It’s amazing how easy it is to jinx yourself. Sometimes, just the act of thinking you’re getting away with something manifests instant karma, resulting in a cosmic smack in the face. Other times, the irony can be more obvious.
Consider the case of “Darren” (not his real name), a family member who works for us from time to time as a delivery driver at our portable building business. Darren knows how to play to his strengths, and his strengths include complaining about his troubles and his aches and pains. Every scratch requires a “half kidding, full serious” comment about Workers Compensation. Every delivery job is a cause to recount the various and sundry calamities and potential injuries that caused the job to take twice as long as expected.
Darren drives a late-80’s model SUV with a humongous CB antenna on the top and handicapped plates. He keeps it full of “essentials”, including a five-gallon (100 lb.) bucket full of tools, a 90 quart (60 lb.) cooler, an over-sized (90 lb.) toolbox, a hard hat, and a myriad of CB Radio equipment. (He needs none of this to deliver a building.) When I say he “drives” this SUV, I use the term loosely. This vehicle has a spotty performance record, resulting in him borrowing one of our trucks as a regular mode of transportation. It never fails that when he returns the truck, it’s out of gas. As an extra, added bonus, the last time we picked up the truck from him the battery was dead in addition to the gas tank being empty.
I’m really not sure why his SUV has handicapped plates; when he works for us he ably loads and unloads buildings onto a trailer, tying them down, leveling them using a jack, cinder-blocks, and such… in other words, moderately strenuous activity.
Recently, he posted the following on Facebook; I’ve left his grammar and spelling intact:
I dont know what I did, I havent fallen, I dont remember anything hitting me, and no I havent been drinking but I swear it fells like my hip is broken I cant walk and it hurts like hell. What could I have done?
After a few days of complaining that he was unable to work, and being unable to return our truck, he posted this:
Ok I brokedown and went to the E.R. yesterday, it seems they think I have a penched nerve in my hip,the cyotic nerve, dont know if I spelled that right. But I still think something is broken. I wish I could get to Dallas I just dont trust thier equipment here. I broke my ankle in 2001and they kept telling me it wasnt broken and I may as well fill for disability, went to dallas 6 mo. later it was broken airight and a surgery later no more limp almost good as new. And the pain meds worked. These meds dont work and I think these Drs. for the most part just dont care—Quack, Quack. Mean while still in pain cant sleep or get comfertable and wasted my time.
Another trip to the doctor followed, confirming the Emergency Room’s diagnosis of sciatica. Darren is currently walking on crutches and taking pain medication. He shuffles and winces every few feet, and spends most of his days and nights resting or complaining on Facebook. And he has changed his tune about how this might have occurred; he now believes that it must have happened when he says he slipped on the gravel in our parking lot. Funny that he never complained about that before. My sweetheart’s theory is that it might have more to do with toting all of his “essential” tools and equipment from his vehicle to our truck.
Nevertheless, in a self-fulfilling prophecy, the handicapped plates on his SUV are now appropriate.