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I had a mild run in with Karma the other day. Well, it really wasn't a "run in," but more like a nod and a wink.

You may remember that Karma was real big back in the 1960s and '70s, thanks to the VietNam unpleasantness and people of the free lifestyle. It's kind of made a comeback in recent years, although I don't think the concept ever completely left California.

Lately, Karma has made a big hit on television in the least expected of settings - an unnamed, jerkwater town somewhere in southern wherever.

I'm talking about "My Name Is Earl," the funniest, most intelligent program about erstwhile poor dumb folks to come along since "The Beverly Hillbillies."

If you haven't caught it, and you're reading this, then you should. Star and producer Jason Lee (you'll recognize him from all kinds of movies and guest roles) plays Earl Hickey, a bumbling, low-level crook and all-around sleazeball who has pulled some kind of scam on virtually everyone in town since he was a kid.

His even dumber brother, Randy (played to perfection by Ethan Suplee and snubbed by the Emmy mainstream), has been following Earl's lead throughout life.

These guys are essentially harmless; they're just on the left side doing anything that would require listening to instructions and punching a time card.

The basic premise, set up in the pilot episode, is that Earl wins $100,000 on an instant lottery ticket, is hit by a car on the way to cash it in, and loses the ticket. While hospitalized he reads the concept of "Karma" and decides to turn his life around.

Earl makes up a list of some 263 things he's done to wrong people, and upon being discharged sets out to rectify those situations - whatever it takes.

His first lesson is rewarded with finding the lost winning ticket, and he sets out using the money for good.

A rather unique premise for a television comedy, deftly handled with great writing and characters, that is honestly more than funny. This show is consistently a hoot! Plus, it's a hit, because apparently the network suits haven't screwed it up.

Now, to my own momentary Karmic experience. We all have them every now and then, you know. What's good is to recognize and sense these events, no matter how minor, at the moment they occur.

Okay, so I'm tooling up I-55 at a reasonable clip (I'm not gonna write for all the world to see that I was doin' like 80MPH, because that's faster than the law allows). In my CD player is one of my personally-made road mixes, crafted to make the miles fly by like my Aurora was just floating along.

The next song to come on is the Eagles' classic "Take It Easy," (written
by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey). One of its more famous verses goes:

"Well I'm a-standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona
With such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in flatbed Ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me""

Long story short, just after this song began playing I looked up the road apiece and, my Lord - it's a flatbed Ford!

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An erstwhile Philosopher and sometime Educator, Jerry Tenuto is a veteran of seven years service in the U.S. Army. He holds a BS and MA in Broadcast Communications from Southern (more...)
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