Karma Cleanser - August 17 2005
Will it come back to bit you?
Dear Karma Cleanser:
My favorite Chinese restaurant is a real dive, not the kind of place you'd expect to serve some of the best Hot 'n' Sour soup in this city. I took a group of friends there recently on a Saturday night, and before our meal was served I excused myself for the restroom. In the ladies room, I was horrified to see a large flying insect crawling up the mirror. I'm not even sure what it was. I hurried and got out of there before investigating further. Back at the table, my friends asked why I looked so rattled. I started to tell them about the bug, but then I stopped myself. This was their first time coming to the restaurant, which I had been bragging on for months. I didn't want them worried that their food might be crawling with insects; the bathroom is very near the kitchen. My soup was just as hot and delicious as ever, but I couldn't enjoy it. I worry now that I can't ever go back to that particular restaurant because I didn't tell my friends the whole story.
-- Unfortunate Cookie
Buddhists believe that all life is sacred, and to intentionally kill even an insect is to risk bad karma. The Karma Cleanser can't always concur. We say you should have squashed Mothra and then told your tablemates about it. Maybe they would have never ventured back to Happy Family Hole-in-the-Wall, but at least you would have prevented some other poor sap from ending up with an eight-legged wonton in his soup.