If you've ever watched a pebble bounce off a tractor-trailer, you'd know something about NASA's successful mission July 4 when it smashed a space probe into an unsuspecting comet.
No, you've not stumbled onto the science page -- there is a spiritual lesson here. And apparently a Russian named Marina Bai has filed a lawsuit hoping to cash in on that lesson.
The Russian newspaper, Izvestia (cited by the Associated Press) reports Bai feels the cosmic collision has ruined "the natural balance of forces in the universe," and has somehow "deformed her horoscope."
Just never you mind the facts, Bai. Never mind assurances from the scientific community telling us the crash had no effect on the comet's path. Nope, none of that matters to Bai, who's wishing upon a star to hear the cha-ching of her $300 million lawsuit.
The only instance I can ever recall where a collision seemed to "deform my horoscope" was 10 years ago on the playground of a California elementary school when my son's classmate jumped off a jungle gym and onto my son.
My son, then 6 years old, fell to the ground, unable to get up. The school called 9-1-1 and I met the ambulance at the hospital.
Prognosis: My son had a broken femur. He was hospitalized for three weeks of traction and spent four weeks in a full-body cast. And for the next three months, my wife home-schooled him while I attended to, shall we say, his personal needs.
But the anger I felt from someone crashing into our world wasn't as easy to treat. I wanted to blame the teachers who weren't watching him, the principal who wouldn't reveal the boy's name and the parents of the boy who I thought obviously condoned this behavior. Like Bai, I wanted to sue someone for knocking my world off kilter.
But also like Bai, I could think of no reason to consider the facts. My son had no long-term injury. Insurance paid 100 percent, and we had no financial loss. In fact, my wife's a certified teacher, so the school district even paid her to home-school our son. Yet, with all of that in our favor, I still wanted to blame someone.
I was playing the oldest reality game known to man -- older than "Fear Factor" and "Survivor." It's called the "Blame Game."
In this game, the object is to distribute as much blame as possible. Give out enough blame, and presto, you achieve the coveted victim status. This is the status that gives the really big payoffs.
But the problem with the payoffs is that they are really part of a giant pyramid scheme. You share the blame with everyone you know until your house collapses in on itself. And on the day we returned our son to school, I was feeling the collapse. There was really no one at all to blame.
In the meantime, some advice for our friend Bai: you really ought to keep your practice of the Blame Game within the bounds of the Earth's gravitational field.