Tag Archives: Karma

Little Big Man

28 Jul

Little Big Man


By L. Stewart Marsden

It sounds like a period of prehistory. Megalomaniac. Surely somewhere near the Jurassic Age. Thundering dinosaurs. Sharp-toothed carnivores. Crashing through the tropical undergrowth to come down on some innocent triceratops who stopped to munch on a tasty clump of ferns or moss.

Perhaps this will be called the Megalomaniac Age Administration, where the tendency looks to seep down from the top and infect nearly every layer of staff.

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning
Very, very frightening me.

– Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

Was Alexander the Great a megalomaniac? How about Napoleon? Attila? Nero? Hitler? Stalin?

To some extent, I suppose you could say every great leader had the tendency. JFK, MLK, FDR, Patton, MacArthur, Sherman … Franklin, Washington?

How much of it is okay? What’s the dosage? A teaspoon every four hours? Where is the line between acceptable megalomania and that which is unacceptable and tragic?

And who came up with the idea? What entity thought, “Well, I think we need someone obsessed with him/herself and power so that change can be ramrodded down the throats of the common person?

Or, “The common people NEED a megalomaniac in order to attain a little perspective.

Who thinks that way? Probably the same mentality as when a father says to his child just before punishment, “This is going to hurt me more than you.”

You wonder what event in the lifetime of a megalomaniac triggered the condition? Parental abuse? Childhood bullies?

In those cases a person is a victim. It seems the abusers or bullies reflect megalomania more closely than someone who is victimized. Compensation, perhaps? Small stature? Small hands? Maybe a Stephen King-like event in the formative years?

One apparent result of megalomania: things end badly for that person and those close by. Family, friends, work associates don’t seem to fare well when the megalomaniac is toppled. I would use the word “peers,” but I don’t think a megalomaniac has any. That’s not so handy when it comes to facing a trial by jury of one’s peers if one is a megalomaniac. At least a trial is better than tar and feathering, regardless. Not that I would know.

That’s when the word “karma” inevitably comes into play.

Or so one hopes.



Mr. Goose

29 Apr

Mr. Goose

by L. Stewart Marsden

The other day I had an experience that reminded me how rude those in positions of authority can be when they wield such power.

One of my sons, who is well on his way to a record-setting traffic ticket all-time high, needed me to cover his attorney’s fee. Yes, I know all the reactions to this, believe me, from enabler to bad, BAD Parent!
Regardless, I drove to his lawyer’s office to make the payment. As I stood at the receptionist’s window, the primary attorney of this small father-son firm wandered into the area, looked at me, and said, “Thank you.”

“For what?” I returned.

“For helping me to make my mortgage and car payments,” he grinned.
“This is for my son,” I explained, not anxious to be cast in the role of an offender/client. “And we’’re going to do everything in our power not to pay for any more of your expenses.”

I was pissed! The anger steeped in my head all the way home and into the night until it split from the ends of my fingers onto my keyboard.

I knew what he meant. He meant I am a fool for doing something I needed a lawyer to defend me for, or arbitrate with a judge. Which is basically true.

It was the way he said it.

We will call this lawyer Mr. Goose. It rhymes with his real name. I’d run into Mr. Goose in the past, when I used to cover court as a reporter. A fine spectacle of a man who honked and bleated his way around the front of the court, Mr. Goose waved his arms and basically demeaned his clients before black-robed judges.

“Your honor, a plea for judgment! My client, who is an idiot and who may or may not learn from this experience, looks for mercy from the bench.”

Then he would turn to the poor waif of a man/woman//teenager, dressed as well as Goodwill Stores allowed, standing and awaiting judgment, and say,

“And he will not EVER dare to repeat such an offense again!”

To which the waif would look down and nod with repentance.

I can only imagine how Mrs. Goose tolerates her husband’s patronizing ways. Maybe the money is good. His is the first name that comes up when those who run afoul of the local law, or Highway Patrol, find themselves charged with various blue-collar crime. While he’s not an ambulance chaser, he’s damn close.

I suppose Mr. Goose to be a one-time wannabe who had aspirations to be a partner in a multi-million-billion-gazillion legal firm. Or, be elected to the district DA position, and then state attorney general and then governor. Or not. Perhaps he’s a settler, and prefers his role in court, twirling about and sashaying on the small stage before an audience of offenders and their parents and girlfriends and such.

Mr. Goose
Played it loose
Until he strangled on his noose.


Karma. One can only hope he and his ilk are indeed rewarded in kind.

They’re like turkey vultures, I guess — providing a necessary function in the cycle of life. You just don’t want them too close.