Friday, January 29, 2010

Divine Comedy

In a moment of foresight, I bought replacement wipers for the car. I left them in the garage for later. Of course, I only remembered they were there when I was out driving in the rain. So much for foresight.

The idea came to me fully-formed one day as I watched the forecast: sunny today, thunderstorms tomorrow. Hmmmm. Oh, right! Put the wipers on the car! I went to do that before I got distracted.

If your car is like mine, you know it takes about 30 seconds to change a windshield wiper. Old one off, new one on. Wiper number one, no problem. I opened the package for wiper number two. Uh-oh. Where's the little plastic adapter? Hm. I must have dropped it. Funny, I didn't hear anything fall. I spent a few minutes crawling around the driveway looking for it. Nothing.

Maybe it's stuck in the package? No. Was it even there at all? Maybe not. Well, if I ever did have it, I didn't now. Fortunately, I had a receipt. Back to Mal-Wart to exchange it. Yay, hooray.

"Oh, you're going to Wal-Mart?" my wife says hopefully. "Can you pick up a couple of things?" She quickly dictates a list of about fifteen items. I scribble it down. My afternoon is beginning to go flush, gurgle, gurgle. I'm less than delighted, but it could be worse.

I pull in to the parking lot. It's vast and nearly full. Damn. The place is going to be a zoo. I park about a quarter-mile from the entrance and hope the returns line isn't Soviet-long. I inspect my pockets. List? Check. Receipt? Check. Keys? Check. I lock the car and head for the store.

As the automatic door slides open, my inner-nag pipes up: "Hey, Bozo! You left the wiper in the car!" Double-damn. Back to the car to get it. Now I'm starting to get irritated. I raise my eyes and utter a prayer of sorts, heartfelt, if somewhat less than devout. "Come on, Lord... can you help me out here?" I turn back toward the car and... what the hell?!?

On the ground is an empty windshield wiper box. Same brand. Same size.

Now I know people often change their wipers right in the parking lot. In fact, I intend to do just that. I think I would have noticed that bright yellow box on the way in, though.... You're kidding me, right? Slowly, I pick up the box and give it a little shake. It rattles faintly.

No way.

There it is. One plastic adapter, still in the package yet. I just have to laugh. The day brightens. My foul mood evaporates. I'm grinning like a fool as I wade through Mal-Wart hell. I have a smile for everyone. People eye me nervously as I laugh to myself. The checkout line is Soviet-long. Who cares? I wait with uncharacteristic patience and good cheer. I'm still chuckling as I install the wiper. I drive home and let anyone who wants cut me off. I smile and wave at them. I even use all five fingers.


Was the whole day just a set-up for the punch line? My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are my ways your ways says the Lord. Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be complete. Could it all be a coincidence? No, I believe it was a deliberate practical joke, a bit of Divine Comedy from the Master Himself. Who could pull it off better? Truly, I was touched by the hand of God... and He slugged me in the arm and said: "Gotcha!"

The best jokes are the ones you never see coming.

Respectfully Yours,



lime said...

ah, and the best part is you were able to laugh at the punchline, not everyone would have. good on ya! ;)

Suldog said...

Great story. I'm going to copy and send to a friend of mine who could use this sort of perspective (she doesn't have internet access at the moment, or else I'd send her here.)

Hilary said...

One of those serendipitous moments. Gotta love those. While at Walmart, did you buy the replacement set for next time? ;)

Cricket said...

Lime - I believe anyone who missed this joke would be asking for the Cosmic Joy Buzzer.

Sul - Help yourself.

Hilary - No, I didn't, but I'm conducting an experiment to see if I notice any difference between the cheapo wipers and the expensive ones. Five months later I have not.

Unknown said...

Wonderful story and what a punchline!

Land of shimp said...

There is a vein of magic and all that is wondrous around us at all times. You know the part that makes me laugh? Someone will read this and think, "Total coincidence, obviously." but...I have a harder time believing that than I do anything else.

Years ago, when my son was about eight, he was playing outside with some small plastic figures in the grass. I was sitting with him, and eventually he lost one of the little accessories that went with him figurine. We searched, and searched, and searched. Nothing. There was a walkway where we were, and I can't even tell you the number of times we looked there.

Finally I said, "We should ask the angels where it is." and I wasn't actually serious, but I was trying to distract my son from being sad, so I asked aloud.

Cricket, when I was done, I turned around and the darned thing was in the middle of walkway. I'm not religious. I belong to no particular belief system, but I'm also not an atheist, in fact, I don't even qualify as an agnostic because I do believe there is some uniting force in this world.

I can tell myself over and over again, "Obviously, I missed it. It was there all along." People I tell that story too can say, "Clearly, you didn't see it. That exercise allowed your mind to refocus, and you saw what you were missing." but I'm telling you, it was not there. It simply was not there.

Then it was.

Now, why would some higher power choose to manifest in an almost silly way? Presumably because he knows me ;-) Just as you are known, too.

Cricket said...

Gaston - Thanks for the visit. Yes, it was.

Shimp - Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5

Unknown said...

Great story...thanks for the smile.

Michelle H. said...

A wonderful perspective, and something I need to keep in mind no matter how hard it might be to see it in such a way sometimes. I wanted to comment on this post before now but I was without internet access for a bit.

Thumbelina said...

Aaah - one of my favourite words describes this.... serendipity. Just perfect.

Thank you for your visit at my place. A pleasant surprise!

Maria said...

Smile through it all and peace will be yours! Congrats on POTW mention.

Sueann said...

What a wonderful story!! And what an amazing God! He does have a great sense of humor...I mean look at some of the animals He has designed!!??!!
Congrats on your POTW award. Well deserved!

Boozy Tooth said...

Yep. I get slugged in the arm like that all the time. What a dandy post! Fun and wise and a great reminder to remember who's really in control.

Congratulations on being recognized by Hilary's Post Of The Week.

lime said...

back to say congrats ;)

big hair envy said...

Our pastor always reminds us that God has a wonderful sense of humor....can't wait to tell him your story!

Cricket said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Slommler, Alix, and Big Hair - Human creation is marvelous, yet at our best we create the Pyramids or the Parthenon. It takes a truly Divine mind to even conceive a sunset, or a platypus, or a fly-trap. I think the life cycle of the jellyfish is high comedy if you look at it right.

tattytiara said...

Yup. Done that. Weed whacker. Returned it because it was missing parts. Found the parts on the coffee table after I'd gotten home and assembled the new one.

Grayquill said...

Hillary sent me your way - And I am sure glad she did. Very funny post. I like your style.
Those lists the wife give us - I hate them. Usually I just sneak out so I can I avoid the H_ll list. Great writing!