Friday, February 02, 2007

The Voodoo That You Do

My mom, who lives in Indiana, does taxes every year, mostly for the growing immigrant Latino population in the area. She likes to tell me little stories about her customers sometimes, and I pretend to be interested.

Halfway through a recent tale, however, I actually did perk up my ears. She was telling me about a young woman she hadn't seen in a while who showed up a couple of weeks ago. When my mom asked where she'd been, the girl replied that she'd had a baby and then left her husband, who beat her up shortly after she gave birth. (Obviously a total class act and a credit to his race.)

Then my mom mentioned that the girl is afraid for her life - not because of her ex-husband, but because she thinks his mother is a bruja, or witch. I tried not to burst out laughing, but considering the fact that I'm Catholic, who am I to knock other people's crazy superstitions? "Mom, did you tell her there's no such thing as brujas?" I asked. "Yes, mija," she replied, "but she really believes in all this nonsense. She thinks she's going to put a curse on her!"

"Okay, then," I said, thoughtfully. "This is what you tell her to do: she needs to get a voodoo doll and some fake blood, and leave it on that woman's doorstep. Pre-emptive ojo! Fight fire with fire! That's how we do it, órale." (It's possible I've lived in L.A. too long.) Anyhow, I got the sense my mom wasn't down with that, but I'm going to keep an eye on the papers out there just in case.

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