Volume 47, Issue 9 - September 2012
The Evil Eye???
I reached for it as it finished its third ring, leaned back in my very comfortable chair and put my feet up on the corner of the drafting table that serves as my desk these days.
“Dad, it’s Beth,” the breathless caller stated, “and I am so glad you answered because I need your help.”
Beth, or as her birth certificate reads, Elizabeth Anne, is the second oldest of my three children and is not known to be easily excitable or reactionary in any way. But I could tell from the tone of her voice that something was troubling her.
“Take a deep breath and tell me what’s wrong. You know I will gladly help in any way I can,” I calmly replied.
“Well, Dad, I’m really worried and as much as I hate to bother you, I don’t know who else to turn to for advice. You always seem to know what to do in times of trouble and right now, I might be in big trouble.”
Beth has always been mature for her age; rock solid, in fact. She worked fulltime to put herself through college and is now a wonderful mother to three. She runs her own small business, too, so whatever this trouble was that she was now struggling with, I knew it was not something to be taken lightly.
“Okay, but let’s remember that a problem is always best solved with a calm and rational approach. So I want you to tell me exactly what is troubling you and then we can put a simple plan in place to fix it. Sound good?”
“Thanks, Dad. But I don’t think this one is going to be so easy. If it was an easy one, I would have simply talked it over with Ben. But I know that you have faced all kinds of difficult situations in your life and that’s why I’m turning to you now … in my hour of confusion and need.”
Ben is Beth’s husband, my son-in-law. He owns and operates a general contracting business and did a tour of active combat duty in Iraq as a Marine Corps field medic, but I’m not surprised that she turned to me for help with this very difficult and troubling problem. That’s what dads are for.
“Tell me about it, Beth.”
“Okay, Dad. I received a very disturbing letter in today’s mail and at first, I didn’t pay too much attention to it. But then I started thinking about it, and then worrying about it, and now, I am deeply troubled by it. So I called you.”
“And tell me, Beth, what was in this letter that was so disturbing?”
“Well, the letter started out by informing me that a clairvoyant friend of mine who did not want to be identified had contacted this person and asked him to intervene for me and my entire family in what was described as a very dangerous situation.”
I have always tried to lead by example when dealing with the kids. I have always tried to remain calm, steadfast and resolute. I have tried to look danger in the eye and use the weapons of logic and common sense to battle through times of darkness and uncertainty.
“Beth,” I soothingly responded, “you should never be frightened by such things. There are a lot of people in the world that make a living by frightening other people. Insurance agents and lawyers quickly come to mind. What else did the letter say?”
“It said that a curse had been placed on me and my entire family and that I needed to do exactly what the letter said in order to get the curse removed. I’m scared, Dad.”
“Beth, during my career there were, from time to time, people who tried to bully or intimidate me and sometimes they made outrageous threats or accusations. Often, they even defied logic or common sense. But I learned that you need to remain strong and vigilant if you are to prevail. So don’t be bothered by this. I will help you deal with this nonsense. But let me ask, what kind of a curse did the writer mention in this letter?”
“Dad, the letter said it was the curse of the evil eye.”
Fathers are naturally protective of their children and especially so with their daughters, and this was now one of those very special moments when I would once again rise to the occasion to do my protective fatherly thing. “How silly, Beth, and please don’t tell me you believe any of this.”
“It said the only chance I had to purify the family’s vibratory environment and activate the supernatural powers needed to remove the curse was to act at once.”
“Beth, are you kidding me? The evil eye? This sounds crazy.”
“Absolutely for real, Dad. I will scan a copy of the letter over to you as soon as we hang up. I am to contact all family members and each must immediately send money to a powerful Shaman by the name of Shamroo and implore him to do the dance of purification for us. The letter states that only the invincible Shamroo who can see into the future and knows all things secret to ordinary men can stand up to the power of the curse of the evil eye.”
All three of my kids have a great sense of humor and it is not uncommon for them to take some amount of pleasure in playing a practical joke on their father, but Beth’s voice sounded troubled, concerned, even frightened.
“Beth, I want you to tell me right now whether or not this is a joke of some kind. Did you really get such a letter?”
“It is not a joke, Dad, although I truly wish it were. The letter is real and I’m looking at it right now.”
“And it was addressed to you and arrived at your home today?”
“Yes, Dad, it was addressed to me. Inside the envelope, along with the letter, is a picture of Shamroo sitting atop a horse wearing a feathered headband and holding a spear.”
“This is ridiculous, Beth. And what happens if you don’t send money to Shamroo?”
“The letter says that not only I, but all of my immediate family are in grave danger and will suffer physically, monetarily and emotionally in ways that have never been suffered by anyone before. However, if we send money to Shamroo the Shaman, we will be assured that the curse will be removed and much good fortune … depending on how much money we send … will come our way. It sounds pretty ominous, Dad.”
“Beth, as a long-time business man, I have seen all kinds of phony deals and dealt with any number of charlatans and fakes. They come in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes, they even appear to be clean-cut legitimate people. But often, they are not what they appear to be. This whole Shamroo thing sounds preposterous and if it was anyone but you calling me to discuss such a thing, I would have hung up already.”
“I hear you, Dad, and I appreciate you not laughing at me, but I’m afraid. This thing has me worried.”
“And let me guess, Shamroo the Shaman has a mailing address where you can send the money, and he probably even included a pre-addressed envelope with a post office box mailing address. Am I right?”
“You are correct, Dad. He even takes credit cards and has an 800 number for handling emergency problems due to curses and other forms of bad luck. And if we act within 48 hours of receiving his letter, he will also send us our own set of lucky numbers and a schedule of days he feels are not lucky for us … you know, days you probably want to avoid traveling by airplane or rail.”
“This is pretty unbelievable, Beth. Just when I think I have heard and dealt with anything and everything that is out there, something like this comes along.”
“Dad, what if there really is a curse on me and the entire family? What if there really is such a thing as the evil eye? And what if the Great Shaman Shamroo can intercede for us and perform the dance of purification as he has said he will to spare us from untold misery and suffering? Should we really take a chance?”
“Beth, give me this guy’s 800 number. I’m going to call him as soon as we hang up.”
“To straighten him out, Dad? To put him in his place and tell him to leave us alone?”
“Actually, Beth, I was going to see if he offered any family or senior citizen discounts. I’d also like to see if he’s looking for an assistant. I always thought I would look good on a horse.”
Lyle R. Hill is the managing director of Keytech
North America, a company providing research and technical services for
the glass and metal industry. Hill has more than 40 years experience in
the glass and metal industry and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read his blog on Wednesdays at lyleblog.usglassmag.com.