Dear Karma Cleanser:
For five or six months, I have been planning a trip with a group of three friends. As the date of our trip approached, I began to realize that we all saw the vacation in a different light. I wanted a nice and relaxing week at the beach, with no cellphone and no schedule. Another guy going on the trip, a friend who drinks gin-and-tonics for breakfast, wanted this to be a week of partying and bar-hopping. And the other two wanted us to spend our week doing architectural tours, stuff that doesn't interest me in the least.
I had paid for our hotel room on my credit card and my friends had planned to pay me back once we arrived there. But two weeks before the trip, I fell down at my office and injured my ankle.
I want to know if this was karma punishing me for not looking forward to my vacation. Also, how can I get the other three to pay me back for the room now that I'm not going on the trip anymore?
-- Twisted Sister
Punishing you? Sounds to us like karma was helping you get out of what was shaping up to be a truly horrific holiday. A sprained ankle surely isn't any fun, but neither is a week of forced gaiety with Lushy the Clown and the Tedious Twosome. Be glad you got a last-minute reprieve. As for the money, are you sure your credit card has already been charged? Most hotels don't ring up the final bill until the day of check-out, giving your friends plenty of time to pony up cash for themselves.
Dear Karma Cleanser:
(In response to "Am I a Hypocrite?" July 18): I have a few words for the person who turned in the guy for smoking pot and yelling at his child in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Where do you get off deciding what's right and wrong, or how this person should live?
You have no idea what kind of shit this man has to deal with in his home life, or what was going through his mind at the time your paths crossed. You don't know whether or not he's a good parent the rest of the time. Isn't it possible that you just caught him on a really bad morning?
-- Cannabis Action Advocate
Every parent has moments with his children that he'd rather not have captured on tape and posted on YouTube for the whole world to see, just as most of us would agree that what happens in the privacy of our homes should, ideally, stay there. But the man in question was not only breaking a law in public, he was also making a spectacle of himself by being a jerk to an (apparently) innocent child. Not much of a hero for free speech or the unrestricted pursuit of personal liberties, if you ask us.
Been bad? firstname.lastname@example.org.