Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Kink in the Universe

Look at all of us who know what a Fraud Bomb is! My friend Connie says “Me, too” is a powerful affirmation of belonging to the human race. Thank you all for sharing.

Quite a while ago, I witnessed an astonishing example of how the universe can annihilate someone’s day. It was so supernatural, I’m repeating it here, and I bet you’ll laugh.

Years back, when I was a manager for Federal Express, part of my job involved going out on check rides with the couriers. The couriers would tell me about their regulars, about wild things that had happened, about life-or-death “saves” with speedy deliveries. They took a lot of pride in doing their jobs, and we had a good time.

One day, it was time to ride with Rick, so off we went on the airport delivery route.

As we pulled into the airport terminal, Rick unloaded his packages and headed inside. The airport was deserted – that midmorning, uninhabited wasteland kind of feel to it – and Rick strode over to an airline counter. As he approached, the agent disappeared into the back room, so Rick chose to stop at a different airline first. Pretty flexible, I thought, chooses the most efficient option.  He delivered the one package and turned back to the first counter. Eight people were now on line! Where had they come from? How did they get there so fast? Rick waited it out, obviously frustrated.

Afterwards, we got in the van and headed to the international terminal. Inexplicably, Rick’s ID card wouldn’t work in the electronic scanner; we had to wait for security to clear us. It was a big delivery – was that when the wheel on the hand truck rolled off? Rick had to haul the packages in separately. Two deliveries and his deliveries-per-hour had bitten the dust.

Finally, finished with the airport, we headed out. The road was pretty clear, not too many cars. Out of nowhere, a renegade car cut right in front of us and signaled for a left turn. Rick stopped quickly and then waited. (There was no room to go around.) Suddenly, cars FILLED the other lane; it could have been a funeral train. It went on forever. Finally, there was an opening...and the car in front stalled.
Rick turned to me and said, “Can you see it?”

Astonished, eyes gaping, I whispered, “Yes, what is it?”

“This,” he said, matter-of-factly, “is a kink in the universe. Things are not flowing, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. We’d do better just to stop for a while and wait it out.”

Now I had expected to observe a courier doing his rounds, not catch an eyewitness view of a cosmic phenomenon. But it couldn’t be denied: Coincidence couldn’t have been as devastating as this kink was. Any minute, someone was going to drop dead as they reached to sign for a package or an earthquake was going to swallow the van in a crack. Instead, customers and drivers just kept doing bizarre, unpredictable, incredibly inconvenient things right in front of us.

You can get up on the wrong side of the bed, you can imagine that things are simply not going your way; but Rick and I had witnessed something truly profound: The whole universe had ALIGNED to screw up Rick’s day. I was there; he had a witness. Nothing was catastrophic, and I’m inclined to think it wasn’t INTENTIONAL, but the events of the day were uniformly annoying to a scientifically astounding degree.

We pulled to the side of the road and waited.
Now, I should have thought of Rick as soon as every chore seemed to require a customer service live chat. Instead, I waded through an entire morning of cancellations, misprinted phone numbers, malfunctioning equipment, and absurd bad luck. It wasn’t until a receptionist told me the doctor was running behind and would have to reschedule my appointment that I realized what had happened. It was bigger than both of us. Calmly, courteously, and fully comprehending, I went home and took a nap.

When I woke up, the kink had passed.


  1. Was that today? Yesterday and today were filled with kinks for me! Thanks for the explanation!

  2. As I sprinted to the appliance store to replace our non-functioning refrigerator.

  3. ❤ this! A perfect explanation to ring in the new year!


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