“Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me”
(From the television show Hee Haw)
The outside faucet was dripping. So, I tightened the knob . . . after all, that is what a person is supposed to do when the faucet drips—you tighten the knob. The knob then went from a drip to a stream. Was told I need to replace the parts inside the faucet. Went to get the parts and found out that they no longer make the parts . . . I am still trying to figure out when I ticked off the faucet gods.
In my attempt to figure out when I ticked off the faucet gods, I decided to get a beer to make the matter a little more spiritual. When to the refrigerator in the garage where I keep the beer . . . there was no beer. Contemplating such theological matters as drippy faucets is not a matter for wine . . . even though I was doing plenty of whining. Such matters are left to the spiritual practices of crying in one’s beer . . . but, there was no beer. Now, I had to contemplate when in the world did I tick off the beer gods.
I thought I would sit in the living room in my recliner. Went to turn on the light and the bulb blew with a mighty pop. I stood in darkness as I stumbled to find a light bulb . . . yep, you guessed it . . . no light bulbs anywhere in the house. So, I returned to my recliner, sat in the dark, without a beer, and contemplated . . . when did I tick off the gods of the faucet, the gods of the beer, and the gods of the light bulbs?
Such heavy theological discernment weighed heavily upon my mind . . . made it hurt . . . but, somehow I fell asleep. Waking several hours later I thought I had better go to bed before the wife realized I wasn’t there . . . turns out she never gave it a thought . . . guess I am high on her list of priorities! But, waking several hours later, I jumped out of the recliner and stepped directly on one of the family dogs. She started yelping. This woke the other dog who started barking. I started yelling. Soon the whole house was awake and everyone was ticked off at me for waking them all up. Woes me, another set of gods ticked off.
Four sets of gods ticked off . . . I was on a roll. So, I went to bed . . . or at least I got into bed . . . and laid there. I laid there and watched the ceiling fan spin round and round . . . I watched the digital glow-in-the-dark alarm clock change with each minute . . . I listened to the dogs snore . . . I listened to the wife snore. I tossed and turned. It is no fun ticking off four sets of gods . . . no cake walk upsetting the karma of the known world. There I laid until thirty minutes before I had to get up to go to work . . . I slept through the alarm . . . got up a whole hour later than normal. I was running late! The gods of sleep were playing tricks on me . . . oh no! Another set of gods were mad!
Running an hour behind makes one do stupid things. I took an ice cold shower because I couldn’t wait for the water to get hot. I sped to work, much to the chagrin of the Montana Highway State Patrol who gave me a ticket for my efforts. Got to work late, missed a meeting, and forgot my keys. At lunch, they screwed up my order. Everyone was grumpy towards me. Nothing I did was right. The whole day long I felt out of place and wondering what in the world did I do to deserve such luck.
The drive home was not much better. Traffic was the worse I had seen in months . . . had to wait for a train . . . got behind a granny from Wyoming (the worse possible combination in the world) . . . near missed three deer . . . and, was stopped by the local yokel and given a warning for not slowing down entering town! Four members of the church walked by while I was waiting for my warning. Pulled into the driveway and saw water running down the street from our house . . . the drippy faucet was now a full-fledged tsunami. I wondered how many gods of bad luck I had thoroughly ticked off in less than twenty-four hours.
Life was looking pretty bleak. The sound track of my life was of the Hee Haw crew singing Gloom and Despair . . . especially that part about “if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.” The saddest part of it all was that I forgot to stop and get some beer!
The truth be told . . . outside of the drippy faucet, none of this really happened. That does not mean that I have not been having my run of bad luck lately . . . because I have. You name it and I probably come close to it when it comes to bad luck. It is like there is some sort of conspiracy against me . . . like all the gods of life got together and started plotting against me. Some sort of bad karma. Yet, that is the Keener mantra . . . if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.
Now, I believe in only one God . . . to tell you the truth, that is all the God I can handle. There are not lots of miniscule gods out there in the world plotting against me . . . though it sure makes a good excuse. There is no karma . . . I am not paying for past rights and wrongs against others . . . no, I just made some dumb choices and the consequences of those choices are coming back to bite me in the butt. Karma? Naw, just stupid decisions. Being in control of my destiny . . . I wish. I feel good if I put on matching socks in the morning (which isn’t too difficult when one only owns white and black socks). I don’t think we make our own luck. The reason I don’t think that we make our own luck is because—as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous—poop happens. Seems I have been stepping in it a lot lately.
Yet . . . I am still here. I have not run away (though, at times, that sure sounded like a good idea). I have not quit . . . though the thought passed through. I have not blamed others . . . though there are a few people I would love to blame. Nope, I have stuck to where I have been placed . . . even without the beer . . . and, I have waited for the consequences. Sure, it makes me worry, but I am not alone in my waiting . . . God is with me. God is with me no matter what the consequences might be. God understands me . . . knows that if it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. God is with me . . . and, this amazes me.
Amazes me because I would have thrown in the towel a long, long time ago . . . cut my losses; but God sticks with me. For that I am thankful. I just hope I don’t go and tick off the one God I do believe in. At this point in my life . . . if I can’t afford to tick off the gods I don’t believe, I surely do not want to do it to the one that I do believe in. Oh, gloom and despair . . . is it really about luck or just another day in our lives?