In the year 2004, SEK was diagnosed with cancer. Being an idiot, he decided to hide his cancer from everyone—his wife, his parents, his friends, his advisor. After four brutal (but successful) months of chemo, he outed himself as a "cancer survivor" and everyone was mad at him—his wife, his parents, his friends, his advisor. SEK was mad too.
Mad at the world.
So he started a blog about random shit to outlet The Anger he couldn't control. (His body had turned against him cellularly. SEK felt betrayed. "You are my body!" he said, shrugging his shoulders.) Venting felt good. It relieved his incomprehensible rage ... until the morning of November 30, 2005, when he walked in on two undergraduates bumping nasties in his office. For it was on that morning SEK's Fate revealed itself to him:
"You are to be the blogger to whom everything improbable will happen," Fate said. "Except unlike all those liars out there, my deeds will be documented in Official Campus Records and Police Reports."
"You're upset because I beat your cancer," boasted SEK. "Now I'll beat you."
Life was sweet.
Then Fate struck like lightning in the guise of the Troll of Sorrow. The deranged military sharpshooter/analytic philosophy-fiend threatened SEK with legal action (for plagiary? really?) and his wife's life. (The latter threat he took seriously.)
It was distressing, but Fate hadn't fazed him. So it sent a Honda Civic to do its dirt. That hurt—as did the six months of rehab—but SEK survived.
Now Fate was really upset. "Cancer couldn't kill him, civics neither," bemoaned Fate. "Marine sharpshooters and horny undergrads couldn't slow him down. If I can't kill SEK himself," Fate thought, "the least I can do is kill his career."
"Casper," Fate cried, "I need you to teach this fool a lesson. Read this reasonable post he wrote, and attack Attack ATTACK!" And so Casper attacked, with the aid of his friend, (the ostensibly liberal, but in fact fascist) Jesus' General. (Who, when you think about it, is "funny" in the same way Bill Hicks is, i.e. because you agree with him. Unless you like your jokes ideologically flattering and ungrudgingly predictable ... which SEK doesn't.)
Try as Casper might—to this day—Fate's accomplice could no more harm SEK than his master. So Fate tried one last scheme.
"Why didn't I think of this before? SEK loves books! Why not use the Library against him?" This time, he was successful. The Library stole all SEK's money, gave it back, honored him for his generous donation, then expelled him ... two days after he'd paid his filing fees and two days before his yearly checkup with his oncologist.
Fortunately the X-rays, MRIs, probes and attendant bloodwork wouldn't cost SEK a dime ... if he had health insurance, which he currently doesn't. (Because he's not a grad student anymore.) Things may look up tomorrow, but for tonight, SEK concedes victory to Fate.
"I have been bested," SEK said. "Commence my hilarious penance."
(And an update.)