Saturday, April 1, 2023

Blog piece: Charlie and the karma chameleon

By Charlie Key

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time to grace the world with an epic rant. I have been knuckling down in the world of business and now the snow has given me a brief moment to write.

YourThurrock have been chasing up another article from me for some time and rather than send along a fancy-pants, jumped up graduate critique of all the cuts at Thurrock Council, I’ve decided to moan and whinge like Charlie does best instead.

No doubt you have looked at the title and instantly decided that I have lost the plot. This would be a reasonably fair assumption given my history. I’ve read my fair share of David Icke and when I was younger I had plans to flee to Iceland to escape the apocalypse. Unfortunately it was unforthcoming, and all that happened was a miniscule sea-level rise.

This week’s rant is about the week I’ve had, and the impact of karma on that week. I am a firm believer in karma, actions always have consequences and the glorious balance of the universe has surely had some impact of some kind on the luck I’ve had.

My week started on Monday (don’t sound too surprised) with my university graduation at Royal Festival Hall. I’ll post some pictures if you fancy a giggle.

Alongside wedding, funeral and buying your first car, graduation has got to be one of the milestones of your life and should be a day to remember. I won’t be forgetting it in a hurry. After some tense talks, (in which my graduation was not discussed), the RMT (London Underground Workers Union) decided to walk out of work on Sunday night. This was the first sign that things were not going to go entirely to plan.

Whilst conquering land, sea and air (a slight exaggeration) to get to the event on time, the karma situation rapidly worsened as the building was evacuated for a ‘security scare’. In this day and age ‘security scare’ can mean anything from a bomb scare to someone smoking indoors. Regardless it meant that I would be standing freezing on the south bank of the Thames for half hour in nothing more than a batman cape and a silly hat.

When I eventually managed to graduate, had my photo taken, shook hands with some important people, de-robed and parted company with about five years earnings for some photos and a novelty DVD, I was delirious about catching pizza for lunch.

After the fancy ceremony and enjoying a nice day out with the family, karma had really only taken a swing and missed, but that was while we could still see the ground.

From Tuesday onwards, I think everybody’s karma took a nosedive. I’d already booked Tuesday off work, half expecting a hangover (although this is neither the place nor time to talk about that) and so I avoided the first day of snow through sitting indoors, watching the chaos unfold around me.

Wednesday was when the week really got exciting; I finally had the chance to take the car out for a skate, which was always going to test my karma before any real drama was bound to occur. This isn’t a criticism of the council’s gritting policy, honest. I had driven cautiously and journeyed about a mile before my engine warning light switched on. Had karma struck again?

My engine was overheating, which really baffled me when the temperature was minus two, and checking under the bonnet my radiator fluid was empty. To make things worse, I’d let my RAC membership lapse in October, which was probably the action which started this chain of bad karma. I had to walk 700 yards to a petrol station to buy some radiator fluid which wasn’t cheap to start with, and was then informed by a nosy person/good citizen that it was cheaper at the petrol station up the road.

Perhaps he was an emissary from the gods of bad karma, sent to really test my patience. I responded with an elaborated version of “Thank you, I’ve just paid for it, go away.”

I hiked back to my car, bearing in mind some of the valuable lessons that Bear Grylls and Ray Mears had taught me, and refilled my radiator fluid. The car appreciated the TLC and delivered me to work and only a mere half hour late. The garage at work checked my car over and informed me that my radiator needed replacing as it was leaking; thankfully my karma had been restored as I was rewarded with a cheeky staff discount.

My karma continued to sway through the bad and good throughout the week. It just might have got the better of me this time, but next week I’ll strike back.

This is the point where I say that life is so unfair and how depressing my world is, but in all honesty, without a little karma shakedown every now and then life would be mundane.

While writing, a friend just told me “it’s not karma, its life”, I’m itching with excitement, I can’t wait for tomorrow!


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