Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Good Luck Charm

You may have heard yesterday that a crowd of over 10,000 people were waiting to buy magic amulets in Bangkok, Thailand, and a stampede to get to the front of the line erupted killing one woman and injuring dozens of others.

10,000 people…in line…to buy MAGIC AMULETS…a STAMPEDE…and someone died. And it’s 2007. But someone died in a crush to get a magic amulet. I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

I googled the magical amulet, called a Jatukam Ramethep, and found out that they are round, ranging in size from a penny to a silver dollar and they come in a variety of colors. They’re named after a Brahmin deity, the skilled warrior prince of an ancient Southern Thai kingdom. Believers feel that the amulet can bring good luck and protect them from evil and violent attacks including gunshots and knife wounds.

You can buy an authentic Jatukam Ramethep amulet on Ebay for $15.50. But a woman DIED yesterday because 10,000 people crushed her in their effort to get one of these things. A magic amulet.

A MAGIC AMULET. Really? Like magic, magic? Call me a skeptic, but REALLY? Because if so, SIGN ME UP.

It’s reported that the deity won’t help the owner if they ask for things that they can’t afford or things that aren’t moral, but hey, I can think of plenty of other ways that good luck could find me that are squeaky clean and completely moral.

On second thought, maybe I should reserve judgement on these kooks obsessed with a little charm…

Years ago my friend Beth became friends with Kramer. Kramer is an astrologist of some renown in Austin, Texas, and you can always count on a good time if you have Kramer read your cards or your astrological chart. I’ve never been a big believer in the dark arts, but Kramer had a real disdain for Pisces (me!) and was convinced that Pisces were those in the Zodiak that had the biggest problems…big, big problems (me!). Most notably, that we weren’t grounded in reality (me!). His solution? Wear a hematite ankle bracelet on your left ankle every day for a year. The energy from the hematite stone was supposed to keep me grounded and focused and it would overpower any indecision or insecurity.

Just IN CASE Kramer MIGHT have had some insight into the Pisces condition I decided to go with the flow, so when the next woo-woo astrology fair came through Austin, I went from one patchouli scented booth to the other until I found just the right hematite ankle bracelet.

And I’ll be damned if I didn’t wear that thing for, like, three years straight.

Now, there are three things that I’ve always thought make a woman look mighty trashy – long fake fingernails, bleached blonde hair, and ankle bracelets. And yep, I’ve pretty much had all three - many at the same time - many times during my life. But for those years, the ankle bracelet kind of became my thing and it was fun to tell people that it was grounding me in reality.

The fact that I received many promotions and raises during this time, lost quite a bit of weight, and seemed to be dating on a regular basis was just coincidence, right? Perhaps. Perhaps not. The ankle bracelet finally broke one day and I took this as a sign that it had fulfilled its mission and its grounding properties were no longer needed in my life. And things have been pretty much downhill since.

Okay, maybe I’m just kidding. But maybe there really is something else to consider. If 10,000 people were willing to wait in a line and ultimately kill another person for a charm, maybe I could fork over the $15.50 to Ebay, forgo the drama and reap the good rewards. Perhaps?

Perhaps not.

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