You know the saying “what goes around comes around”? Well, I always believed in that. In every aspect of life, we’re subject to that law. In bigger or smaller proportions, karma is always there. And with this hobby it’s no different.
I have this friend that I know for a looong time. I know the guy since my 1:18 days, and even back then he helped me many times with the hobby. I’m happy to say that though continents away, he became a real friend. We lost touch for a few years when I left the hobby, but when I came back to collecting, he also had switched to 1:43, and we reconnected. Being a true buddy, he has helped me with a LOT of models. He also has always been a solid source of information – he even knows about clunkers! Though our tastes in cars not always converge (for instance, he has 17 Yuckys), I consider him a true friend.
So a few weeks ago I came upon this model. It’s a Porsche 935, driven by the great Henri Pescarolo. In 1978 cyclist Jean-Claude Rude wanted to break a LSR on a bike. He wanted to surpass 240 km/h, so how to do that? Why, just pedal behind a 800 hp 935 driven by none other than Henri Pescarolo. Due to an accident, the record wasn’t broken that day, but Spark nonetheless recreated the car and bike in scale. It’s a beauty of a model, and a rare one. On evilBay it goes for really bonkers money. But more importantly, this particular model is a true grail model for my friend.
As luck would have it, out of the blue one showed up for grabs, on a local auction (MercadoLivre). To make things even more enticing, the seller was asking a VERY decent price – much much better than the normal absurd rates on evilBay. A real steal. I knew this is a grail model for him, so I casually showed him the link. Since he doesn’t have an account at MercadoLivre, it would be a huge hassle for him to buy it. He started to bemoan me that I couldn’t buy that car for myself since he didn’t have it. Why the heck would I buy that one? Not my thing, and besides, I was broke (which was kind of true), so I just dropped the issue. But I was sure I had hooked him, so I bought the car, and didn’t talk about it anymore.
He started to salivate and howl (or so I was told afterward) but the oaf did NOT ask me to buy it. I played dumb and waited, for the car to arrive and the question that I knew that would come. One or two days later he then asked me if that auction was real. I said of course it was real, but the model had been sold. Why, did you want it? Oh, you did? A “grail model”, you say? Really? Boogers.
I then concocted a story about how sorry I was for not offering to middleman the deal for him (after all, he lives in a different hemisphere). That I was really pissed at myself for not being the good friend that I should have been. That I should have done a LOT better. Damn, even I was starting to feel sorry for myself… He graciously said it was okay, with me profusely apologizing for not getting him the model.
A few days later, after I apologized a couple dozen times more, the model arrived. By then the stinker was trying to rub it in, sending a few jabs my way (and I apologizing). As soon as I had some free time, I packed it for shipment overseas. Since karma is karma (and sometimes a bitch), of course I had to make a special package for him. So I decorated the whole box with pink unicorns and other sassy girl things.
I also recall that I might have come up with a cock and bull story about a project I was working on involving a Porsche and paint. Right about when I was painting the unicorns. So perhaps he might think that I was going to mod a Porsche in the near future. Well, the project did involve a Porsche and painting, but painting unicorns. However, I may have accidentally omitted that last detail, since I was kind of busy deciding what color I should use for the manes.
In the end, I couldn’t make up my mind about the manes and tales, so I painted them like a rainbow. When I was done with all this elaborate painting process, I showed it to my 8-year old daughter. I explained this was a present for my friend and asked her opinion.
“But dad, does he like unicorns?”
Well, that was a very good question. He has some really (and I mean REALLY) rotten taste in music, but I wasn’t sure if he was into unicorns. But who listens to Back Street Boys without being coerced must like unicorns, right? Still, I really wasn’t 100% sure, so to make the box prettier, I added some hearts. Pink, red and orange ones.
I have to say that the hearts complemented the unicorns really well. With that done, I showed the box again to my daughter and asked her what she thought.
She frowned and said “Dad, that’s even more girly.”
Success! That was the look I was aiming for! The next day I took the package to my local postal office, because I wanted to send it as soon as possible. When I arrived at the post office, the lady on the counter said that my package looked really pretty. She was all chatty, and while she went through all the bureaucracy, she asked if it was for my friend’s daughter.
I gave her a smile, winked and said “Of course”.
Between this and the package arriving to him, he tried a couple (or five) times to poke me for letting the model slip away. Every time I profusely apologized, and even maybe (just maybe) I might have said once that I was getting mad at him for giving me such a hard time. In the end, I think I said I was sorry about 157 times.
Though I wrote this right after I dispatched the package, I’ll only publish when tracking says the parcel is out for delivery. This is all about karma, so of course I don’t want to spoil his surprise! He’ll probably want to make some very heartfelt comment here, but he knows I moderate all comments. So maybe he’ll be shy and we won’t hear from him. But I’m confident he will like the model. And the unicorns.
So, isn’t karma truly extraordinaire? To me it’s really simple. When you are very nice to people, people try hard to be nice to you back. And this is me trying to pay back a little of that karma.