Can we get someone on this, already…

17 02 2009

I’d like to take a moment to address the world’s scientists and inventors, if I could.

Hey guys.  How’s it going?  I realize you guys lead a stressful life, what with everyone expecting to solve all the worlds super hard problems.  From climate change, diseases, and natural disasters, to automotive safety, communications, and entertainment, we, the regular folks, look to you to discover creative new solutions to all of life’s hardships.  And these problems are ridiculoulsy tough.  I mean, I have a college degree, and I’ll be honest, I only barely understand how electricity works.  Yet we all expect you guys to use electricity to not only power my car and television, but operate my pacemaker so I don’t die of heart disease at 31 and shit?  Tough gig.

So, understanding how tough your workload is, I’m not here to ask for much.  In fact, the rest of that crap can get put way on the back burner, as far as I’m concerned.  Global warming?  It’s freezing in my room right now, let that shit heat up!  Cure for cancer?  Take your time.  Flying cars?  I’ll ride my bike.

But could you please…please…PLEASE create a Taco Bell hot sauce packet that doesn’t PROJECTILE SPRAY THE SAUCE AT A 90 DEGREE ANGLE WHEN I TRY TO PUT IT ON MY BURRITO SUPREME.  Seriously, it’s annoying.  I can’t eat Taco Bell anymore without covering everything in a 2 foot radious around myself in hot sauce.  My poor laptop has been on the receiving end of more spicy-flavored money shots than a porn star’s ass.  I just want the sauce to go…gently…from the packet, to the tip of my burrito.  That is all.

Thank you.

Warning: Contents Under Extreme Pressure!

Warning: Contents Under Extreme Pressure!

Everything really does happen for a reason…

7 01 2009

Do you ever feel as if some All-Controling force is manipulating the events of your life?  Guiding you to the places you are supposed to be, narrowly rescuing you from horrific events, basically just shaping your life so that it snaps together like a very complex, beautiful, but ultimately meaningful Lego set?  Do you believe the old cliche, “Everything happens for a reason?”

I do.

I didn’t used to believe this.  People would tell me things happen for a reason all the time, and I thought they were idiots.  Things don’t happen for a reason, I would reply.  Things just happen, and we react to them as best as we are able.  The human ability to squeeze even the smallest, most indirectly related positive effect from even the most horrific events is, in my mind, one of the most amazing aspects of our race.  We “make lemonade from lemons,” if I can use the cliche that could be considered the opposite of the one above.  It is this remarkable mental trick that makes it appear to many of us that life is following the design of some grand plan.  Or so I thought.

But today changed all that.  Today something occured to me…or, rather, didn’t occur…that made me realize that things DO  happen for a reason.  That somewhere…”out there”…a force is guiding us, looking out for us, protecting us from harm.  You see, something should have happened to me today.  An event, so horrific, so mind-numbingly shocking, so brutal on an emotional, intellectual, and yes, even spiritual level, that its occurrence in my life would have snapped my sanity in twain like a rotten board.  The devastation would have been so great, I would have at the very least surely killed myself, or even more dramatically, become some sort of Marvel Universe-esque super villain, unleashing the rage caused by my shattered psyche onto unsuspecting civilians and costumed super heroes alike.  If I may, I would like to share the chain of events that allowed me to dodge my date with a devastating destiny.

Alliteration is fun, sometimes.

Today, as I was driving back from work, I decided my stomach was hungry for some Taco Bell.  Now Taco Bell, along with White Castle, chocolate covered bacon, and Martha Stewart, is one of those things that always polarizes people.  You either love it a lot, or you hate it a lot, and there is no in between.  Interestingly, my relationship with The Bell has always drifted back in forth every few months.  Like summer gently giving way to the fall, and fall eventually succumbing to winter, my appetite for completely fake Mexican fast food would move away from complete and utter disgust and quietly become a craving I couldn’t explain.  Right now, we are in craving season.  I needed Burrito Supremes in my belly…stat.

A thing I always like about Taco Bell, regardless of how you feel about their food: it’s cheap.  Seriously, I don’t know if the price of the food is in keeping with the Mexican theme of the place, or if the owners are running some sort of weird government scam that I can’t comprehend, either way, the prices at The Bell are ridiculous.  I have never…and I mean NEVER…purchased an order there that was over $5.  It literally doesn’t matter how many B-Supremes I order, or how many other people I have with me, and how many tacos or gorditas they order…the price isn’t going above $5.  Once, just to see if it could be done, I ordered ten of EVERY SINGLE ITEM on the menu.  The total still only came to $4.97.  Once…ONCE…I saw the person ahead of me in line have a total of $7.63…but I then saw that they weren’t ordering food, they were buying the actual restaurant.

