Instant karma’s gonna get you

By Mike Murphy

I just got back from California.  And you know it wouldn’t be a bad drive at all if someone would just move that dang Nevada out of the way.  Northern Nevada is basically three towns connected by several hundred miles of dirt with an occasional bush one can view from a scenic turnout.  There is also a string of brothels which, apparently, Nevada has in place of rest areas.

After spending a night at Harrah’s in Reno, I decided that a gambling addiction is surely the worst addiction of all.  At least with alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs, a person feels good for a brief time so your money isn’t completely wasted.  Sexual addiction obviously has its upside and is curable since most of us guys went through it starting about the time we were 14 years old and here we are fifty years later completely clean.  But gamblers do not appear to be having any fun at all, except, of course, for those smoking, drinking, gambling, and having sex— all at the same time.

The hotel room was relatively cheap except for some annoying extra charges.  For example, they charged $1.50 for in-room coffee which I had never seen before and stubbornly refused to pay.  So I out- smarted them and, early next morning, hustled down 19 floors and bought Starbuck’s for $2.50.  Ha!

Leaving Nevada, we first had to pass through a California border protection station where they check for a variety of pests like bugs, weeds, diseases, Nevadans, etc.  I almost did not get in due to the fact I was an Idahoan with a head cold which Californians consider an invasive species.

After you cross into California, first thing you notice is all the beautiful scenery that you’re missing out on because you are surrounded by huge semis, SUVs, limos, etc., all traveling so fast that no one apparently can see the speed limit signs which are a blur.  Unaccustomed to such traffic, I stared straight ahead, clinching the wheel with both hands and my teeth trying to recall some of the prayers I had learned in kindergarten religion class.

Californians own something like 40 million vehicles, and how they all ended up on this same stretch of road on this particular early spring morning, seemingly competing in Death Race 2014, is beyond me.

First city I came to I pulled into a convenience store to use the bathroom which was located in a separate detached building.  Everywhere in California you have to get the key to unlock the bathroom because, for some reason, everyone in the state thinks he’s a gifted artist and there is graffiti all over.  I was told it is gang graffiti, but I thought gangs are crime syndicates, not some sort of arts and crafts club.  Someone said that the gang members are “marking their territory,” sort of like my dog when I take her for a walk in the park.

As I approached the store, the young Pakistani clerk ran out the door towards the restroom carrying the key and shouted, “I go bathroom.  You wait. You’re welcome!”

I have to admit that I was exposed to some new and very hip businesses while visiting California.  Top on my list is the drive-through Colon Hydrotherapy Center, sort of like fast food for the other end.   And my timing could not have been better as they were offering a “Spring Cleansing Special.”

Next to the colon center is Karma Psychic Boutique where you can “Connect with your loved ones on the other side.”  This service could be handy since you can ask them how the weather is, do I need to bring my big coat, do they accept VISA, etc.?

I was also intrigued by a profession referred to as Animal Intuitive or Pet Medium.  This individual claims that she can carry on a conversation with your pet and “understand his or her needs.”  She even offers to do this long distance, say, for example, if your pet iguana has a Twitter account.

Just to check it out, I had her ask my dog why she always sniffs other dogs’ butts instead of their heads when they meet.  The psychic told me that my dog exclaimed, “They have heads?!”  So I guess now I’m a believer.

Even the local farmers market offers some different features.  Along with locally grown turnips and mushrooms, you can get a Botox treatment while they bag your carrots or even liposuction to make room for a delicious homemade cinnamon roll.

Other unique services I discovered in California include tools for transformation, energy awareness exercises, my body wisdom, angel therapy, love’s art, etc.  Come to think of it, aren’t these the same services offered by the ladies working at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and other Nevada brothels?

Mike Murphy of Pocatello retired after a 35-year teaching and coaching career.  He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is an Associated Press award-winning columnist.