Instructions on how to redeem tickets to The Your Tour.


The Column

Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me

I used to have insanely good luck. I find money, I guess numbers that you're thinking of, and I spent a childhood in New York City without ever getting mugged, jumped, or even looked at funny. But my luck may have finally run out. Quick, think of a number. Seven! No? Damn.

I always imaged if someone told me that my luck just ran out, it'd be a guy in pinstripes mowing me down with a tommy gun. Instead, it's everyone I tell about my car trouble. The world seems to agree that I'm insanely lucky when it comes to everything but cars.

I was first hit from behind after braking to avoid another guy a week after I bought a car – I wrote about that. A few months later, I totaled my car swerving to avoid a police officer parked on the interstate – I wrote about that, too. But since then, two incidents so mind-boggling have happened that I wanted to save them for a special "I shouldn't ever touch a car again" edition of Observational Humor.

I'll write about the easier one first. While at a full stop on the customs line on the way into Canada last week, I was hit from behind by a guy on a cell phone. He was somehow angry at me – that I had the nerve to interrupt his call by asking him for his insurance information. I'm currently in the middle of filing a claim.

The other one is a bit more insane. I flew home for a week in November and rented a car, leaving mine with a mechanic to get checked out. I was driving home at 2AM one night and stopped before making a right turn at a red light – perfectly legal in LA. Before I completed the turn, a guy on a bike drove into the side of my car.

How ridiculous is that? It gets worse. The guy grabbed at his shoulder and said it he slammed it on the hood. Which would have been impressive because he never fell off his bike. Just incase he did fall off his bike and got back on while I blinked, he was also holding the wrong shoulder – he hit me with his right side facing the car, and he was holding his left shoulder.

I suggested we call the police and get him immediate medical attention, and he backed off a bit, which made me follow through with the call. EMS said he was fine and the cops cited him for riding a bike on the sidewalk and riding at night without a light. They also listed him at fault for the accident. But somehow I got a call this week saying he still insists it was me.

The rental company assured me I had nothing to worry about. But they're wrong. I have something to worry about every time I start the engine – I have to worry that the guy behind me has no brakes or that there's a cop parked in the interstate or I might get attacked by a scam artist with a bike. I have to worry that the insanely good luck I've had my entire life isn't there when I'm behind a wheel. And I have to worry about coming up with a column idea that doesn't involve steel being crumpled.

One the plus side, none of these incidents happened when another person was in the car – but maybe that's just someone up there screwing with me. These accidents don't hurt anyone – reporting them just embarrasses me to death.

Only once have I demonstrated actual skill behind the wheel. When I rented a car in Baltimore, they forgot to give me one with brakes. So while turning off the interstate going 50, I turned off the interstate going 50. I somehow found a space between two pylons and I coasted to a stop on the dirt. I was okay, and the company didn't make me pay for the rental, unless you count almost soiling myself as payment.

I've avoided one accident and gotten into four others. And it's only been four months since I started driving. Sure, I drive five thousand miles a month. But this is still ridiculous.

At least I have not yet gotten a speeding ticket – that luck is holding up. I was pulled over once, and I told the officer that it was the first time I'd used cruise control, and I didn't realize it made you go faster on hills. He told me that I should be careful using cruise, as it could go anywhere from one to ten miles faster than I originally set it.

I guess seven.

