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Sometimes God does work in very mysterious ways

The Lord works in mysterious ways ... or life is cruel (take your pick).

Just ask the mother who blessed out the coach of her son's little league team last spring, before storming off to the parking lot in a ruffled huff. She then exasperatedly dug through her purse in search of her keys, while her mortified children skulked about the perimeter of the car, doing their best to draw on the powers of invisibility.

Then, when she had the entire contents of her purse emptied on the hood, one child yelled, "Hey Mom, I see the keys in the ignition!"

She, of course, had locked the car. And who, but the word-wounded coach, should happen along, the only person available to help the woman, with his very own coat hanger.

"Bring your dad with you next time kid," he advised with a wink of his eye and a cluck of his tongue. Then he holstered his hanger and rode off into the sunset in his pickup truck.

Ask the guy who sat to my right, and the girl who sat to my left, in Dr. Whitton's Chemistry 221 at the University of Georgia, during which the Teaching Assistant surreptitiously took roll, intermittently. The day after the midpoint of the quarter rolled by, taking with it the last opportunity to withdraw passing, the TA entered the lecture hall under Dr. Whitton's watchful gaze.

"As I call your name, please stand," he announced. When he reached the end of his list, half the class had risen for the occasion. "You may leave. You have been dropped with a failing grade from this course for missing more than five days."

The girl who sat to my left didn't make an appearance that day and continued coming to class (whenever she felt like it), taking exams, and completing labs. Her grade report, with a mark of WF, was her first sign that anything had gone awry.

Ask Arthur Gardner who attempted to break the Guinness Book record for marathon bowling. By the final hour, exhaustion claimed him, his back almost benched him, and his left ankle swelled over the top of his shoe like a water balloon under pressure.

But he exceeded the old record by four minutes.

While he, his family and fans celebrated this ridiculous 15 minutes of distinction, a reporter arrived on the scene with the news that another fellow, also bonkers for bowling, had already broken, and reset, the record six weeks earlier. Gardner fell short of the new time by three hours and 21 minutes.

The reporter had 55 hours and 20 minutes to uncover the story of the unknown record-breaker. In addition, Gardner had a 15 minute rest every eight hours. Had Gardner timed his celebration at the end of an eight hour stretch, and the reporter not arrived 16 minutes too late, Gardner would have had the opportunity to continue bowling for his claim to fame.

And as for the guy who allegedly holds the current record, he became so delirious, during his own epic bowling adventure, that Guinness Book history will remember him as the sportsman who took to urinating down his own leg.

(I wouldn't want to be the next guy to rent those bowling shoes.)

Web posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005


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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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