Questionable Karma

Not too long ago I had the unfortunate experience of waking up with a Nickelback song in my head.

For some people—the dozen or so fans of the band—this would have been a delight. For other people—the person writing this post who is not a fan of the band and who has OCD, therefore causing the song to remain there all day—this was the opposite of a delight.

After about 10 minutes of contemplating either a lobotomy or going back to bed and starting over, I instead decided to be proactive and figure out how I must have ticked off the karmic gods to deserve such an ill fate.

Despite my legions of charitable acts—flipping a worm off the burning sidewalk onto the grass, joining in a sense of community when an entire line of cars silently agreed to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front—I suppose there were a few questionable things I could blame.

Questionable Karma

When the weather is nice, I often take my mom’s dog for a walk and always make sure to have my plastic poop bag on hand for pick-up. However, there “might” have been an occasion when I could tell he was going to dump and I “might” have dragged him to the next yard to go, simply because I didn’t like the people who lived there.

The little boy who lives there “might” be a huge brat who always yells stupid things at us when we walk by, so I “might” have pretended to pick up the poop and instead grabbed a leaf to place on the top of the pile. I don’t think this is the reason though, as if the karmic gods are watching this kid, they would probably thank me.


I admit. I got your voicemail and just didn’t listen. To alleviate this problem in the future, maybe send me an email or a text and let me know if the voicemail is actually worth listening to.


I’ve retweeted a compliment. Personally I find this extremely annoying, as I would never go around the grocery store and tell people, “Hey! My friend just told me she actually liked my book and I think you should know!”

However, sometimes I apply the “tweet others as you would like to be tweeted” rule and acknowledge those misled souls who take the time to follow me, as I do appreciate it. It still annoys me when it’s self-promoting though, so karma might have just stepped in.


When it comes bugs, I figure the outside is their area and I don’t bug them, so they shouldn’t bother me in my lair. However, if one makes it into my house I often try my best to do the “shoo them out the door” or “capture in a cup” method of catch and release. But some spiders choose their own fate, particularly those that fall from the ceiling and land on the counter in front of my face.

It’s a primal reaction to grab a paper towel and pummel the sucker to death, and I admit that I did this last week. The only problem is that even though I know spiders can run really fast with all of those legs, I keep thinking I’m going to find a spider in that same exact spot everyday. He is haunting me from his grave in the garbage, so karma need not apply.


Finally, I totally committed discount deceit by passing through an old coupon. We’ve talked about this before and I’ve been trying to harness my egregious behavior, but when the possibility to save $1.50 on a ridiculously overpriced vegan veggie burger arose, I couldn’t resist. Carefully ripping the coupon so that the expiration date was “accidentally” torn off, I passed it through the self-checkout.

But come to think of it, I don’t care if I had to endure Nickelback for that one. The fact that they charge $5.50 for four vegan burgers warrants a karmic kick in the ass to those people instead. I was actually reversing the universal order of things with that discount, right? Right.


So while I can’t quite pinpoint my cardinal sin, I do feel better having gotten these offenses off my concave, size AA chest—something else I must have pissed the karmic gods off to receive.

At any rate, I feel a bit better. Now it’s your turn. What would you like to confess today?

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36 responses to “Questionable Karma

  1. Ripping off the expiration date is genius! Also I HATE GETTING VOICEMAIL. Especially from coworkers who work on the other side of the office. WRITE ME AN EMAIL OR COME OVER HERE AND TALK TO ME. Don’t make me put in my vm pin. Don’t do it.

  2. Hehehe I have done most of those things (especially the bug thing, i agree, once they’re in my ‘territory’ i get all animal abut it and protect my habitat by eradicating foes) and I too feel karma will bite me on the arse! Very recently in fact, I have noticed lots of coincides – both large and small – occurring in my life, and the lesson m taking from it is that I need to pay more attention. And when I do have a gut feeling about something, no matter how small or large, it does pay for me to heed it. I will myself have a post soon on this actual subject.
    But essentially, I try to do what I want to come around to me, in the hopes of karma and I staying cool!
    Great post 🙂

  3. Spiders I always try to save. Ants too. But I killed an ant that was crawling on me at my desk the other day and spent the rest of the day vaguely sick to my stomach. The older I get the more overly sensitive I get. I can only imagine what fate will befall me thanks to my evil deed. See ya in hell – at least we’ll have each other’s company.

