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October 13, 2007

Who Would You Voodoo

Who Would You Voodoo?

By Friend o'the Tarts and Louisiana native, Ramona Long

I went home to Louisiana and came back with six new voodoo dolls.

Six? Six? Who, you are surely wondering, needs six voodoo dolls? What kind of person has half a dozen enemies in need of prodding?

Not me.  The truth is, I bought six because, duh, they were on sale. Six voodoo dolls for five bucks. Even in the world of spirituality and superstition, it's hard to pass up that kind of bargain.

I found this bargain at the newly renovated and recently reopened French Market flea market. For you uncultured heathens out there, the New Orleans French Market is America's oldest city market. It's just off the river, past the Moon Walk and Jackson Square, down the road from the huge statue honoring Sieur de Bienville (Father of New Orleans) and a rather garish gold one of Jeanne d'Arc, and well within sniffing distance of Cafe du Monde (cafe au lait and beignets) and Aunt Sally's (creole pralines) shop. If you get confused, as we did by construction trucks blocking the entrance, you just ask a local, and even if it's ten o'clock on a Sunday morning and he's still reeling drunk from the LSU-Tulane game held in the Superdome the morning before, he will gladly give directions. Our drunk told us just where to go, and we would have thanked him sincerely when we saw him later on, but he had finally passed out on a wrought iron bench outside The Voodoo Shop, and we didn't want to wake him up.

Anyway, in the French Market, you can find shops offering a dazzling array of unique clothes, antiques, art, jewelry, crafts, more food items than you can shake a palm frond at, and the fleur-de-lis emblazoned on hats, t-shirts, mugs, earrings, shot glasses, necklaces, pencils, stick-on tattoos, and oven mitts in the shape of alligators, crabs and crawfish. The fleur-de-lis has become the symbol of New Orleans' recovery. This was my first trip to Louisiana P-K (Post-Katrina) and I did my part by buying as many Katrinkets as I could fit into my allowable luggage.

Which is why I bought all six voodoo dolls. Yes, they were on sale, but I wanted to support the city financially.

But admittedly, there's more. These dolls are just about the cutest things you ever saw. The heads are made of the requisite stone painted black with scary red eyes, but the bodies are decked out in gold, green, pink, purple, blue and black fabrics with fun little metal doo-hickies sewn on. The heads and feet are straw, feathers stick out from the heads, and each is slung with a tiny gold bag for the herbs, spices and chicken parts needed for various spells.

However, though I may be a sucker for the fancy fabrics, that's not what counts. The only thing you really need to make the doll go, so to speak, are the pins. A black pin for evil, or a white one for good luck.

Surprised? Voodoo ain't just for hurting people, y'all. White magic works as well as black, and the doll swings both ways. You can bring bon fortune with a white pin in the heart, or you can bring mondo pain and suffering by sticking a black pin . . . wherever you want to stick it, which is usually somewhere south of the heart, if you get my drift.

Here are the instructions printed on the back of the dolls. And don't give me a hard time about the ex-wife part, because I'm quoting the little card:


Step 1. Lie down the voodoo doll on table or hang on wall.

Step 2. Close your eyes and concentrate deeply on your victim or enemies (at office, school, ex-wife, etc) or friend (any person you intend to help.)

Step 3. White pin is for good luck.  Black pin is for evil!

Step 4. For extra power, call the Voodoo King in New Orleans to order your double pins for double power.

Sadly, there's no number listed for the Voodoo King, but that's as well, because I might be tempted to call the next time Michele says something disparaging about Blond Bond.

So, now I have six voodoo dolls. They're set out in a row across my desk, and I'm wondering where to start.

That black pin or the white?

Should I black-pin it right between the eyes while chanting the name of that agent who returned my stuff without so much as a Post-it note? Or should I gently prod the liver area with a white pin while thinking of that very helpful drunk? White for my son during his physics test? Black the next time I argue with that idiot at my insurance company? Which color for the ex-boyfriend who found me after twenty-plus years via this blog?

Wow. All of a sudden, the power feels profound. And I like it.  I really, really like it.

So tell me, mes amis. If you found a bargain like this one, who would you voodoo?


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Oh, Ramona - where to begin?

White pins for my sick friends (plus our Steelers on the IR list)

But then, those black pins sure are tempting. I can think of two big ones right off the top of my head. Where do you stick the pins if you're not sure one has a heart and the other has a brain?

Do they sell them in bulk?

In a related note, Fat Tuesday is very early this year - February 5th or something. What's the weather like in New Orleans that time of year?

Great blog!!!

I don't know which I would want--probably white for lots of things.