Taco Bell is dirt cheap, is what I am saying.

So I’m waiting to order my food, and suddenly I have this weird…I don’t know what to call it.  Premonition, maybe.  Or cosmic vision.  Whatever it was, I suddenly had the unexplainable idea that I needed to double check and make sure I had my wallet with me.  Why wouldn’t I have my wallet with me?  I bring it everywhere…it sits in my trusty backpack whenever I leave the house.  I normally would never doubt that my wallet would be there, ready to provide me with my magic check card that purchases the Burrito Supremes.  But today, I did.  I needed to check, before I ordered.  So I did, and you know what?

Yeah, you know.

My wallet wasn’t there!  What the hell? I thought to myself.  How could I forget my wallet?  Having no form of payment currently on my person, I was forced to take the neccessary but somewhat embarrasing step of driving away from the drive-thru without ordering.

So where was my wallet?  On the Taco Bell-less drive home, I realized: I had played cards at the bar the night before, had my wallet in my coat pocket, and then deposited it on the mess that is my dresser upon arriving home.  Then, having been unusually tired when I awoke at the depressing time of 6:15 in the a.m. for work this morning, I had neglected to bring it with me.

At home, I confirmed this.  There was my wallet, empty of cash at the moment, but containing the magic card that would have allowed me to fill my belly with delicious fake meat, fake lettuce, fake other stuff I can’t identify, and Fire sauce.  Mmmm…Fire sauce.

So.  Fast forward to a few hours later.  I am checking my bank balance online, which I do every few days because this is how I keep track of my funds.  You are clucking your tongue, disapprovingly at me now, that I don’t sit and balance my check book like a normal person.  But I did this for years, and still had trouble keeping my balance correct and above zero.  Now I just let the website do it.  I have direct deposit at work, and my check card transactions are posted very quickly, so ultimately, the website always has a closer idea of what my account balance looks like than I ever would, even with studious balancing.  The only thing that occasionally screws this system up is checks.  Checks take FOREVER to be posted on the website, because they aren’t taken from my account until someone bothers to cash them, sometimes weeks later.  I have solved this dilemma by basically never writing checks: I pay all my bills online and use the card everywhere.  My checkbook mostly collects dust in my drawer somewhere.

However, when I went to check my balance today, expecting to still be pretty well in the black, I was horrified to see that I was actually $14 in the hole.  How did this happen?  The culpret: a couple of weeks ago I had used a check…the first in months.  What for is unimportant…let’s just say hookers and blow for the sake of argument.  And since  it’s a well known fact that whores aren’t allowed to have bank accounts, and also that they are terrible procrastinators in terms of taking care of their business paperwork, the check that I had forgotten I had written had only today been posted to my account, sucking away all the precious monies I thought I had.

So, I’m pissed.  It’s not a life-ending problem, obviously, but an annoying one, expecially with a trip to Vegas looming in my very near future.  I’m stewing about my own stupidity and the stupidity of non-check cashing sex workers when I suddenly realize something.  I flash back…to earlier in the day…sitting in line at The Bell…my wallet missing…having to pull away…and then…I realize…I understand…I see…if I hadn’t forgotten my wallet this morning…if I had had my wallet with me today, when I went to get my B. Supremes…no cash in the wallet…I order…no cash…I see this event play out in my mind, clear as if I was living it…I hand the pimply faced teen worker my card…my card…for the $2.76 order…the card…he’s turning back to me now…he is confused…I realize…I see now…if I hadn’t forgotten my wallet…

My check card would have been declined at Taco Bell.

Think of it.  Allow your mind, to embrace the horror, if you can bear it.  Imagine Pimply Faced Teenager, turning to you, his voice apologetic but his manner dripping with scorn: “I’m sorry sir, but you card has been declined.”

Declined.  I’m sorry sir.  You don’t have enough money to eat at Taco Bell.


You see now?  My forgetting my wallet, which at the time seemed a royal disappointment, saved me.  Saved us all, really.  For as sure as the sun rises in the morning, I tell you that if I had to suffer the indignity of having my card declined at TACO FUCKING BELL, I would have ripped Holy Hell through town.  The casualties would have been enormous.

So go forth, and the next time someone tries to tell you that things don’t happen for a reason, tell them.  Tell them my story, of check cards, online bank statements, and faux-Mexican food.  Tell them to heed the subtle warnings given to them by the mysterious life river that is Fate.  For when the Taco “YOUR CARD HAS BEEN DECLINED” Bell tolls, it tolls for thee.