So there I was, looking up an article about the Vatican’s chief exorcist (don’t ask), when I came across a list of some of the possible ways that people might become possessed. These included practicing magic (such as using a Ouija board), being a Freemason, a habit of blaspheming, and “maledictions by close family members.”
I am completely safe on the first two counts. Even if we had a Ouija board, my kids would surely have lost the pieces by now, thereby saving me from the torment of demonic inhabitation. Come to think of it, maybe that’s been their plan all along, and that’s why they have also lost the pieces to every other board game we own. It makes sense, in a twisted “kid logic” sort of way: although the Vatican hasn’t officially come out against “Sorry” or “Celebrity Taboo” yet, why take a chance? ( And as for Freemasony, I think I’m fairly safe there as well, since I’ve heard they’re a pretty exclusive bunch. Except for the Shriners–they’ll drink with anyone.)
When it comes to the second two, however (maledictions and blaspheming), I am totally screwed. (Although you would think that if you can become possessed both by cursing someone, and by being cursed, then, eventually, possession would become so widespread that after a while it would become the norm, and the people who weren’t possessed by demons would be the ones seen as weirdos. Sort of like the way people look at me now when I tell them I don’t have a cellphone. “What do you mean you’re not possessed? You don’t have a demon? How do you even function? I mean, you can’t look at the middle of your back without a mirror or anything.”)
The hard truth is that if cursing (both in the active and passive sense) really is the “gateway to demonic possession,” then it’s all over for me. I’m totally @#$%. First, because I swear a lot. (See @#$%, preceding sentence.) But even if I didn’t swear at all, even if I said “gosh darn it” more often than Sarah Palin, there’s still the little matter of my daughter, Clementine. Because Clementine curses me all of the time–sometimes three or four times before breakfast, even. (Or, as they say down in Vatican City, she frequently “maledicts” me.) It’s worse than living with a grumpy gypsy.
She maledicts me when I won’t drive her and her friends to the mall, when I won’t pick her and her friends up from the mall after they have taken the bus to get there, when I won’t give her money so she can go to the mall, etc. (Come to think of it, maybe I misread that article; maybe it wasn’t malediction but mall-addiction.)
In fact, it’s rather shocking that with all of her maledicting and blaspheming, she isn’t the one possessed. Especially since when I did some follow up on the whole malediction thing I found that the four absolute worst groups you can curse at are God, parents, authority figures, and the deaf. (The latter presumably because it is a waste of time.) Again, I’m two out of four right there. (I’ll let you guess which two.) So why isn’t she possessed yet?
Unless, of course, she already is. Ah. That would explain everything.
It would explain the two feet of clothing that carpets the floor of her room (all the better for hiding that Hellmouth in the corner); it would explain why she refuses to wear socks with even the sweatiest of shoes (all the better to hide the sulphur smell); and it would explain why she refuses to brush her hair (all the better to cover up the horns, of course.)
It might even explain why we go through beer so quickly in my house: it’s either that, or there’s a Shriner with a Ouija board around here somewhere.