  4. Wow. I must be the only person around that freely kills any bugs that dare to enter my lair with absolutely no hesitation or guilt. However, if this means there is a chance that I could hear anything by Nickleback over and over in my head, I might need to rethink this in the future. So thanks for the potential heads-up.

  5. You had Nickelback earworm? Duuuude. That’s just wrong.

  6. After reading this very funny post, I now have Karma Chameleon stuck in my head. I think it’s time for some self-examination… What have I done?

  7. Maybe “THEY” are testing a new alarm clock system that projects annoying songs into you head in order to wake you up…or could it be that brat down the block experimenting and getting even?
    Wait. It’s a joke. Do not get that aluminum foil out….if invading people’s minds was real that Snowden guy would have warned us, right?

  8. Abby! I would ride that flicking the worm into the grass thing all the way to the bank. It gets me every freakin’ time! I have had this trouble lately with various ear worms. For me, it is Iron Maiden, Pornos for Pyros and Dio. Gotta lay off iTunes and my penchant for hair metal filth for a bit. What a relief it has been too, to rid myself of karmic guilt. I like your intensely humorous take on the subject.

    • Well the worst part is I never get songs stuck in my head that I intentionally listen to. It always happens as a result of hearing a snippet from somewhere else. Sigh…

  9. Spiders…I agree with you on that point, I don’t feel bad about it either. I have even killed ones that were close to my front door, just to let them know where my boundaries are. Not too long ago I stepped outside and there was a web with thousands of baby spiders on it going from my front porch to a hanging basket stake. I grabbed a spray bottle of Clorox and bleached those babies to kingdom come. Survival of the fittest suckers.
    Karma on the other hand I think needs balance. Sometimes it has to do something bad to you to allow something good to happen. So maybe you have something really good coming your way! I don’t think I could handle having a Nickleback song in my head.

    • Well, after the extermination I performed last night on a nest of Box Elders under my deck, I might be doomed. However, I would welcome something good coming my way…I could use it right now! Perhaps I shall spend my evening looking for worms to flick back in the grass…

  10. Hate to break it to you, but it’s the spider. Everyone knows that arachnids are infamous Nickleback fans! HIs ghost is haunting your brain with insipid musical stylings. According to my extensive research (i.e. google), spiders are prey to birds, lizards and monkeys. So, you need to get one of those, perch it on your head, and voila

  11. I made a deal with stink bugs that I will leave them alone if they stay away from my bed and my shower. So they ALWAYS crawl over my bed and in the shower. 😛

  12. well done on the burger discount heist. A brilliant piece of opportunism. As for the spiders, I always have a glass and a piece of card with me, so I can trap them and ‘invite’ them to leave the apartment

  13. This was hilarious! My classic karma kickback came when I had not nice thoughts about an overly large woman crossing Lexington Avenue in front of me. At that precise moment, I tripped, fell flat on my face — in the middle of the street. And then to make matters worse, I was helped to my feet by the most gorgeous European man I’ve ever seen in my life. Embarrassed?!? Yep!

  14. All’s fair in love and retail. I’d give you a total pass on the coupon. Plus, for making me laugh you have added to your good karma. 🙂

  15. None of these are douchey, especially retweeting my compliment!

  16. There are too many for me to list, Abby. Let me refer back to your list and see what I can come up with. Oh yes, I feel I shall be punished for taking more than my share of the walnut/chocolate chip mix we use as dessert. I can’t help the little extra scoop every now and then. It’s sad because I’m sure CJ never does that to me. I’m crying now. Wait. That’s allergies.

  17. canigetanotherbottleofwhine

    Awesome. The voicemail thing cracked me up because I totally do that. Getting a voicemail means I actually have to do something – like maybe even call them back. Sometimes I just text. They don’t like that too much. I’m still not sure on that whole retweeting compliments – I do it. Is that lame? I still feel like an insecure tweeter – maybe that’s a good thing. Keeps from dumping my drafts folder onto my timeline. Although I am starting to tweet my old tweets now. How’s that for Twitter lame-o?

