The Trickster At Work

The trickster is one of the classic Jungian archetypes. Smeagol in Lord of the Rings qualifies. So did Jim Carey in The Mask. We’ve posted a couple of trickster synchronicities in the past, but this one, which comes from Mike Clelland, is a laugh out loud story.

Mike lives in Idaho…well, let him explain it.

“I spend a lot of time outside and get this irritated red face thing, and certain sun-blocks make it worse. Yes, life can be cruel. Alas, I am always on the search for a sun-block that does NOT effect my sensitive skin. During a recent outing with some folks I work with at an outdoor school, more than one of my comrades praised Neutrogena SPF-45. Hmmmm, maybe this would be the stuff that would finally end my search?

“So, when I returned to my little home town, I went to the locally owned Health Food Store in the hopes of finding a bottle of Neutrogena-45. Alas, nothing. And not at the locally owned little drug store either. I left the main street, and began my drive home. I planned to see if the giant grocery store built on the edge of town (Broulims) had this stuff. I slowed down as I approached the turn, but I found that I couldn’t quite turn the steering wheel, I simply couldn’t. The grim strip-mall of creepiness just seemed to repel me. So I continued home.

“When I was driving, I saw big bulging bags of trash set along the roadside. This was the annual spring road side trash clean up. Each year an organized group of volunteers will pick up trash along the high way after the snow melts. I live right on the highway, and I always try and help out on these days. So, when I got home, I grabbed a few big plastic trash bag and went out along the road side. It’s actually pretty distressing to really see (and touch) a winters worth of trash along the road. Lots of cheap beer cans and cigarette butts. I had some time, so I figured I would just walk along the road collecting trash all the way to the stop sign on the next corner North, about a half a mile away.

“There was a stop sign on this corner, this would be my target.

“This way, I would scour all the trash on this side, cross the road, and do the half mile back to my cabin. That’s a full mile of trash pick up, and that seemed pretty decent.

“As soon as I began, it started raining. And then the rain turned to snow. It was that crappy April kind of snow too, wet and cold. But I persevered, mostly because I was already soaked, and it felt like I was doing a nice thing. I thought about turning back but I just kept heading towards the stop sign.

“There was something nice about this moment, I could feel the results in the weight of the big plastic bag and it seemed easy enough to keep walking.

“And, when I got to my turn around point, that stop sign – literally at the base of the pole – I found a full bottle of Neutrogena SPF-45.

“I was, at the time, 44 years old. The product was noted 45. It was waiting for me – quite literally – at a sign post. It was a STOP sign.I can’t help to marvel at the altruistic angle in this story. It felt like the universe was rewarding me for a simple little good deed.”

Here’s the trickster part.

“The story isn’t perfect. That bottle had been there for a while, potentially all winter. The contents had separated into this runny yellow oil, and gummy white glop. It was kinda gross, and completely useless as sun-block. A mystical lesson in cosmic duality?”

Mike notes that he later got a new bottle and it doesn’t irritate his skin.

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20 Responses to The Trickster At Work

  1. it's simple... says:

    Sarah Palin was choosen as John McCain running mate because John Mc. did not want to……… duh….

  2. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    Sansego, you hit it spot on. I hadn't thought of her like that, but she sure fits the ticket.
    – Trish

  3. Sansego says:

    Sorry for getting political here, but one of my first impressions of Sarah Palin was that she is a "trickster" who threw the political game for a loop and still has that ability for 2012. Love her or not, she does have a vocal and loyal fanbase and she seems like she enjoys turning over applecarts and other topsy turvy things that tricksters are known for.

  4. simple S. (sailor song) says:

    "limited time" shows you how a message comes out when you've just got done watching morning NFL while drinking Long Islands. (no TV at home) Hooked it left just a little bit, huh Rob. Yeah I was back there for my 30th year reunion (1st one I ever made, blew it though concerned myself with who wasn't there, and not with who was…. SAD) and the thing is it's normally hard to find a "plain" white high top, and I really wanted to be in normal persona. It was a discount rack, just the right size, not like it's an e-quacke though. snychros LN other…

  5. Toumai says:

    Interesting find re: the suffix word 'sus' (of Jesus). When you key in'sus' for the online etymology definition, it takes you directly to the name Susanna:
    fem. proper name, from L. Susanna, from Gk. Sousana, from Heb. Shoshannah, lit. "a lily." One of the women that attended Jesus in his journeys.

