ROFL: Random Outbursts From Lar!


The Flea Market Curse: Karma in Action

Karma knows no mercy.

Like any force of nature, there is no reasoning with it. Karma acts upon you and you can't fight it or make it let up any more than you can beg gravity to cut you a break when you're about to fall on your ass. 

Many times I've witnessed karmic punishment bearing down on people, and even though they fully deserve it, a tiny part of my soft heart feels sorry for them. I would make a horrible cop. "You say this is the first time you've ever done drugs? Well, okay then, but next time, I mean it, you're going to be in big trouble!"

I began this rambling meditation on karma while I was sitting at a flea market, failing to rid myself of my junk, wondering what I had done to deserve such mind-crushing boredom. I didn't care how much money I made, all I wanted was to move the stuff on to someone else and delay its ultimate destiny in a landfill, helping pollute our planet.

The whole flea market experience was painful. Preparing my wares for sale was a total drag. I had to pack everything up neatly, load it into the car then unload it onto the grass. Then I had to sit there and wait. And wait. I suppose I could have just left the junk there, but that would be irresponsible. I had created the demand, I wanted to complete the cycle and feed back into the supply.

After several hours of wasting a beautiful day, barely anything sold, and then it was time to pack up all the crap, stuff it in the car and unload it back into my house where it takes up room, doing nothing to this very moment.

Personified karma was laughing in my face! "You wanted this stuff, sucka! Here you go! Enjoy! Take more! Now you can't get rid of it! Mwaa ha ha!" Karma is apparently passive-aggressive and sounds vaguely like a gangsta rapper.

But I meant no harm! Did I really deserve karma's wrath just because I went through a Pez-dispenser collection phase? Or thought a Fitness Flyer really was a deal too good to be true? Or was impressed with the many uses of the Snuggie? Those damn infomercial people seemed so happy, I had to join in. Yet the happiness wore off quickly and all I want now is to get rid of these things, but no one wants them! So they take up space and linger. Woe to me!

I wonder if there would be any environmental problems if we were all damned by The Flea Market Curse.

The good news is, we are. The bad news is we live like we aren't. Most people throw stuff in the trash and never question how it miraculously vanishes. Meanwhile, a landfill nearby is reaching capacity, polluting their drinking water, sending back karmic retribution in a chain of events so obscure no one could possibly trace them all. Then when our water and/or land is polluted we cry, "Why has god (or fate) done this to us?" We never dare to consider blaming ourselves, even in part. None dare call it karma.

The Flea Market Curse teaches us to think in reverse. Want to stop hazardous input? Prevent output. Want to make people buy less junk? Forbid them to throw out what they buy. Want people to use less water? Let their drainage run only once a week. Want people to use less gas? Reroute exhaust pipes into the car. Want them to stop eating so much? Sew their buttholes shut. And so on.

Too extreme? Maybe, but it's all food for thought. Better we brainstorm now rather than later, because no one escapes karma.

Larry Nocella writes The Semi-True Adventures of Lar blog at He's the author of the novel Where Did This Come From? The world's first CarbonFree(R) novel according to The book is available on as a paperback and Kindle eBook. It is also available for other eBook readers.