The other afternoon Harry said this to me: “Mom, since you wrote that note on the envelope I have started getting skin problems. I have a patch of dry skin right here (he points to his elbow) and this morning I got one on my shoulder, and I have one on my side(in general Harry does have great skin - except dry, like his sister). Will you please take it back? And, you need to be careful about your curses.”
Harry is referring to a note I had scribbled on the envelope of Aunt Mary’s letter: Harry if you do not read Aunt Mary’s letter today you will have a pox of skin problems.
My Aunt sent him a letter along with a book to help him prepare for ACT’s in October. It has been sitting by the computer for awhile untouched. I was tired of him telling me that he would read it. The kid is well meaning but, you know how teenagers are. All adolescents have skin problems so it was an easy association. I figured as poxes go this was a win – win situation because whose ever seen a teen that didn’t have skin problems. It was more or less supposed to be a joke.
What he meant by “needs to be careful” is this:
When he was about eleven, we were in Chicago at the pool at my mom’s condo. Harry had gone to the Seven Eleven across the street. I told him to take money out of my purse. Well what he did, without realizing it, was grab a big wad of cash that amounted to $60.00. Harry didn’t realize he had that much till he was in the store, but even still, he left the money on the counter, while he went to select an ice cream treat from the store’s freezer. He came back to the counter and his money was gone. He was the only one in the store besides the man behind the counter. He asked the clerk if the clerk saw anyone take his money and the clerk said no. My son felt he was lying. I found my son at my car where my purse was, crying his eyes out. He told me the story. He was very upset because it was a lot of money.
“Listen Harry, I’ll fix this. Let’s go back to the store.”
So we drove over there. The store was empty except for the clerk.
“My son says that he came in here and put money on the counter and turned his back for five minutes, and the money was gone. Did you see what happened to it?”
The man was clearly a non native and by the thickness of his mid-eastern somewhere near India accent probably not very good with English either, but he understood what I was asking. He shook his head, no.
“ Are you sure? Because my son said that only you and he were in the store and that you were standing right here and watched him put the money down.”
Again he shook his head. No, no.
“Are you saying my son is lying? Because I know my son and he is not perfect, but he is not lying about this.”
No, again no.
Well, I had to do something to save face in front of my son. I must somehow win. I had told Harry I would fix this. I stood up straight, looked squarely at the man, and shook my finger in his direction. “Look, you better not be lying to me, because I will put a curse on you. If you are lying to me, when you die, you will go to hell. So, you better not be lying about this because I would not want you to go to hell, but you will if you are lying.” He went bug-eyed. Wow, I think I made an impression. I also think he was lying.
Well I heard from my family and they told me that six months later the 7-11 went belly up. Eventually the building was raised and they put a bank in its place.
So then about 3 months after that, my brother in law was supposed to get tires for me at a discount. He was busy and did not get back to me. He might have been out of town. I needed them right now, and realizing I had waited to the last minute to ask my brother in law, I just went and got them at a retail outlet, for retail prices. I was a little miffed, but I did understand he was busy and probably overextended. About a week after that he was over at my mother’s investigating a clog in her toilet. It turned into a horrible nightmare. He had to completely dismantle the toilet, he flooded the bathroom, and after removing the toilet, where the pipe meets the floor he found a bar of my hand made soap. I make soap in the off season (aka winter) and it is hard as a rock and it lasts forever. My brother in law was convinced this was a sign (he’s Scottish and they are superstitious). So now I had a reputation. (And I have prayed specifically to God for money and gotten that too, so I believe in myself!)
Well just recently I had a conversation with someone at work about the war in Iraq. I made the comment that I hope Bush gets kidney stones because they are a major nuisance. My friend looked at me funny and I said, well I just want him feel some of the pain these families of solders are feeling (not even close but still), and I don’t want his problem to be traced back to me. Well y’know what? Within several weeks I read in the papers that he got polyps. That must have involved some kind of pain, because a doctor had to remove them. Hmmm.