July 7, 2000
Happy Voodoo Panda Toaster Awards


Somebody e-mailed David a voodoo curse this morning.

(A non-fan, perhaps? A disgruntled former lover? Celine Dion, seeking revenge?)

It originated  --  anonymously  --  from a website imaginatively called pinstruck.com. The disclaimer on the accompanying e-mail reads "WARNING: If you are sensitive, paranoid or superstitious in nature, viewing your voodoo curse may be upsetting to you. Curses are not suitable for viewing by people under the age of 18."  As curses go, though, this one is pretty innocuous: the "voodoo doll" looks like it would be right at home in a Happy Meal. But I suppose it's the thought that counts.

What *I* want to know is where the heck was this website two years ago, when I really could have used it?  

You remember: back when I sat alone in the Tree House every night, filled with drunken black rage against He Who Done Me Wrong?  When none of my problems were *my* fault, and all I wanted to do was stop the shrieking noises in my head? (As soon as I emptied that auxiliary box of Mountain Chablis, I mean.)  If I'd known about pinstruck.com two years ago, I would have been mailing those anonymous voodoo curses quicker than you can say "Papa Legba, ouvri barriè pou nous passer."

Over the past couple of years I would like to think I have evolved slightly ... thanks not only to nearly two years of hard-won sobriety, and to the nurturing love and support of my life partner, and to the encouragment of family and friends ... but thanks also to the simple emotional equalizers of time and experience. I am a kinder, gentler version of that angry, wounded Secra. I have outgrown my need for revenge.

These days, Kinder/Gentler Secra loves everybody. (And the people she doesn't love are allowed to live anyway.)

Kinder/Gentler Secra wouldn't hurt a fly.  (She might spray an entire goddamned ANT FAMILY with Aqua Net Super-Hold if they attempt to set up housekeeping in her toothbrush holder again ... but she wouldn't hurt a fly.)

Kinder/Gentler Secra would never think of sending anonymous voodoo e-mail to a former lover, regardless of how miserably she feels they may have treated her. (She figures that stooped shoulders and chronically irritable bowels are punishment enough.)

These days, Kinder/Gentler Secra is infinitely more interested in promoting feelings of good will and fellowship and general all-around *grooviness,* not only here on the website but everywhere she goes. She understands that life is short. She knows what is  --  and isn't  --  important, in the grand scheme of things. She has learned the hard way that anger is toxic, and that forgiveness is the psychic equivalent of Syrup of Ipecac.

And in that spirit, she is more likely to want to hand out accolades than death threats.

Therefore, Kinder/Gentler Secra is announcing the very first *FootNotes* Happy Voodoo Panda Toaster Awards, given in appreciation of kindness, consideration for fellow man, interesting achievement, general all-around *grooviness* and/or making the planet a slightly better place to be.  Think of this as my way of spreading a bit of karmic good cheer. (And of filling up some white space on the website, in the process.)

Here, then, some deserving winners of this soon-to-be-hotly-coveted award:

  • J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series. As David puts it, "She changed her life through writing." Now she is changing the lives of her audience.  A writer can't aspire to anything much better than that, can she?
  • Whichever entertainment-industry bigwig is responsible for the recent wave of "reality-based" programming on TV ... including "Survivor," "Big Brother," and  --  my personal favorite  --  "The 1900 House." The comparisons between reality-based TV and online journaling are pretty obvious: you either love it or you hate it ... you either "get it" or you don't ... you either sneak a peek into your neighbor's bathroom medicine cabinet, or you resist the impulse.

    Me? I'm a peeker.

  • Maria, our favorite grocery checkout person at Albertson's.  She never blinks an eye when the customer line extends all the way to the Produce Department, she never asks US the price of anything, she's easily the fastest clerk in the store, and she always has a friendly word for everybody: even people like Miss *Your Tropicana Touched My Little Friskies (And Now You Must Die).*
  • My friend Lynda, who recently closed her wildly-popular online journal, but who remains a source of inspiration (and furious uncontrolled blushing) for a lot of us.
  • The nice people at Liberty Orchards, makers of my third-most-favorite confection on the planet (right after Penguins and Tobler Chocolate Oranges), for mailing me their new catalog this week. If I could just convince you guys to put a little caffeine into the Aplets & Cotlets, you might make it to #1 on the list next year!
  • Upstairs Neighbor Guy, who has either abandoned his dream of becoming an Irish Step-Dancer  or who has taken a night job. Either way, we're finally getting some sleep down here.
  • My best friend from seventh grade, Kim DeF., who recently saw my name listed at Classmates dot com, and who wrote, out of the blue, to say that I was one of her "favorite memories of junior high."  I have long maintained that junior high is a lousy thing to do to a thirteen year old girl, but who knows? If SHE recalls the experience fondly, maybe it wasn't the three years of physical discomfort, emotional torment and social humiliation that *I* remember, after all.

    (But I agree, Kim: you were one of my favorite memories, too. And so was your brother.)

  • And finally ... a very special Happy Voodoo Panda Toaster Award to the anonymous e-mailer who sent the voodoo curse to David this morning, and who got me thinking about the whole idea of negative vibes vs. positive vibes today, and who planted the *thought molecule* that became the germ that became the seed that became the idea for these stoopid awards in the first place.

    (Bet you wish you'd gone with simply putting Ю僱êrvØ¡ on "filter," huh?)

Have a great weekend, everybody!

one year ago

throw a rock