A Curse, of Course

Even for non-football fans, the agony of the Minnesota Vikings faithful was palpable yesterday and no one was isolated from the anguish. It was all around us.

This is part of the entertainment and social value of sports – big losses create a drive to make sense of suffering that ultimately leads rational people to the “it’s only a game” explanation. Irrational people, however, will continue to search for a reason to explain why their fondest wishes stubbornly refuse to come true.

This is where a curse comes in handy. The Chicago Cubs still have the Curse of the Billy Goat to fall back on when their team disappoints. The Boston Red Sox had a long run justifying their misery with the Curse of the Bambino. But if there is no curse, you have to make one up so the world can feel logical and orderly again.

All I know is this – Trail Baboon sing-song poet laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler retreated to his garret immediately after Sunday’s game with a plate of hot wings that were picked totally clean by the time he emerged with his latest lame ditty:

When the team that you follow is hapless
and each year it appears to get worse,
you’ll feel lost like a traveler who’s map-less
’til you’ve found a believable curse.

A good curse can make sense of the losing.
With a curse there’s a way to explain
why the squandering squad of your choosing,
fails again and again and again.

“We were cursed by a player we traded.”
“There’s this powerful spell gypsies wrote.”
“It’s the vengeance of teams we berated.”
“We were hexed by a mystical goat.”

“There’s a burial mound in our end zone.”
“Once a shaman was carded for beer.”
“Voodoo dolls wear our uniforms – hand sewn!”
“Our team mascot insulted a seer.”

If the fans become flustered and frantic
and their trophy dreams ride in a hearse
the futility gets more romantic
When they’ve found a believable curse.

Have you ever been on either end of a curse?

54 thoughts on “A Curse, of Course”

  1. Absolutely. As with so many of my experiences, this one revolves around my trade. The project for the day was two bedrooms and a hallway of carpet. Easy peasy. Prior to going out to the customer’s home we rolled out the carpet for examination. There was a horrible black streak right down the middle of white carpet. No go that day. The reorder came a week later. Same black streak on white carpet. The rereorder came the following week. No streak but now we received black carpet. One more week and finally had the correct carpet. While driving to the job, the delivery truck was in an accident and the “contents” were ruined. The fifth time was the charm. No streak. Right color. No accidents. The next week the customer, who had been amazingly patient throughout this ordeal, called. Her dogs had been accidentally locked in one of the bedrooms and tried to claw their way out thereby destroying the carpet. Luckily, if such a word applies here, only that bedroom needed replacing. Finally, after all that I could quote Christ, “It is finished.”

    Liked by 5 people

  2. So very funny, Dale. Not that I care a whit about the Vikings. As I am from Green Bay, WI, I know they’re lame and someday the rest of you will come to that conclusion as well. 🙂

    Have a great day and stay warm while cursing this blasted cold weather!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Funny! I love the line about the team mascot insulting a seer.

    I’m quite sure I’m the most fervent Vikings fan on the Baboon Congress. That is not a boast. Being a fan of pro football is a terrible character flaw. I feel like the cannibal who can’t shake the habit. (“Hey, that’s the way I was raised. I just have this taste for it!”) When Baboons wanted me to show up at Blevins Book Club meetings on Sunday I wanted to beg off by saying I had to cook some meth in my basement . . . better that than admit the truth.

    But as for the Vikings having a curse . . . forget it! This year’s team was fascinating and entertaining right up to the season’s last second. There are few things sillier than choosing to be a sports fan and then whining when the home team loses. A Vikings fan who goes to pieces when the team loses is not worthy to wear a Helga Helmet.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I had to go look up what today’s blog was even about (that’s right – I didn’t know) but even I know what a Helga helmet is!