But that's not what I am writing about. What I am writing about is to ask you if I mentioned that your hair looks particularly good right now, that you look as if you have lost weight, that your children are paragons of manners and well-rearing (smart, attractive, and respectful to women, too!), that whatever politics you have are the cat's meow, et cetera, et cetera.

Because all those things are true.

Ah, Ramona....

Who Do That Voodoo That You Do So Well....

Mon Dieu, you folks are up and at 'em early on a Saturday morning!

Kathy, like most sciences, voodoo is not always terribly scientific. Just go by the victim's offense for guidance. IOW, aim near the offending organ...I mean, area. If all else fails, stab 'em in the back. That's probably why you're holding a black pin over a doll with red eyes and thinking of this person in the first place, right?

As for buying in bulk, thanks for bringing that up! Here's a link to the French Market:

Josh, you are very wise. A rotten liar, but very wise. (But, oddly, my hair does look really nice today!)

Mardi Gras 2008 is indeed February 5, which means Ash Wednesday is my birthday. Bummer. (Now everyone knows my birthday. Considering the nature of this blog, I suggest you don't forget to send my present.)

Weather that time of year can be hot, but it can get a bit chilly. Usually dry, but sometimes it rains. Is that helpful?

Ramona, ma soeur fou du blog, thanks for the great post. My husband went to Tulane and has many fond (if sometimes hazy) memories of New Orleans. I only managed to get there once, many years ago, but loved the French Market (and the pralines, too). My personal favorite part (I am a biologist, after all) was the plethora of alligator skulls, complete with glass eyes and varnished within an inch of their un-lives.

As far as pins and dolls go, I'm afraid I'm too much a believer in karma (plus, I think that damned bluebird of my Mom's is still around, even if she's not) to actually use the black ones. I do, however, have three candidates -- three individuals who so hurt people I love that I still fantasize about kicking their asses from here to hell and back. Plus one who screwed me over pretty thoroughly, now that I think about it. Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'd resist the temptation for black.

White, now, that's easy. Who doesn't need a little extra blessing in their lives?

As you are a blessing in ours :)

Oh Kerry, I feel your pain. My husband is also a Tulane graduate. Tulane's biggest in-state rival is LSU, who by the way is ranked NUMBER ONE in the nation. I am an LSU grad. Needless to say it can get pretty loud around here when the two teams meet.
Speaking of football, and I try not to. The N.O. Saints play in the Superdome. Pre-Katrina, the Saints had the worst record in NFL history. It is believed by many locals that the Superdome was hexed because it sits on an old burial ground. Many counter hexes were performed over the years before games to remove the curse. Various voodoo priests, priestesses and crazy Saints fans tried in vain, but the team continued to lose. Katrina struck, the city flooded and the Dome was heavily damaged. The Superdome was quickly repaired, way before many homes were fully gutted, demolished or repaired, afterall the city and state have their priorities The first post Katrina Saints game was said to be the most exciting game in team history. The Saints went on to make the NFC playoffs. There was dancing in the streets, Mardi Gras every Sunday after each game. Everyone said Katrina washed the curse away and the Saints were winners. Now it's a new season and the Saints suck again. They haven't won a game yet. The big question is who went to the French Market and bought six voodoo dolls for $5 and cursed the team again?

Ah, cher...thanks for the walk in NOLA :o) I haven't been since Katrina, but my kids have (they moved away one month before the disaster hit as I think I mentioned)three times. They want to buy a loft there as a 'second home' :o)Aunt Sally's and Cafe du Monde are two of my favorite places. I will go back. I loved the French Market, although I never did buy a voodoo doll. Bought a candle or two though for good luck (not sure they're working, but oh well).
Who would I voodoo? In general:
White for the good stuff
The Saints (love 'em)
Da Bears (they need help)
The Colts (Peyton's a good ol'boy from NOLA)
My son and daughter (who deserve only good things)
My favorite authors just before their new books come out
Our next president (whoever he may be...at least at the beginning...)
The cities of New Orleans Pass Christian, Waveland, Gulfport, etc...because they're not all getting ALL the help they really need.

The Bad mojo?
Michael Vick
Anyone who hurts children anywhere
Hell, anyone who hurts women anywhere too
Dick Cheney
Ann Coulter (sorry, but I know conservatives who would stick the pin in!)

I'm sure I can think of more, but I've got to take the cat to the vet for his 16th annual physical...Hey, Ramona, do they have voodoo dolls for pets?

Thanks again for the walk down memory lane...
GO Saints! (Go Illini too since it's Saturday!)

Maryann, are you an Illini grad? My husband, the Tulane grad, as mentiond above, got his graduate degree from UI. Do you remember a few years ago when LSU played UI in the Sugar Bowl? I think it was the same year Tulane went 12-0. My husband was such a happy man.

