Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Power of Suggestion


When I was in my teens I knew an extremely annoying boy. It seemed he went out of his way to irk me every chance he could. He pushed and picked and goaded until I was ready to scream. Seriously, he worked my last nerve in ways you can’t imagine. Thank goodness we went to different high schools.

We were, however, at various music festivals together throughout the year. They were generally three-day events where participants won their spots by audition. I was a fairly decent string bass player as was his best friend and he played the trumpet. I really think he was jealous that his friend and I spent so much time whispering during practices. What he always failed to understand was that his friend and I had become buddies long before he showed up and no amount of interference from him was going to change that. Our mutual friend always managed to remain neutral. He enjoyed us both and refused to get involved in our disputes. Good for him I thought. What I didn’t get was why I had no problem sharing the time while he couldn’t stand doing the same. Especially when my pal and I mostly saw each other at musical events and they were in the same school day in and day out.

Anyway, we were at this festival and I’d had enough. I’d been reading a series to do with witchcraft and it was in the front of my mind so I stated that I would put a curse on him if he didn’t back off. Of course he simply laughed and continued the torment.

A month later we all attended the next gathering. Much to my amazement my nemesis was quiet and respectful whenever I was near. While we were rehearsing he would steal glimpses at me, looking away the instant he was caught. Finally I asked our friend what was going on. It turns out the week following the previous festival, his family’s only car was stolen. The week after that, his mother ran away from home. The next week, the one before the current festival, part of his house burned down. The pain was totally freaked because he was certain my curse caused everything.

I asked for a private moment during the next break and the poor guy literally paled but followed me off to the side of the stage anyway. I assured him that I had merely been talking, that I was not any sort of witch, that my curse was bogus, and that I had absolutely no power whatsoever unless you count the power of suggestion. I also expressed my sincere concern for his family’s troubles and offered to listen should he ever need to ramble. He accepted, though timidly.

That one was the last for the season. By the time the summer music program began his mom was back, they had a new car and a rebuilt, nicer-than-before home. Even so, he always kept his distance and refrained from any additional teasing.

I’ve recently had a not so pleasant experience with a different unkind male. Even though I know better, I’ve been considering issuing another curse, one more personal that clearly specifies it only affect him. One that does no real damage but would plant questions in his mind when little, everyday things went wrong. You know, the kind of things that always go wrong anyway. Hm, perhaps I will. Or perhaps I won’t. You’ll never know, will you? Yes, I’m speaking to someone specific here who I know reads this while vehemently denying it so perhaps you should be afraid. And perhaps you should check your parts.

As for the rest of you, have a very pleasant day. I know I will.

4 comments:

Amarinda Jones said...

My grandmother always enjoyed putting what she called an Irish curse on people...I like to follow in that tradition...it keeps people of their toes

Sandra Cox said...

I for one intend on staying on your good side:)

Kelly Kirch said...

Ditto. Sandra, can I hide behind you??

barbara huffert said...

Lol! No need to hide ladies. I really have no power other than that of suggestion. Besides, I like you guys so you'd be safe anyway.