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    1. steve while you were down cooking meth i was at the game and would show up for the bbc with a bloody mary buzz that made me walk funny. it only came up a couple of times. i was at a dfl meeting on saturday and found that the head of hillarys campaign team had scheduled a meeting for sunday during the vikings game. what an idiot. not only did he make it a meeting for students interested in getting involved in politics which is a rarity he also further slimmed the possibilities by making it students who didnt care about the vikings on the most exciting football afternoon in a decade or two.
      hope it doesnt curse hillary i hear the other guy is closing in iowa and leading in new hampshire.
      remember the caucus in minnesota is march 1 this year , super tuesday for the first time

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I was at a court hearing once involving a neglect and abuse case and the parent and some of the parents friends, who claimed to be Wiccan, (although I highly doubt that they were actual adherents of that faith practice) were angry at the judge and kept making what they claimed to be hex signs in his direction. The children were kept in foster care so I guess the hexes didn’t work, and the judge lived to retire and is still with us.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. i had a voodoo curse put on me by the most beautiful woman i had ever seen when i didnt agree to give her all the money in my possession. the really bad part is it took. does anyone have access to a voodoo curse undoer i could use a fresh a start.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The only curse I’ve had that I can think of is a case of Montezuma’s Revenge after my first trip to Mexico.

    (Unless you call being cursed with movie star looks, boyish charm, and a brilliant mind …. oh wait a sec, that’s the fantasy me!) 😉

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 7 people

  7. No matter what I do I can’t grow a good crop of broccoli. I always fall to get normal sized heads. I usually get a fairly good amount of side shoots and hardly ever get a bigger head like the ones you can buy in stores.

    To be sure the transplants I use are good quality I started growing my own plants. I have tried growing many different kinds of broccoli hoping that there is kind that will work for me. I add plenty of good organic fertilizer to the soil and set the plants out early. The weather could have been bad in some of the years when my broccoli didn’t do well. However, I know that it is possible to produce big heads of broccoli here in Minnesota because I’ve seem plants with big heads in a number of other Minnesota gardens.

    Last year I gave some of my extra broccoli plants to my neighbor. The plants were not in top shape by the time I gave them to her. I told her I wasn’t sure she should use my left over plant. She said she thought they were okay. Apparently, they were okay because her plants produce very large heads while, once again, I didn’t get any large heads. Next year I am going to give my plants more room to grow the way my neighbor does it. Will that work? Probably not.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. jim likes broccoli. he tries to grow it every year. (how many people do you know who try to grow broccoli every year? but when he was growing up he made the broccoli gods angry when at age 2 he hid some broccoli under a piece of bread so his mom would take it away. his mom missed it but the broccoli gods did not listen. you want a bg head. talk to the god of the gardens from greek mythology. he knows big heads
        http://www.theoi.com/Georgikos/Priapos.html

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dale, maybe there is someone who has put a broccoli curse on me. I should look into that. There are some people who don’t like broccoli. Do you think I have been cursed by a person who doesn’t like to see people growing broccoli? My problems with growing broccoli started when I lived in Clarks Grove. Maybe there is someone there who was offended when I planted broccoli and put a broccoli curse on me. There are people there who are easily offend by people doing things they think are wrong.

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        1. Maybe it was the cabbage and kale in the neighboring beds. Maybe they wanted more space and were offended that you thought broccoli should take up residence there. Hell hath no fury like a brassica oleracea scorned.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. The other broccoli curse, through which I myself have endured, is the bumper crop of broccoli. This veggie finds no middle ground. In 1969 when my mother’s cropped boomed, we ate broccoli morning, noon, and night.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think my garden from last summer had some kind of whammy on it. We bought a community plot and planted it with all kinds of wonderful vegetables. Then a BIG rain washed out most everything. So Jim planted an ENTIRE package of rutabaga seeds. Guess what’s taking up all the room in my freezer? I like rutabaga, but not that much …

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Oh, they lost. The morning meeting is going to be filled with wailing and gnashing of teeth, then. And me without my meditation beads today.

    I am not in the business of curses–which probably sounds strange, but I’ve learned enough about magic to be quite wary of misusing it. I know women who have hexed rapists, and several polytheists have formally cursed Daesh (commonly known as ISIL; we don’t call it ISIS for obvious reasons) for the recent destruction of ancient temple sites. Curses are supposed to bind both curser and target, but being bound to not rape or not defile holy places would hardly be a problem for those practitioners. Personally, my tactic is always to use magic to help me find a way out of a situation, rather than resorting to hexes to change it. I’m a corvid, I prefer to fly away rather than fight!