Thanks for the link to the French Market, Ramona, and for the tour. I have never been to NOLA, but know a few people who have lived there in the pre-K days. I have always wanted to go, and not just during Mardi Gras.

I once bought a VooDoo doll kit (you made your own doll) for a friend fighting cancer and she continually stuck the pins in the offending areas. She got many laughs from the Drs & nurses when she would go for her treatments and keep jabbing the thing. She said it gave her a sense of being able to do SOMETHING.

Ramona, truce, sister. I have an idea. You buy a doll of me, stick a lot of *white* pins in it and chant "Clive will be your pool boy, Clive will be your pool boy." Once Clive shows up here to become my slave and do my bidding, I'll renounce all ill will toward Blond Bond forever. Not only that, I'll sign a paper saying Blond Bond is the One True Bond. Deal or no deal??

A white one for my wife, who broke her right foot Wednesday evening and is not supposed to put weight on it for four weeks. She can't drive, either. Or easily get up and down the 17 steps between our first and second floors.

White for my friend Jude, who is up for a job she would be great at. White also for the little girl in my daughter's class whose mother went to prison for drug dealing.

Black for the moron who passed the school bus with its flashing red lights on in front of the school Thursday afternoon and almost hit a group of kids.

Kerry, my dahling sistah, U R 2 sweet. You'll be pleased to know that the plethora of highly-glossed alligator skull souvenirs remain. Creepy, huh?

Maryann, Pam, everyone, I think a TLC field trip to the Big Easy should be planned. I can think of several locations where Margie can announce her presidential candidacy.

As for voodoo dolls for pets, you bet! All's fair in love and voodoo. That includes Ann Coulter, who is a female dog.

Josh, as soon as I'm done typing, I'll devote a session to your wife and her bum ankle. Ouch. I hope she heals quickly.

As Pam pointed out, in bad times, sometimes you need to feel that you are doing something to control the events in your life, even if it's sticking a pin in a doll.

Which brings me to Michele...under your proposition, you get Clive as a pool boy and I get a piece of paper? You're a lawyer, and you're trying to pass this off as a fair deal? Tell you what: I'll send you a doll. Have Blondie show up at my front door wearing a chauffeur's cap, and then we'll talk.

I'll second that warning about the black pins. I've been told by many that the negative energy we send out will find a way back to us . . .not that it isn't an ongoing temptation. I try to make myself repeat the Dervish in the Road's blessing, "May the deepest desires of your soul be satisfied," hoping to make the offender a better person. (Though there is that murder mystery I wrote to avoid killing an assistant principal . . .)
I could use a white pin for this pesky swollen foot, though. Despite the foot, I spent my birthday at the National Storytelling Festival -- October 5-7, 2007 Jonesborough, Tennessee
I have been writing my reflections all week, nearly finished -- too big to post here, but available if you want it (mgarrett@mail.win.org).
I spent a few weeks in New Orleans in 1983, and danced in the French Market with a friend of a friend. For the rest of the day, people were greeting me and complimenting the dance! I was back a few years ago, and I'd love to go return. TLC field trip, perhaps??

I'll second that warning about the black pins. I've been told by many that the negative energy we send out will find a way back to us . . .not that it isn't an ongoing temptation. I try to make myself repeat the Dervish in the Road's blessing, "May the deepest desires of your soul be satisfied," hoping to make the offender a better person. (Though there is that murder mystery I wrote to avoid killing an assistant principal . . .)
I could use a white pin for this pesky swollen foot, though. Despite the foot, I spent my birthday at the National Storytelling Festival (October 5-7, 2007 Jonesborough, Tennessee
http://www.storytellingcenter.com/festival/festival.htm). I have been writing my reflections all week, nearly finished -- too big to post here, but available if you want it (mgarrett@mail.win.org).
I spent a few weeks in New Orleans in 1983, and danced in the French Market with a friend of a friend -- for the rest of the day, people were greeting me and complimenting the dance! I was back for a few days a few years ago, and I'd love to go back. TLC field trip, perhaps??

Don't know about anyone else, but I had trouble posting. I'd just like to point out, Mr. Typepad, that this is a Bad Day to get cranky. You understand me?

Mr. Typepad is responsible for my double post as well. I love my words, of course, but not that much. . .

C'est vrai, mes chers - don't mess, no, wit' da law de retourne. White pins toujours, plus mieux la future.

Ramona, calling Ms Coulter a female dog demeans a fine and fair group of mammals. I'm sure there is a species-specific term for the female Komodo dragon (scavengers with the toxic saliva, ya know?), but I can't find it at the moment. Maybe we can create a new general insult - and another bumper sticker.

