I generally don’t believe in curses, or wishes fulfilled magically. However, I do know not to tempt fate, or realize when my moral compass is pointing me away from danger. In fact, I was first introduced to those ideas by my high school friend, Marty. He loved the TV show, Tales From The Crypt. One episode we watched, that stands out in my memory: Season 7, Episode 4, titled Last Respects.
The episode’s plot was loosely based on the 1902 horror short story written by W.W. Jacobs, The Monkey’s Paw. An old fakir placed a spell on mummified monkey’s paw which would grant three wishes to the owner but only with hellish consequences as punishment for tempting with fate.
Lemme tell ya about my monkey’s paw experience oh-so-long-ago in a town of Issaquah, Washington …
My Monkey’s Paw appeared as a 5 dollar bill. In the early 2000’s I was a gym rat to reach fitness goals, avoid commuter traffuck, and many more reasons. My metabolism was at an all-time high.
I would drive to the nearest grocery store which was a Quality Food Center (QFC), as an anchor store so there were many others stores such as a Starbucks Coffee Store. I bought some breakfast from the self checkout kiosk. As I reached for my receipt, I noticed a $5 bill in the tray below.
I thought, “Oh cool, free latte for me today.”
The nearby Starbucks was busy as always. I politely waited in line to order, afterwards I waited for the baristas to finish it. I surveyed the patrons before and after me in line to gauge my wait time or at least know when my coffee should be ready.
An unusual amount of time lapse, so I approached the counter. They overlooked my coffee, made it for me immediately, and handed over a FREE COFFEE coupon for the inconvenience.
<a few days later … >
I skipped QFC, and went straight to Starbucks instead. I was armed with my FREE COFFEE coupon from my earlier incident. The Starbucks was busy, they made another mistake, gave another coffee, and FREE COFFEE coupon.
What a lucky day! I have found an never-ending stream of free coffee, I thought.
I happily started work. Then my day really turned to shit. I received a counseling notice for a mistake. Even spilled some of my coffee on my keyboard and slack to add insult to injury.
I hadn’t realize that this wasn’t coincidence, yet. Keyword: yet.
I didn’t finish my coffee until I was on the road home. With now cold coffee in my hand, I sat through a horrible commute home.
Again, I’m not superstitious or believe in curses but I do believe in listening to your body, and watch for signs.
The next day I returned to my place of joy: Starbucks Coffee. Again it was busy, the crew made a mistake with my FREE COFFEE coupon. They attempted to offer me yet another free coffee coupon.
I politely declined this time, which shocked the crew.
This is situation is straight outta of Tales From the Crypt with Skompton laughing at my folly and inability to realize this is my Monkey’s Paw. I walked away from the Starbucks with two coffees that I didn’t give a penny for but knew I was gonna pay for it somehow.
I drove to the office, spied the nearest co-worker who I knew loved coffee as much as I do. I gifted Mauricio with the coffee to break this curse that I don’t believe in.
Thankfully, this action did break the cycle, and my moral compass was restored to true north. Luckily, I didn’t end up paying for this modern day parable.