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Karma Cleanser 

Will it come back to bite you?

Dear Karma Cleanser:

I am a 21-year-old female who only began driving at 18. Since getting my license three years ago, I have gone through three cars. Now, I'm driving my fourth -- or maybe fifth? Anyway, I seem to be accident-prone.

As hard as I try to avoid accidents it seems I have a sign on my car that reads, "Hit me!" So you can imagine how I feel about car crashes. Most especially ridiculous ones.

Today as I was sitting in bed reading my book I heard a loud bang followed by a hissing noise. "Oh no!" I thought, "someone hit my car again!" I jumped up and peered out the window just as a girl about my age jumped out of her Scion.

Apparently she accidentally put her car in drive rather than reverse and slammed into the brick wall surrounding the community pool (which is the view out of my bedroom window). Her passenger side airbag went off and her car was smoking. She left her car up on the curb and stood outside of it staring stupidly.

My first thought was, "I'm so glad it wasn't me," followed by, "but that is such my luck." And I started laughing. Uncontrollably. Ridiculously. Hysterically, almost. That poor thing.

I feel so bad for laughing. I'm so guilty that now I'm sure that I am either going to hell or going to slam my car into some stone wall, then proceed to jump out of it leaving my tires resting on the curb to stare at my crumpled, smoking hood.

Should I feel bad for laughing? Am I thinking about this too seriously? Should I have done something to help? Am I going to hell?

-- Guilty Watcher

We'll say, with apologies to Oscar Wilde, for you to lose one car so early in your driving career may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose five just looks like carelessness. We can't fault you much for the hysterical outburst at your neighbor's expense. You've been through the ringer yourself and have earned giggling rights. Make amends by offering your neighbor a ride while her car's being fixed. Then again, given your driving record, maybe you shouldn't.

Dear Karma Cleanser:

This might be an unusual question, but are you male or female? Are you single or in a relationship? Would you consider going on a date with me?

-- An Admiring Fan

Tsk, tsk. It must be that time of the year again, when school's out, the heat's borderline unbearable and you randy readers have nothing better to do than hit on even the faceless Karma Cleanser. Yours is the third such fan letter we've received this month. We suggest you lonely students pass the summer break in quiet and somber meditation, or else the way we always did, holed up in our air-conditioned bedroom with a tub of Chunky Monkey and an endless stream of Cameron Diaz comedies on cable. Thanks, though, for the misplaced adoration.

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