  6. Nancy says:

    Great story. I love that he was doing a good deed and the universe was watching out for him, too. Nice.

  7. staceyjwarner says:

    great story…i love this…

  8. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    OK, dense me. I get it. The Nature's End post preceded yours. Whitley's book!Good synchro, for sure. Hope the conference is triggering many synchronicities for you.

  9. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    Mike – not sure which post you're referring to! Went to your blog, though, and found a reference back to your story here.
    Is that what you mean?

  10. Mike Clelland! says:

    Okay – more weirdness from Mike C, the guy who found the sunblock.

    I was at a conference in California this morning when I found this posting.

    It was a conferences given by Whitley Strieber. Please note the preceding post below…

  11. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    Limited time – you wanted white high tops and found the last pair in your size. Quick manifestation!

  12. limited time, guess who says:

    Back about 4 years agoIonbe before, things is being a carpenter I have a bit of a superstition, I lik ewearing high top white tennis shoes, I now kind of dorky, but that's boobis, good for the ankles and good traction, size 10 and 1/2. So i'm back ther in Jersey but I don't have my standard uniform, the one i feel comfortable i, on the day of the reunion I'm over there in Ledgewwod mall walking through a store, couldn't find a pair, come to discount rack, look up all the way to the end, top self downabout 40 feet away, white high tops, Nike, Addidas not sure go dwon to the end yes rgith there last paiur top self 10 and 1/2 white high tops

  13. GYPSYWOMAN says:

    ok – now, i have to mention what i first thought, too – thought it must be just me, but now, reading jarielynn's comment, i see i'm not the only one who initially thought the stop sign was a sign to literally "stop" and not use the lotion – very interesting dialogue with that perspective and then toumai's on the sun screen and mike's ufo/owl experiences – and of owls, the past day or so, they have been everywhere i've looked lately – anyway, neat post, boys and girls!

  14. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    Just saw the note on your blog, Jean. Thanks! We'll post it.

  15. Jean Gray says:

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing!!

  16. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    Good observation, JarieLyn, about the stop sign. I'm not sure how I would have interpreted it. After reading your post, Toumai, one thing did strike me – sun screen. Mike has had some UFO experiences, notably with owls (a post that's coming up in a few days), so maybe the "screen" refers to a screen memory?

  17. ~JarieLyn~ says:

    This is a really good post and it made me smile. I think I would have misread the synchronicity as just the opposite if it were me. I would have understood that the stop sign above the bottle of 45 sunblock meant stop, don't use the 45 it'll cause another rash. But I'm glad it's working for him and that he took it as stop, look, here's the bottle you've been looking for, use it. (well, not that particular bottle, but the brand).


  18. Trish and Rob MacGregor says:

    The trickster is still laughing, Gypsy.
    Jim – 200 times? I thught Fla beaches were bad!

  19. JBanholzer says:

    Mike, I, too, live in Idaho and have found it dismaying to see how much trash is revealed in the spring, when that beautiful blanket of winter snow melts off. One of my first jobs here was clearing the bike path with a tractor and high-powered blower. To pick up trash though, you had to jump down off the tractor. That first day of April, I had to jump off the tractor almost 200 times. When the boss asked what took so long, I replied, “Oh, the humanity!”

  20. GYPSYWOMAN says:

    OMG!!! i could just "see" him trekking all the way down the road in the falling icy stuff picking up this scrap of paper and that old bottle and stuffing them into his plastic bag – and looking up at the stop sign – and there the dirty bottle lay from weeks ago – beautiful visual image with his story – and the punch line! amazing! great great post! – and images!