Karma Cleanser - June 29 2005

Dear Karma Cleanser: I was lying on the beach and then suddenly found myself doing mouth-to-mouth CPR on a drowning victim, who thanked me by vomiting in my mouth. She came out of her coma in three days and was fine. After that episode 15 years ago, I became a paramedic. I was never told of the consequences of continually coming into contact with people who are experiencing the worst karma of their lives. Now I'm wondering if bad karma is contagious like a cold.

My ex-wife told me that she was leaving me for a bigger house. She does the world news report and was stressed that a paramedic who earns almost $13 an hour could not provide her with a home that she would feel comfortable bringing her "news" friends over to. My aquatics business is going down faster than a presidential intern, my house is about to be foreclosed on, and I haven't had a decent dating prospect in three years.

Can anything clean up my bad karma? Is there any way to stop me from spreading this around or should I try to make some extra cash by being a "karma hit man"??
?Smell It Coming

It's a good thing bad karma is not contagious - otherwise all doctors, firemen and IRS auditors would live cursed and joyless lives. Your troubles instead stem from poor choices. Your first mistake: a thankless occupation. Second: marrying a journalist (trust us, it's not worth the drama). And finally, expecting the Karma Cleanser to plug your sinking scuba safety business. We suggest you stop trying to save everyone else's lives and instead focus on saving your own.

Dear Karma Cleanser: ?My flight to L.A. was late and full of pushy passengers eager to?leave. Everyone was angry at the lack of overhead storage space. An?elderly man in front of me was trying to shove his attaché case into?an already full compartment, and was holding up the aisle. I decided?to help him by moving another suitcase to the side, but once I grabbed?it he shoved his case in harder and jammed my fingertip in the gap.?Now I have a blue (and possibly broken) finger, and the flight didn't?take off any earlier.?How's that for karma? I guess no good deed goes unpunished.?
?Checking My Luggage

You did right by trying to help the old guy, but you're wrong for?pointing the proverbial finger at karma. Playing Good Samaritan?usually comes at a greater personal price than we'd like. Your?battered digit will earn you double bonus miles down the road. Let's?just hope the fingernail doesn't come off, because that's really?gross.