I am a firm believer in Karma. Sometimes, when I am having a tough day, and the thought of a sneaky piece of chocolate or two it’s not enough to cheer me up, I like to imagine some of my future re-encarnations. In another life, I will be not only an amazing writer, but someone with the ability to talk about anything at ease. Plus I will also be able to play guitar like Roddy Frame (never mind the fact that I have never strummed two notes together!)

But this story is not about me. It’s about someone whose Karma came back to bite him where it hurts. And it’s (purely, entirely, 95%) fictional.

This is the story of a chap called Dave who gambled with a large sum of money (entrusted to him by his friends). He gambled because he wanted more than he had, and he didn’t think of the consequences. Well, guess what, he lost.

His wife and kids stood by him, but many people were angry and decided they had had enough of him. Dave wasn’t stupid (despite appearances), so he decided to quit his job and hide from his friends as much as possible while planning his future. He also wanted to have some fun.

What does a man do when he has no friends left? He goes to Wimbledon with his mum. He got some of the money he had squirrelled away and bought the best tickets hoping for a jolly afternoon in the sun. But not even in Wimbledon can a man have his cake and eat it, as he came across several hundred friends who were not happy to see him there, and they let him know very clearly.

Dave and his  mum needed some cheering, so they bought some strawberries and cream, that quintessential British tradition, and got stuck into eating the fruit. They had a funny metallic taste in his mouth, but then, so did everything Dave had eaten since his money problems came to the surface. So he persevered and ate as many strawberries as he could, because they say fruit is good for you.

It was later, sitting on the train (first class, comfortable, air conditioned), that poor Dave started feeling unwell. By the time he got back to his second home, he looked and felt like a shadow of his former self, and Dave’s mum insisted he must go to the doctor’s.

Off they went in their chauffeur-driven car to the A&E and poor Dave had to wait for ages to see a doctor. ‘I am sorry’, said the overworked, exhausted looking frontline staff, ‘We are sort of staff. It’s all those Europeans who left us when they couldn’t be bothered to renew their working visas. They went to Germany, were rent is cheaper and they were welcome with open arms. So I am afraid you are going to have to wait a little longer.’

So Dave, now suffering, sat on the edge of his seat and waited for his turn with the NHS, that wonderful British institution. A doctor eventually told him that he had food poisoning and something else – a ruptured appendix. And due to shortage of staff, there would be no surgery until the morning – with limited painkillers, too.

The morning after his operation Dave was feeling better but somehow weak. Like many of us, he hated hospitals and couldn’t wait to get away from it all. He was dreaming of a new future for himself, as a: pig farmer, Buddhist monk, high end estate agent, liar for hire (delete as appropriate, depending on how imaginative/ angry/ frustrated you feel). He was happy and so he was humming a happy tune to himself very loudly as he went (he forgot that everyone could hear him). And after that, he disappeared down the drains of history where he belonged.

The moral of the story is: Next time you want to gamble with someone’s life, play f…g Monopoly with your kids, who I am sure are nice and would like to spend more time with their dad.

But as for the rest of us, thanks to your recklessness, we are well and truly buggered.

Goodbye, and good riddance.