    As for being a victim, fortunately not (so far). My roommate is prone to lengthy runs of plain bad luck, and some of that seems to have rubbed off on me, if last year is anything to go by. She also seems to get visited by trickster spirits trying to get her attention every so often, and that has started spilling over onto me as well, but nothing so bad as a curse. Of course, I’m allergic to conflict, so I don’t get myself involved in the community strife (aka “witch wars”) that might make a person unpopular enough to curse. I also have to give credit to my Matron; she’s long been called on as a protector, and I think she’s been keeping me safe in all sorts of ways for a long time.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. How about this: get a High John the Conqueror root, wrap it in a $20, tie it up in a green flannel bag, and carry it in your pocket. If nothing else, you’ll always have $20!

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Well, if you’re serious, you’d want to do some kind of Uncrossing beforehand. It’s a general rule of magic to purify and protect before a working, or, in mundane terms, wash the blackboard before trying to write on it. Hoodoo works with these situations a lot, so Catherine Yronwode’s site is the place to start: http://www.luckymojo.com/uncrossing.html. They stock High John, as well.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. I wonder if kind, loving people can effectively invoke curses. My mom once tried–tried REALLY hard–to kill a guy with a voodoo curse. That guy is still alive (and, in fact, is the boss of one of the Baboons). I doubt curses are a promising enterprise for good people.

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  10. Rise and Spread Negativity, Baboons!

    Of course the Vikings lost. They were not quite ready yet. But I agree with Steve–Great, Entertaining Season.

    My cousin cursed me in 1981. (Really! It’s the down-side of a big family–the bell curve dictates that somebody will be mentally ill, 3-10% of the general population crosses the line), She was living with me, on the cusp of homelessness. So I gave her a home. She proceeded to neglect her children. I told her the kids could stay, but she had to leave. She left WITH the children. Several days later I received a many paged poison pen letter with a curse.

    She lives in Kansas City now. What bigger curse could there be than to be a citizen of Missouri (or as my dad called it, Misery). I think her curse boomeranged on her. She has had a difficult life, and nobody had to curse the poor woman to make it so. Sigh.

    I can’t see that her curse affected me much. As with most people, my own foibles are a big enough problem–nobody needs to try to make me miserable. I can do it myself.

    Same for the Vikes. (Ram horn blows: aaahhhuuuuuuu) Next Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I think I have posted before about the Heyokas, sacred clowns of the Lakota people who can be funny or who can be real trouble makers. Our Arikara friend doesn’t like them, and has experienced their calling up bad weather and hail storms,

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  12. I’m hoping that 2016 isn’t a cursed year for me, but I wonder. Ended 2015 with a nasty cold/flu/bug that turned into a double ear infection and here I am, on my last day of antibiotics and my right ear still hurts and it is almost totally deaf. My left ear isn’t hearing very well either but if someone stands close to me on the left side and speaks very clearly, I can understand them. In a few minutes, I head off to school where I will spend 3+ hours trying to listen to the teacher…for some reason, I fear that I’m going to miss something important.

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  13. No curses for me. Although I do occasionally feel cursed when I’m making the 3rd trip to the hardware store on a Saturday for the same project!

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  14. Didn’t watch the game, don’t really care about football. Still, I feel really, really sorry for that kicker. A whole bunch of people who have never played football in any organized way are criticizing and blaming him.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been cursed. And I don’t remember cursing anyone in a real sense, though I know I’ve grumbled and kvetched about certain people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Same here.

      If I had the capability putting a curse that worked on anyone, my ex would be dead. He isn’t, so there. (I know, it’s not nice to wish anyone dead, but I have.)

      I have, however, known some people who seemed to be inordinately prone to accidents. “Our” Russian chauffeur at the Danish embassy in Moscow was one such person. Oleg was the nicest and most helpful person you’d ever want to meet, but it was almost a sure bet that something would happen to upset the apple cart. Maye he was just a bad driver, but fender benders seemed to be the order of the day. I wonder if he’s still alive.

      Liked by 1 person

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