*Kings vs. Sports Illustrated
*Paris Hilton is No Mother Theresa
*Putting the "Fan" in "Fanatic"
*Thinking Man: Happy New Year
*I'm Listening
*Punky Brewster Scares Me
*Don't Get Smart With Me
*Checking Out a Check Up
*Yeah, Thanks
*Steve Hofstetter is Your Friend
*Post Halloween Wrap-Up
*My Letter to Me
*The Night the Heat Went Off
*Turn That Crap Off
*You Might Be a Redhead If
*To My Future Children
*Shine Your Shoes, Mista?
*Flying Forward
*DotCom Dating Dish
*Paging Paige Page
*Watch While You Eat
*You Have Got to Be Kidding Me
*Come Home, Rachel I. K'Benjamin
*Get Out Of My Bathroom
*Subway Going Under
*Driving Forces
*Singles Anonymous
*Know When to Fold Em
*The Mirth of America
*Also Known As
*Smooth Criminal
*What That Mass Email Really Said
*Dude, Where's Your Car?
*Thinking Man: Can't We All
*You Might Be a Redneck
*A Nice Hawaiian Punch
*100,000 Friends
*Mine is Bigger Than Yours
*Good Answer
*T Stands for Terrible
*I Love You Guys
*Mitch, All Gone
*Birth of a Hate Mail Archive
*Never Do Today What...Ooh, Shiny
*Can You Hear Me Now?
*Fast Food, Slow Digestion
*Homeland Security, Eh?
*Quality Training Purposes
*The Show Went On
*Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
*Putting My Foot Down
*Breaking the Chain Mail
*Happy Valmochrismaweenygiving
*Mr. Clean's Illegitimate Brother
*The Quest For 10,000 Friends
*Forgetting Paris
*Magnetically Challenged
*New Year's at the Barefoot Boogie
*Instant Carma's Gonna Get Me
*The Biggest Loser
*Steve vs. Kentucky
*Gone in a Flash
*How to Destroy Your Car
*Ghouls, Goblins, and Candidates
*My Freedom From Your Freedom
*Drive Unto Others
*Please Don't See This Movie
*I Love The Clip Shows
*Column of Atonement
*Happy Anniversary, Sugarhill
*Life, 9/11, and the Interstate
*Your Band Sucks
*Spending Wisely
*The Blind Dating the Blind
*Grilled Cheese With a Side of Hip Hop
*The Drive to 25
*Are You There Margaret? It's Me, God.
*Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House
*Seacrest! Out!
*Harder Than You Think
*Glad To Be Here
*Thought for Food
*Feeding the Meter
*She's Ready For Her Close Up
*Paging John Hughes
*Excusing America's Gas Problem
*Extra, Extra, Extra Long Time
*The Finals Countdown
*Your Friends and Mine
*The Future Mrs. Bueller
*Toasting Not Toasting
*A Tall Order
*Snaking Your Engine
*My Hair is the Color of Tomato Soup
*The Solace System
*You Say Potato
*It’s Getting Less Cold in Here
*This is Not a Virus
*Pitchers and Catchers
*Another Night Not at the Movies
*Higher and Higher
*To Write A Wrong
*They Call it Super for a Reason
*Imagine All the People
*Lost Wages, Nevada
*This Just In
*Why Are All My Stands Red?
*For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls
*Silent One Day Sale, Holy One Day Sale
*I Want To Be That Guy
*Felicity Doesn't Always Mean Happiness
*That Time of Year
*My Cranberry Sauce Looks like a Can
*The Legend of Fat Dead Steve
*Two Beldings in One Building
*Happy Halloween From Happy Valley
*Three Stations and Nothing On
*15 Shots of Nostalgia
*Here's To the Dancing Guy
*Teaching an Old Dog New Sticks
*If You Could Choose Just One Dumb Question...
*Obligatory Pun on The Word Tired
*I've Grown Accustomed to Your Wet Nose
*What Do You Want For Your Birthday?
*What a Long, Strange Trip
*Open Letter to My UPS Man
*That Better Be Your Foot
*The Abandoned Lot is Always Greener
*Putting Down the Pieces
*Take One Down, Pass It Around
*Here, You Throw This Away
*Being Green at the Box Office
*Who Wears Short Shorts?
*America is an Okay Place to Be
*You Can't Stop the Rain
*Don't Feed the Alpha Males
*Don’t Sweat It
*The Special Plate Blues
*You Deserve It
*The Return to Popcopy
*They're Real, and They're Spectacular
*Keeping Your Prom Misses
*Guerillas in Our Midst
*That Weird No Bread Holiday
*The Ballad of the Buttless
*Something About Being Twenty-Something
*Have You Seen My Cell Phone?
*War, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For?
*Leggo My Ego
*I'm a Spazz, You're a Spazz
*Can I Please Keep My Pants?
*Engaged in Conversation
*Welcome to PopCopy
*Hold Me Closer, Tiny Bathroom
*My Two-Bedroom Furbee
*All’s Fare in Love and Daytona
*Open? Shut Them
*I Am Everyday Pimple
*Here Comes the Judge Show
*When, Praytell, Were The Days of Auld Lang Syne?
*What Are You Up To This Weekend?
*The Waiting is the Hardest Part
*A Night Not at the Movies
*Funny, You Don’t Look Flu-ish
*Does This Baby Come With Airbags?
*When The Hogan Family Was Still Valerie
*Blue (Haired) Tuesday
*In Loco Parents
*Moving Is Like A Vaccuum: It Sucks
*Thou Shalt Not Save the World and Get the Girl
*Like Oil and Stuff That Hates Oil
*How to Get Hatemail
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*Fungi, Octopi, What’s the Plural of Bus? (Part I
*It Happens to the Best of Us
*Talking To A Piece of Junk Mail
*When You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
*ICFS Disorder and Celebrity Kid Growth
*Electricity and Other Things They Cut Off
*When Pigeons Fly
*Goodbye, New York, Goodbye
*La La La-la La La, Sing a Happy Song
*What To Do at Work Besides Work
*Why is This Column Different From All Others?