Before a Vodou ceremony, Haitians draw a Vévé, or a sacred symbol, corresponding to the spirit that they are going to invoke. Last year, the Field Museum had an exhibit on the Vodou religion. It was very informative, but I’m afraid that my opinions of voodoo had long since been cast and calcified by watching too many B-movies about zombies.
Betsy Connell: [Noticing Alma having difficulty trying to lead a stubborn horse] Alma, try it this way… Turn your back on him. You see, that’s the way it is with a horse: you can’t lead him and look at him at the same time.
Alma – Maid: [Chuckles] Sounds sorta’ man-like, don’t it?
The preceding bit of dialog is from the 1943 horror movie classic, I Walked with a Zombie. But before you think me too harsh for wanting to put a voodoo hex on my scintillating wife, Anne, let me tell you about what happened this morning. She was playing solitaire on the computer, when I sat down next to her to put my shoes on. I had already filled my pockets with the flotsam and jetsam of everyday life, wallet, keys, phone, etc. and a Cliff Bar in my back pocket. Every time I moved, the bar’s wrapper would make a crinkling sound. Anne noticed this straight away and asked, “Why is your butt crinkling?” I explained about the bar, but every time I moved, the sound would recur. At first it only elicited giggles, but that soon devolved into outright taunts, “Crinkly butt! Crinkly butt! Markie has a crinkly butt.” In her defense, she has been associating with too many other immature people lately, read first graders and I think that some of their immaturity has rubbed off on her.
Shoes tied, I put on my coat and went outside to de-ice the cars. I should note that Anne had spent so much time taunting me, while playing solitaire that she was still in her PJs. Our overnight snowstorm had as is all too usual, degenerated into an ice storm. I had been a Good Samaritan the previous night and lent my ice scraper to a colleague. He had borrowed his wife’s mini-van so that he could pick-up their children from daycare. For some reason she had left her scraper behind in the garage. My car door opened easily and I initiated the thawing process with some egregious idling. I then turned my attention to Anne’s car, first because I’m a nice guy, even if I do say so myself, but also since I had lent out my scraper, she had the only one left.
Her car is almost twenty years old, so the weather-stripping on it is a bit worn. Last winter, during another ice storm, she was struggling to open her car door when some man passed by. He offered to help. This not so Good Samaritan broke the door handle off and in a parting remark added, “Well, I tried to help.” I got the key in the door lock and was able to turn it and was rewarded with the pleasant sound of the electric door locks clicking, but the doors were frozen solid. I went back inside to get a screwdriver in order to pry a door open. I worked for about five minutes, trying all of the doors, working them seemingly free, but none of them would open. I was about ready to try the trunk, crawl through it into the back seat when I decided to try the key again. The doors had been locked, Anne had left them unlocked the night before. I fired up Anne’s car and grabbed the scraper. I had just finished cleaning my car and was working on hers when Anne came out of the house.
Since we only had one scraper, I decided to leave the rest of the work to her. We kissed and then I made my fatal mistake. I asked her if she had brushed her teeth. She said that she had. I remarked that she had a lot of plaque on her teeth and asked her when her next dentist appointment was. It is in a month, but people, never criticize another person’s dental hygiene unless you are a floss Nazi and have already inserted sharp metal tools into their mouth when you do it. She responded to my criticism with, “Crinkly butt! Crinkly butt! Markie has a crinkly butt.” You see, my problem is that I love this black magic woman, who has got me so blind that I cannot see that she is trying to make a devil out of me, with apologies to Carlos Santana.