Monthly Archives: April 2007

Real Spells. Real Fun. Boss Fix Powder

Here it is, today’s spell from “The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells. The Ultimate Reference Book for the Magical Arts.” Why the hell do I have a spell book you might ask? See the previous posts on this topic for the back story.

[My comments in green and with square brackets; the balance of the text is straight from the book.]

** Spell Begins:
Boss Fix Powder

Is going to work a less than satisfying experience? Perhaps it’s not the job that’s the problem; maybe you have a supervisor or boss who persecutes you, picks on you, is never satisfied with your and generally makes going to work the equivalent of going to hell? You don’t want to leave your job; you’d just like your boss to leave you alone.

The Hoodoo solution is Boss Fix Powder.

According to its most extravagant promises, this spell allegedly causes supervisors to consider you with love and favor. At its more realistic, [it makes them fire you for screwing around with their personal property and stealing their cigarettes] it offers a boundary line so that at least you’ll be left alone to perform your job in peace. [until they can hire your replacement]

1. Empty the tobacco from one cigarette. (In order of preference: a cigarette that actually belonged to your boss, his or her favorite brand, any cigarette, [dry grass clippings from your front lawn])

2. Combine it with some shredded newspaper. (In order of preference: your boss’s actual newspaper, a copy of a newspaper he or she favors, any newspaper, [a sheet of paper on which you’ve written the word NEWSPAPER neatly across the top in crayon])

3. Add some chili powder and grind all the ingredients together into a fine powder. [add salt to taste]

4. Make sure the powder is fine: this is intended to be a very discreet spell. Your boss already doesn’t like you! [because you’ve stolen his paper and cigarettes]

5. When the opportunity arises, sprinkle just a tiny bit of powder on or around your boss’s chair. If that’s too much of a risk, drop a little over the threshold of the office, so that he or she will inevitably step over it. [Or even better, offer your boss a pinch of it; refer to it as ‘the finest Chinese beetle snuff’ available]

This is a highly individual spell, tailored toward one target. [unless you went the generic route and just ground up any old newspaper]. If more than one person persecutes you, make fresh Boss Fix for each person.

** Spell Ends

Alternatively, just sit down and talk to your boss and stop getting your employment advice from the Stigeon Witches.

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Real Spells. Real Fun. Ochossi’s Employment Spell

Here it is, today’s spell from “The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells. The Ultimate Reference Book for the Magical Arts.” Why the hell do I have a spell book you might ask? See the previous posts on this topic for the back story.

[My comments in green and with square brackets, the balance of the text is straight from the book.]

** Spell Begins:
Ochossi’s Employment Spell

Ochossi, the divine hunter, may be petitioned for assistance with locating and bagging employment. [After a long tradition as a mighty hunter, Ochossi has apparently been downgraded to working as an employment counselor. How very disappointed his divine parents must be.] Traditionally an altar is created for him within a forest. An offering laid before a tree in a park is the best alternative. [Because Ochossi often hunts for children in the park, he can stop by and get schnockered up on your offering.] If neither is possible, recreate Ochossi’s home in your own. Arrange woodland images around an altar. Bring Ochossi offerings. [Be sure to leave your front door unlocked as Ochossi is not a locksmith.]

1. Fill a small terracotta bowl with honey.
2. Place seven silver-colored coins around it (they do not have to be real silver).
[Okay, I’ve never heard of anyone who would do ANYTHING worthwhile for 35 cents so you might want to go with real silver here.]
3. Ochossi prefers rum or cachaca. Offer him an entire bottle, [now you’re talkin’!] although it can be a small airline-sized one. [bullshit. Find your own job.] Open it for him. [This may not be his first offering of the night so best to play it safe.] (Some take a mouthful of liquor and without swallowing any, blow it onto the altar.) [Right, just what Ochossi wants, a sticky altar with your backwash in it.]

4. Add some honey-roasted peanuts. [Is this a spell or instructions for opening your own bar?]

5. Speak with the orisha; tell him what you need. [Probably something like: “I swear officer, I’m not drunk, I’m trying to find a job… no, I know I smell like rum but… wait, can I at least get my seven nickels back?”]

** Spell Ends

Alright, this is almost as stupid as the beef tongue spell. I’d suggest as an alternative that you use your seven nickels to have a couple nice résumés printed at the drugstore and perhaps take the bottle of rum to help ‘lubricate’ the job interview. I’m sure that’ll be much more effective and less likely to get you taken off to the drunk tank.


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The Time of Darkness

Wow… we’ve been on the ole’ pickle barrel for two weeks now with all my most annoying and hate-inspiring thoughts right there for everyone to see. Luckily though, today, I think, ends a period of ‘darkness’ in my life. Well, let’s just say it had damn well better mark the end of it.

I’ve been walking around this house all week in a huge funk related to … well, stuff. Today, on the hebdomadal break from the ‘stuff’ I was in an especially big funk until somebody brought me out of it and injected new life into my exhausted existence by disagreeing with me. Have I mentioned before the visceral appeal of being disagreed with, particularly by someone who knows what they’re talking about? Anyway, you can read the whole disagreement in the comments to this post I wrote almost 3 years ago: Hard Truths and Obvious Facts I.

