For whatever reason, the idea of karma – of an all-reaching, all-powerful “balancing” force in the universe – has a seemingly universal appeal.
There’s no proof that such a thing exists. There are, however, some rare moments where it seemingly manifests itself on camera. Unsurprisingly, those are some of our most popular videos and stories of the year.
These are the top five best “instant karma” moments from the past year.
Motorcyclist gets revenge on driver who cut him off
Anyone who’s driven knows the feeling of having an incident or near-incident on the road – and wondering why there couldn’t be a police officer nearby right at that moment.
One biker in Connecticut didn’t have to wonder for very long, as the video above proves.
On July 1, a motorcyclist was cut off by a grey Honda Civic at a merge point on Sullivan Avenue in South Windsor, Conn. The motorcyclist, 23-year-old David Bafumo, screams at the other driver that she’s just cut him off but she ignores him.
Moments later, Bafumo flags down a police officer – who promptly pulls the woman over and, according to local media reports, issued her a ticket for unsafe lane change.
Clerk turns the tables after grabbing would-be robber’s gun
We’ve all struggled from time to time with having too much to carry, and just not enough hands. Eventually, you have to decide what’s worth carrying, and what can be put down.
One would-be robber was faced with a similar dilemma on Oct. 13 – and decided the best move would be to put down her pistol in the middle of an armed robbery.
The suspect entered a hotel in Warren, Mich., early that morning and demanded money from the employee behind the counter. When the clerk complied, the robber found it a little tricky to corral the bills – and decided to put her gun down on the counter.
The clerk quickly grabbed the weapon and turned it onto the suspect, prompting a fight before the woman fled the scene. Police were later able to identify her by (what else?) the gun she had left at the scene.
Global News reporter chases landscaper accused of scamming disabled woman
Usually when a reporter “chases” a story, they don’t mean it literally.
But that’s exactly what happened to Global Toronto’s award-winning consumer affairs reporter, Sean O’Shea, on June 2, when he confronted a Toronto landscaper accused of scamming a disabled woman.
When O’Shea and his camera crew confronted Carmelo Lamanna about accepting payment without doing any work, he took off on foot with O’Shea in hot pursuit, prompting one of our favourite lines of the year.
“I’m a marathoner,” O’Shea casually mentions as the track meet through Toronto unfolds.
Approached by the television crew at a corner, Lamanna got out of the car and attacked Global News cameraman, Rick Helinski. Lamanna punched the camera before running down the street again and later driving off with a woman.
But as any fan of his investigative reporting knows, foot chases and heated confrontations are all in a day’s work for O’Shea.
Panda attacks, tackles man who broke into its enclosure
A prankster in eastern China got more than he bargained for after he broke into a giant panda enclosure at a zoo on Oct. 27.
Security cameras captured the young man breaking into the pen in Nanchang City and attempting to touch the sleeping 12-year-old panda on the head.
The intruder was allegedly showing off to friends by jumping into the enclosure, but the amusement of playing with the panda soon turned to panic when the 120-kilogram animal pulled the man to the ground.
Luckily, the man managed to escape without any serious injuries – except, perhaps, to his pride.
Man’s life saved after NOT ordering a pizza
A Salem, Ore., man will surely be leaving a big tip the next time he orders takeout after employees from his local pizza shop came to his aid during a medical emergency.
Kirk Alexander orders a pizza several times a week – so when the store hadn’t heard from him in more than a week last May, it began to raise some red flags.
Concerned, the store sent a delivery man to check on him, and when he couldn’t get a response – despite hearing noises inside – he called paramedics.
And not a moment too soon, as Alexander was suffering a stroke and needed immediate medical attention.
Thanks to the quick thinking of his local pizza shop, Alexander got the most important delivery of his life.
-With files from Alley Wilson, Alex Maveal, and Sean O’Shea