    • I would LOVE to retweet my own tweets from last year or something. Brilliant. No, you are not annoying in my eyes. I love your Twitter feed. Some people only tweet when they get a compliment, so their whole thing is just one big pat on their back. Bor-ing. And you have a drafts folder? You are FANCY.

      • “Drafts folder” is code for Notebook app for iPad. And I already have two old tweets scheduled for tonight. We’ll see if they’re still lame the second time around.

  18. I once rescued (refrained from murdering) a GIANT moth that landed in my sink. I posted about it on FB and my friend’s mom responded that I should have vaccuumed it up because that’s what she does with snakes. First of all, what size vaccuum does she have? And second of all… she should just move. That’s what I would do.

    Anyway, I try really hard not to kill things. But, you know, sometimes things happen.

  19. I refuse to incriminate myself, therefore, I Plea the 5th! 😀

  20. I woke up yesterday with echoes of that awful Spin Doctors song in my head. Which one, you ask? I know. They’re all awful. That one about the Princes. “Murray, me, murray him…I’mtheonethatlovesyababycan’tyasee…” Now you’ve got it. You’re welcome. Think of a John Lennon song. That’s bound to bring you Instant Karma.

  21. I have another friend who absolutely hates getting voicemails. It finally got to the point where I wouldn’t even leave her any since I knew she wouldn’t listen to them. I would call and then hang up. She had to decide whether it was worth calling me back or not. So, if it was absolutely critical I would send her a text and tell her to call me.

  22. THIS: “I admit. I got your voicemail and just didn’t listen. To alleviate this problem in the future, maybe send me an email or a text and let me know if the voicemail is actually worth listening to.” AGGGH! Why does VM even exist anymore?? I hate it. I never listen to it. Text me, tweet me, e-mail me, send me smoke signals but don’t make me sit through 5 minutes of hemming and hawing to say “It’s me, call me back” MOM..
    (Um, maybe my Karmic mistake was dissing my mom on the Internets??)

  23. There is a blog that I read almost solely because in almost every single post he figures out a way to insert a Nickelback insult; it’s like finding the prize in a box of Cracker Jacks…I think that you should figure that if your questionable karma is almost instant, your karma bank is pretty empty, which means as soon as you get the song out of your head you’re cool until the kid actually steps in the poop 😉

  24. I’d like to confess that, when the baby insisted I change her clean diaper, I pulled a switcharoo and put the old clean one back on her. But then again, karma should thank me for saving the environment from that clean diaper. Or else karma is punishing me for throwing away 40 billion other diapers. Sorry, environment.

  25. The way you defeat this is by listening to your favorite band/song several times in a row, then writing something cathartic, then sharing it with us/me….you’re free, now, Abs…so very free

  26. Lance is right- you can replace the annoying, repeating lyrics/tune with something you actually enjoy. It works. From a karmic standpoint, you were totally justified IMHO with the expired veggie burger coupon play. Seriously, those dudes are pricey. The poop thing is not a karmic infraction, in fact I think it’s a net 0…he’s a brat, the universe was going to deal with that anyway, so you did the universe a favor. Wait, that may mean you earned points! Yeah, that’s it. I’d go with that…for sure. People have learned never to leave me a VM, because I just won’t listen. I just can’t seem to bring myself to take the 20 seconds, for some reason. As a result, I get lots of texts and emails, but that’s fine. Oh, so from a karmic perspective on this end..the other night my husband and I were enjoying a late night glass of wine on our patio, and I espied a mouse. I scrunched down and looked into the bushes, where he’d skittered, and my husband, who had gone inside for the wine bottle, came out and asked me what I was looking at…to which I replied, ‘I think there’s a mouse under there…” He straightened up, threw his shoulders back, and said, ‘It’s time, then. I’ll break out the traps.’ I gulped, and realized I’d sealed the poor lil’ mouse’s fate…Nothing has happened yet, but it’s going do, and I’m pretty sure it’ll involve a cabernet stain on a white silk blouse or something equally ridiculous…I’m definitely going to jump a foot if/when I hear one of those mousetraps SNAP! And I will have deserved it.

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