You start your bank holiday with a mission, go to Ikea and get that closet you have had in your mind for the last two days.

Next step a good sushi lunch with friends.

Day is going pretty well, isn’t it?

Then karma bites.

My mother gives me a call to ask me for help with a broken faucet. Sounds simple enough. I’ll go there after lunch to fix it, in the meantime can you run to the store and buy a new one?

Goodbyes are said, and I get on my trusty Volkswagen. Traffic is light and I actually relax while I make the way to my mother’s place nice and easy.

Until my car’s clutch grabs the floor. This isn’t happening now…

I pulled over and took a deep breath, managed to get the car running again and tried not to switch gears much. Pulling the pedal up every once in a while to keep it running. Not the best experience.

Arriving at my Mother’s place, I turn into the Honorary Super Mario. Minus the accent, the outfit, the knowledge on how plumbing works, and the cool powers. You get the idea, 100% Super Mario except for … everything.

When I arrive I find out that the pipes that came with the new faucet aren’t long enough to reach the water pipes. Fantastic.

A bit more tinkering to figure out how to install the faucet and I discover that the previous amateur plumber, hence forth known as le artiste, left tools stuck in place. Not kidding. There was actually wrench adaptor stuck in place, that le artiste had used in a screw that was slightly smaller and got twisted beyond any repair inside the adaptor.

You have got to be kidding me…

Quick trip to the store and we buy new pipes, get back and finish installing everything. It works, victory! Back to the car …

The key turns but the gears don’t. Fuck.

Some patience and the engine starts, first gear, second, it’s working… slow and steady I make my way back to Lisbon.

This was an exercise in strategic driving, trying to use the gear box as little as possible. Everything is going well(ish), until I have to break to avoid colliding with the cars stuck in traffic. Engine dies and the gear box locks.

Thank goodness the guy behind me was an amateur motivational speaker. Who honked his horn as much as he could to scare my car’s gear box to magically work again.

I made it home. Can we call it a day and stop with the Karma cheap shots?

avatar Bruno Amaral
Bruno Amaral

I am a Digital Strategist, divided between tech and creativity, working for the Lisbon Collective and teaching Public Relations at the …