My response to his criticism basically boils down to: “Yeah, I know.”

His pointed commentary to my post is exactly the reason people SHOULD talk about difficult topics. My opinion of religion three years ago was a shallow one based on the merest surface knowledge of what religion is and what it’s about. It’s like judging the taste of a loaf of bread based on a one-sentence description of its construction (Grind some grain into dust, add water and fungus spores and bake it.) After talking to people about their religion and reading a few books on the topic I’d say my stand on the topic has changed considerably.

Frankly, I’m jealous of the purpose and camaraderie that religion seems to bring to the lives of many people. I’m sure it must feel great to belong to something bigger and more purposeful than yourself. It is still my considered opinion that this great feeling is a major motivation for the formation of these groups but the fact remains they do a lot of good that would remain undone without them. Not long ago I described religion as “the magnum opus” of mankind in On Religion and so I still believe it to be. If there’s one thing you cannot say about religion, it’s that it’s poorly thought out. We’ve put a lot of effort in making people belong to something.

After three years of exploring this topic, I can no longer say ANYTHING about what’s really true and frankly, neither can anyone else. Personally, I don’t believe in God; the existence of God as defined by Christian theology makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. That belief though, as logical as it may seem to me, has absolutely no bearing on real truth. What I perceive as ‘good sense’ is another person’s ‘blatant illogic and ignorance of perceived facts.’ The only real fact seems to be that we HAVE no facts. What we do have is a collection of belief systems founded on personal experience as individual as the people believe them. Could there be a single omnipotent God who controls all we see and do like a puppeteer? I certainly can’t prove otherwise; there could be 50 Gods with names like ‘Pickleface’ and ‘Hammerhead’ for all I, you, or anyone else knows. The real point here is that you should do what you have to in order to be fulfilled and happy in life. If that means going to church and sitting with 3,000 other people and singing songs, then do it. If that means going into the woods and dancing around a fir tree, then do that. Just make sure that while you’re doing that you don’t break any of your own rules. Don’t stone the Wicca when you find them in the forest unless you want them to burn down your church. Don’t go ‘convert the heathens’ in the other parts of the world unless you are ready to accept their proselytizing in your hometown when you get back. Regardless of what you believe, we DO all have to get along.


Filed under religion

Pickles from the Bottom of the Barrel

As you may have noticed, I’ve been doing a bit of blogging lately. I’ve blogged about this that and the other thing and when I’m not blogging I’m telling people how much they should blog or at the least write down what’s going on in their lives. I’m a big believer in the amusement that can be derived from looking back on one’s life. If I had a blog or diary stretching back the entire 33 years of my life I’d guard it more closely than anything else I own. There’s a lot I’d like to remember about my life that I can’t because I foolishly failed to write it down.

As motivation, I like to occasionally take a trip back through my previous entries and look for the highlights. It’s been over three years since I started this thing with an idiotic post about a donut but only about a year and a half since I posted with any degree of regularity. In any case, let’s take a look at some of the pickles from the bottom of the barrel…

In which we find out that Grandpa’s Dead but Mother’s Not

From three years ago it’s the story from the day my grandfather died. I’m REALLY glad I bothered to write this down or I’d never remember it with such clarity.

What makes a good Husband?

My only foray into the deep secrets of marriage.

The Eye that sees itself – 2005

I’m still amused by this even after two years. Yes, it’s my actual answers to the self-evaluation form for my company’s HR yearly review process. More work-related fun was to be had in Missin’ the Christmas Party

Little White Lies with Black Black Hearts

The first post where I really went after… well, almost everyone. Anyone else not already offended probably got it here The One True Gift

Orwell’s Echoes

The favorite of my political posts.

Who owns who?

The first post where I started to depart from my materialistic tendencies. I’d long realized the purposelessness of ‘owning’ things but hadn’t quite said it out loud yet. In the same vein The Poverty of Plenty several months later and this blog’s first use of the word ‘cocaine.’ Later I tried to give away thousands of dollars in crap in All that Glitters and then dissed on Christmas in Merry Chri$tma$!

Hard Truths and Obvious Facts I

This is the first post where I really went after religion. Wow. I can imagine why I didn’t make any friends with this one. But in a way maybe I did as the eventual response was very Christ-like. You can read about that in The Gift of the Co-Worker Guy. I finally summed up all the religious rot in On Religion but since that summing wasn’t apparently quite enough summing we hit it again here The Many Faces of God (or not). Later I actually went to church and wrote about it in Goin’ to Church

On Evolution & Abortion

This post marks the last time I can remember being REALLY irritated about something online

The Lost Art of Conversation

April of 2005 was a good year. Here’s the one that caused the VP of my department to take me out to lunch to have a conversation.

A Special Place in Hell

Here’s the one where I stood up for homosexuals.

Schrödinger’s Blog

The first blog post about blogging in which I relate quantum mechanics to writing a blog. Later we had the never-popular Survey of the Blogsphere.

You and Your Penis

Yes, sometimes we even read a biology book here on the Tattered Thread. This of course had a few follow-ups in If you must go out, go out with a bang and Machine Gun versus Bazooka.


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