Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Whatever the Opposite of the Luck of the Irish Is

Someone — and trust me when I tell you that the circumstances notwithstanding, he’s a well-wisher — recently sent me the text to a famous Irish curse. And if any nationality has the inherent way with words and the experience with staggering tragedy to hurl a good hex, it’s the Irish. See for your self:
May the grass grow at your door and the fox build his nest on your hearthstone.

May the light fade from your eyes, so you never see what you love.

May your own blood rise against you, and the sweetest drink you take be the bitterest cup of sorrow.

May you die without benefit of clergy.

May there be none to shed a tear at your grave, and may the hearthstone of hell be your best bed forever.
See? Pretty brutal, at least once you get past the quaint, rustic appeal of grass growing at the doorstep and the initial cuteness of a fox living in your fireplace. (You wouldn’t be able to light a fire because it would probably bite at you. You’d be so cold! Your potatoes would be eaten raw!) It seems especially cruel to request the addressee to die without getting the proper send off from the proper holy man, especially considering the presumably Irish target audience for such a curse.

But I’ve since been brainstorming other curses — less altogether damning but nonetheless unpleasant. Please, if you have the time, try on these curses and tell me how they fit:
May your every business email become, between you and the recipient, riddled with inappropriate emoticons.
May your birthmarks begin to form obscene pictures.

May your acid reflux always make you throw up, just a little bit.
May your stupid baby never grow into her nose.

May a clerical error in the doctor’s office result in your family being erroneously told that, in the moments before your death, you were mad with syphilis.

May your children remember you in embellished, unflattering tell-alls published so soon after your death that everyone presumes that they’d begun working on them before your death.

May your dog find a home with a new family, and may it be remarked by your neighbors that the dog looks much happier now. Thinner, too.

May you, while on your deathbed, learn that there’s a certain word that you’ve been pronouncing wrong for most of you life. And it’s a word you used a lot. And you feel really stupid.

May you, in your final moments, have really bad sick people farts.

And, to reiterate, the clergy is not there.

Well, if there is a clergyman there, he’s from a faith that you find pretty offensive. And even the clergyman is like, “Yeah, this is super awkward.”

May your will be confusing and cause much squabbling among your survivors, at least until they realize all your stuff is garbage and they just forget about the whole damn thing.

And, in closing, may your tomb eventually be developed upon, and may the family occupying the house you end up haunting find your presence to be “fun,” despite your best efforts.
Awful things:

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