Josh, best wishes to Mrs. Josh. Mary, heal up fast.

Hi. It's Me, Margie.

Ramona - I LOVE this plan. I'm excited to be a part of it. We can make it part of our TLC Platform - do as we say, and it's white pins only for you. Cross us and, well, not so much.

Josh - take good care of your wife. That is one bitch of a break. And tell her NOT to put weight on it before the doc gives the okay. My cousin Kay did that and they had to, like, re-break her foot or something. But you know, she got some really good 'scripts out of it.

Mary - why is your foot swollen? Did you step on something? You know what's good for that? Sex. Just saying. You too Josh.

Oh - and Ann Coulter? First off, too skinny. There's a problem right there. She obviously needs to eat more cake. Also, she's an asshole. Total and complete. If I were her, I'd sleep with one eye open. Because if she wants perfect, I know people who can throw a perfect uppercut to the mush. Then it would be a perfect bye-bye. She's too skinny to survive a good whack, y'know?

One more thing - Mr. Typepad has been acting up for a couple of days. I got e-mails from people who tried to post both yesterday and today. He's on my List now. Black pins only for him.

Margie, if you want to run as the Voodoo Party candidate, I think you've got yourself some willing campaign workers.

Tom, you are correct. I owe female dogs everywhere an apology.

Mary, as soon as I finish aiding Mrs. Josh, I'll start chanting about your hurt foot. In the meantime, Margie's "cure" might be a good remedy, too.

By my tally thus far, most of us want to go with the white pins, either out of the goodness of our sweet little hearts, or fear of reprisal from Karma.

It does, however, seem unanimous that Michael Vick, Ann Coulter and Mr. Typepad might be feeling some pain sometime soon.

Margie's cure does sound like even more fun than aqua-aerobics and much better than the acupuncture another friend suggested. The swelling of the foot began the week I had a free trial at Curves; I can't prove it, but it seems suspicious. Also when I Googled "Curves+injuries" there were many hits. So it's the Y for now, and if you know any nice guys, I'll consider Margies cure as well. Chants, pins, prayers, and healing thoughts also accepted.

Ramona, if you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. I'm *happy* to stick white pins in a doll and send Blond Bond to your door. I just need you to do me the same favor. Not sure if my chanting will work as well as yours does. You're the priestess; I'm an amateur. But I'll give it my best shot.

Although I can't promise I'm right, I'm pretty sure there is no species-specific term for female Komodo dragon (at least, not in English). And anyway, they're really pretty cool, and one was recently reported as having given virgin birth. Not sure that applies to Ms. Coulter.

Instead, I offer this fascinating list of terms used to describe various monsters in Beowulf (the Internet is a wonderful thing). Some of them seem like they'd be quite appropriate, both in meaning and in what I suspect they sound like ("sceadugenga", for example, means "walker in darkness"). Check it out: http://www.ldolphin.org/cooper/appen10.html.

Kerry, sorry, the link doesn't work for me.

Kerry's link works if you take out the period at the end - way cool list!

Ramona, I need Blond Bond when you're done with him but not until I finish Book #4. So don't free him, okay? I need him every Wednesday and alternate weekends, please.

Yeah, white pins only. It's not easy, but I bow to the wisdom of the Commenters.

Tom, I love it when you talk French.

It's a deal, Harley.

Although, if I get to keep BB to myself until you are done with Book #4...where's that black "miss your deadline" pin?

It is to laugh, mon chou Harley - for surely, here we only type?

ok, I love it when you type French.

And that's "petite chou" to you.

Bien sur, ma p'tite, si tu veu.

Are you two still at it over here?

What? Who? Whoa!
Ain't no one here
but da Ghost o' Beaudreaux!

And I think I forgot the 'x' at the end of 'veux.'

I keep meaning to ask, Ramona - are you part of the family of Huey P. and Earl?

Two answers to that question, Tom:

1. Long is my married name, so me personally, no relation.

2. Depends on who in my husband's family you ask.

There was definitely something Cajun in the air today, which means the air traveled a long way to Long Beach. What have you been doing with those white pins, Ramona?

In the pharmacy at ML's pulmonary rehab facility, I foun' me a package of "Bourdreaux's Butt Paste, Guaranteed To Cure Even A Cajun Boy-Baby's Diaper Rash, Him," yes, I did.

And they say Disneyland is the Magic Kingdom. No, it's Louisianna, fo' sho'.

Vous et d'accord, Mlle. Harley?

My spelling has gone to hell, or else my typing has gone bad. One or the other.

Tom! Are you STILL HERE? This blog was from Saturday!

Get a life, cher.

(I'm am so not going to touch Boudreax's Butt Paste.)

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