pride comes. Little did I know that last Tuesday the universe declared open season on my pride.

The day was not the greatest to begin with. Right in the middle of a good stretch of rain, already I had to bite the bit. I had to bike to work. Ordinarily that's not a problem; I enjoy the ride. A rainy day has the habit of dowsing the parade, but I was not complaining. Not at all.

I make my way to work. And yeah, I get wet, but not all that bad. But then, while waiting at a cross-walk, this dink in a mini-van managed to hit a nice, deep puddle at a good speed to sufficiently soak me. And there I was thinking I could get no wetter.

Oh well. I wrote it off.

Karma has a way of evening out. I'm equaling things out a bit, I figured.

Little did I know, the universe hadn't finished with me.

So there I was on my way home following one of my usual routes. I turn onto a side street about halfway home. Behind me a car turns down the street. They're going slow, thank goodness. Most people have a tendency to drive past pedestrians with reckless abandon and indifference.

Now I want to emphasize this is one of my usual routes. Needless to say, I'm familiar, so I was not expecting what came next.

I go it slow trying to minimize the soaking I take from puddles. The car continues to keep a respectable distance. Then it happens. It was like hitting a wall and falling into a grave simultaneously. A pothole the size of which I had never seen on this street consumed the front bike tire.

Down I go. My water bottle flies from my backpack's side pocket. I lurch forward, bike skipping across the road. I manage to regain control, avoiding both going down against the asphalt and an even more painful collision with the bike frame itself.

Again under control, I waddle, bike between my legs, to the side of the road. The car is now completely stopped, perhaps waiting to see what the conclusion of the show was. Everything, relatively speaking, was under control. I just wave them on. There was nothing to see. Karma struck again, and what a shot. The car passed and left me there. Wet and clinging to the bike like a vine on the roadside.

All I wanted then and there was to be home.

I plodded on, and as I went there was the unmistakable thwop-thwop-thwop of a flat. The ride was smooth but the sick sense that it was going quick set in. I hoped that at the very least the tube wasn't burst. But it was a heck of hit it took.

I hurried, trying to beat the clock. And just as I was on the final stretch home, another pothole. Goodness, they were out in force. Somehow I hit each one I cross without fail. And it was just as big as the last one, and I heard the sound of the rim crashing against the asphalt. No doubt now that it was spent. And I just replaced the tire a couple of weeks ago.

By the time I get home, I'm walking the bike, and I'm wet and sopping like a dog. It's what I get for using alternative transportation. It's moments like this where I can only look back and laugh. It's the odds that each event was bound to happen so close to one another. Almost like it was ordained. Such times are rare but I find that they can happen, again and again. Perhaps Murphy was onto something, although I wish he'd keep his law off my luck.

I certainly hope I accrued enough karmic credit to take it easy for a while. Then let the universe unleash itself. I'll be ready.


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