When a young, intelligent boy with an imagination that spans time and space is approached by an old, world-weary monk selling an ancient sacred manual of a secretive shaolin sect that was wiped out because of their extreme power, you can see the hands of destiny taking hold. The youth takes all the money he has saved in his ten years of life, and buys the manual. Then he studies. And trains. And studies. And trains. Then he sleeps. Then he wakes again and trains and studies, honing the power and glory that is the Budda Palm Technique. Through his swift, sure movements, grown strong and graceful with practice and confidence, the laws of nature bend around his open hand strikes. The winds carry his lithe body as he shifts through his katas, space shifting behind him.
When his Karmic Test comes in the form of a group of thuggish older kids tormenting an apparently mute young girl, he knows that he is ready. He approaches the leader of the youths, more ogre than human, and warns him that his barbaric acts will only lead to folly and ruin. The group as one laughs at him and the ogre roars in challenge. The young child, regretting the loss of a life so young but determined to save the girl, prepares his powerful Budda Palm strike.
He pulls back his hand, his palm up to the sky, the sun filling his skin, his fingers, with its eternal heat.
He gathers his chi, his spiritual force, into a ball of white light that tickles and pulses in his hand.
He says a quick prayer of forgiveness.
THEN HE STRIKES AND........
Nothing happens. The bully looks at the kid. Then the bully beats the crap outta the poor kid. So do the bully's friends. Then they all gather as one, draw down their trousers, and urinate on the poor boy who is crying the tears of the defeated, of the hopeless. Of the foolishly naïve. Had that old begger really been...just an old beggar? As the children walk away, zipping up their pants, laughing at the poor boy, he pulls out his beloved Budda Palm manual and tears it to shreds. The little girl is gone, her would-be hero laid low. The boy, still crying, his body sore, limps home where he endures the shame of his parents.
What's the point of this little story? Well, it's that some lessons are expensive. But sometimes we have to learn them anyway.
Case in Point (and the real reason for the post): Our Cold water return on the Air conditioner (located in the basement and part of the Heater) was leaking water. Leaking a LOT of water. I couldn't figure it out. Raquita and Grandma thought it was the water heater. Nobody knew why it was occurring and I had no clue and was tired of mopping up water. So we call the House Warranty People, figuring the $75 deductible would be well worth the costly repairs that would need to be done to the heating/cooling unit, right? Right.
The guy came today, looked at the situation, looked at the hose running from the unit to the drain, UNKINKED THE HOSE, and was like, 'There ya go. All fixed. Let it drain. That'll be $75.'
For a kinked hose. Since me, Grandma and Raquita didn't see the hose and it NEVER occurred to me to check a hose, I figure we all paid for that lesson. $25 bucks a piece to know that you ALWAYS look for the hose, and always unkink it.
The poor kid only paid $10 for his budda palm manual.
...of course, I didn't get pissed on by a bunch of Chinese kids with bad teeth. So I guess I come out ahead.
I gotta run and go give that crackhead in the dumpster $5 for the Flying Tiger Levitation Technique Manual he showed me...