That One Time My Karma Ran Out of Gas-ma

I remember driving home late one evening with a fellow shutterbug buddy of mine. We’d just spent the last few hours chasing meteor showers across the rural expanses of western NJ. It was our first time out there, and we must’ve gotten lost at least a half-dozen times that evening. We even resorted to using our iPhones as makeshift flashlights to avoid spooking the neighborhood livestock (we did scare the living bajeezus out of a flock of geese though).

On our way home, I noticed a blinking orange light on my dashboard – the kind that told me that I probably made too many left turns during this twilight adventure, miscalculated my traveling distance and now ran the risk being stranded in the middle of some random cornfield in western NJ. Not a problem. I thought to myself. I was going to find the nearest gas station on my phone, and we’d be home in no time. That’s when we realized that my phone was nowhere to be found. Crap. Did I drop it in someone’s cornfield? My much, much smarter shutterbug buddy called my phone and that’s when we saw a bright blue blinking light on my windshield.

Was that my phone? Outside of my car? On my windshield? Resting neatly on the windshield wiper? And managed to stay there for the past 15 miles?

“How does someone so absent-minded like you manage to run a business?” he laughed, after I sheepishly retrieved the phone from my windshield. “Are we even going to make it to the gas station?” he asked. The nearest gas station was 11 miles away. My car’s cruising range? A measly 8 miles.

“Relax, Mike.” I reassured him. “We’ll make it. I’ve got good karma.”

Mike shifted uncomfortably in the passenger seat. “You better hope so, Ben. You better hope so.”

I’ve never believed in luck, not in a conventional sense, anyway; I’ve always believed in making my own luck and paving my own destiny. Luck was simply something that happened to folks who were over-abundantly prepared in the face of opportunity. Bad things only happen to bad people. And deep down, I know that I work very hard every single day not to be “bad people”. Besides, I’m pretty awesome at driving with an almost-empty tank.


I’m certainly no saint, and I have a closet full of skeletons to prove it. But I’ve always believed that being an overall nice person never hurt anybody. And if this may serve as living proof, we did manage to save my phone from certain death that evening, and we did manage to find a gas station, even with a few miles left to spare.

Not too shabby, eh?

Hope everyone’s having a fabulous weekend, and always remember to be kind to one another :).


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Northern NJ, NYC documentary Wedding Photographer, Educator & All-Around Nice Guy

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