Karma is a cosmic point system invented by the Buddhists to determine who gets the good controller when the next game of life starts. Ideally, the concept of "karmic retribution" provides incentive for one to lead a better life and consider the impact of his actions before making them -- but karma is usually a long-term thing. Rarely do you see the literal Bitch-Slapping Glove of Justice descend from the skies to smack somebody in the mouth for being a jerk. Notice we said "rarely" and not "never."
#5. Stop Sign Thief Killed in Car Accident
Tyller A. Myers was just that guy. He stole stop signs in his spare time, because he was a 19-year-old with a Ford F-150 -- it was practically in his Dipshit Teenager contract. But Tyller's theft went beyond that standard pubescent rebel flag: The stop sign hung defiantly on his bedroom wall. Myers was a serial thief: Turns out a lot of stop signs were going missing in Norwalk, Ohio, which can obviously cause some potentially deadly traffic problems.
Then one night, presumably while out Robin Hood-ing some stop signs -- stealing from those who had too much traffic control to give to those poor saps with no road signs at all -- Myers ran an inexplicably unstolen stop sign. When he drove onto the highway after blowing straight through the intersection, he was hit by a semi and later pronounced dead on the scene. We're not ones to celebrate anybody's death, and we're not saying he deserved it -- but the irony just lines up so perfectly. It's like God was playing a cosmic game of irony pool, and Myers was the friggin' 8 Ball.
#4. When a Vengeful God Misfires
In 2008, right-wing evangelicals tried to keep the democrats out of the White House by turning God into a meteorological republican superweapon. The prophet behind Operation Weapons of Mass Destruction was Stuart Shepard of Focus on the Family. Stuart sent this video to his followers, urging that they pray for "biblical," "torrential," "I'm talking 'umbrella-ain't-going-to-help-you rain'" to fall on then-Senator Barack Obama during his acceptance speech on the last night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
So, how did Shepard's prayer-powered weather machine work? Let's put it this way ...
"OK, which one of you smartasses prayed to the devil?"
You see that floating nightmare drifting toward Houston like something out of Independence Day? That's Hurricane Gustav, and it was set to rock the faces off the National Convention like a meteorological Bon Jovi.
... the Republican National Convention, that is.
Gustav hit so hard the republicans had to shaft most of their speakers for the first night, including Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush. The democrats, meanwhile, enjoyed such perfectly clear skies that you can't help but imagine God pulled the whole thing off just to tell republicans not to call him during dinner. It didn't last forever, though, since a thunderstorm warning forced President Obama indoors for his 2012 DNC speech four years later. But that was like getting shifted from first class to business compared to the second goddamn hurricane, which hit the 2012 RNC in Tampa, forcing republicans to reschedule and eventually cancel the first night of their second consecutive godforsaken ceremony. Jeez, God really doesn't take orders well, does he?
"Any other requests? Wait, where are you going? Don't you want to order me to fix your buildings?"
#3. John Sedgwick Thinks Snipers Are a Bunch of Clowns
In the Spotsylvania Court House Battle of the American Civil War, the North and the South were duking it out to see who had the biggest cannon balls. Union General John Sedgwick was directing artillery rather than fighting directly, but it wasn't exactly a cushy gig: Confederate snipers were constantly taking shots at his men as they pushed the guns into position. Earlier in the day, his chief of staff warned Sedgwick not to go near the line for fear of sharpshooters.
This is what is known in the storytelling world as "dramatic foreshadowing," and in the rest of the world as "basic goddamn sense." But Sedgwick went to the line anyway, and when gunfire rang out, he had the artillery line moved back to help keep his men safe.
Of course, he didn't have to worry ... he and his horse were made of metal.
Nah! When Sedgwick saw his men ducking for cover, he berated and shamed them. He mocked his men for cowards and said, "What? Men dodging this way for single bullets? What will you do when they open fire along the whole line? I am ashamed of you. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
And if you recognize that quote, you probably know what happens next ...
Nothing! In reality, Sedgwick completed the sentence unharmed and continued chastising his men. Although embarrassed by his admonitions, Sedgwick's men continued to flinch -- one soldier even stood up to the general and said that he was only alive because he'd dodged a bullet in an earlier battle. Sedgwick laughed it off.
"That's the problem, son. When you're ready ... you won't have to."
The general then repeated, "I'm ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." And he immediately took a bullet through his left eye.
That's right: Sedgwick stood right in the line of sniper fire and mocked Death not once, but twice in succession. The first time, Death was being pretty chill. He was all, "Hey, maybe he's just having a bad day -- I'll let this one slide." The second time, however, Death had little choice but to start buckling up the ol' Bitch-Slapping Gloves.
Man, you know you screwed up when there's a memorial plaque dedicated to your dickotry.