The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 26, 2012

A wish for peace, perfect parking space

By Kelly Kazek
kelly@athensnews-courier.com

— I was upset when I heard the news last week: eBay is no longer going to allow sale of hexes, spells or curses on its site. I’m bummed I never got around to ordering that love spell to cast on Channing Tatum.

I know what you’re thinking — I don’t look like the type who needs a love spell. Why, thank you.

It’s just a precaution, really. In case, you know, Chan doesn’t realize I exist or something.

eBay’s decision to stop the sale of “intangibles” on Sept. 1 came after some complaints from buyers who couldn’t actually prove they bought anything because, well, spells are generally invisible. The psychics, tarot-card readers and Wiccans who had been practicing on eBay are up in palms over the news. About 1,500 have signed a petition to ask eBay to reconsider.

Really? A metaphysical e-protest?

Seems they’d be better off combining their powers, making a voodoo doll of the CEO, or calling the ACLU.

They could also make use of the “reverse any spell” spell I found online, which the seller promises, for only $15, will: “inflict monumental revenge on someone who has done you wrong. To have them suffer tenfold the pain and consequences they have inflicted upon you. This is one of the most effective methods of taking someone out of your life you want removed.”

Sounds perfect for the workplace. But be sure to read the warning: “Because it can bring about horrendous times for the person you are seeking revenge on, please do not request this unless it is absolutely necessary.”

Something to keep in mind.

In the past, eBay had covered its collective hindend by making dealers in potions and spells add disclaimers to their pages. One seller wrote: “Seller is not responsible for any paranormal or metaphysical activity that may or may not occur. This service is in no way a substitute for professional legal, medical, or psychiatric counsel.”

Another seller, this one offering a werewolf/shape-shifter spell, explains: “I do the entire casting for you from my personal altar. You will receive nothing in the mail.”

See? You get what you pay for.

To be honest, I never considered paying 10 bucks to a psychic for a reading by email – do you have to scan your palm for that? –  but I was truly crushed to learn I could miss the chance to buy the most practical gift I’ve ever come across, which is listed as Three Wishes from a 1,000-Year-Old Genie.

Dude.

The biggest benefit should be immediately obvious to women: The seller is offering to grant the three wishes without the presence of the actual genie. How perfect is that?

No bulky, bearded guy leaving his gold-trimmed harem pants on the floor and his camel parked out front, all while expecting me to shave his back – the genie’s, not the camel’s – and do his laundry while he disappears into his bottle to play poker and smoke the hookah with his turbanned buddies.

I have a few more days until the new eBay policy goes into effect so I’ve been trying to decide what I would wish for. Genies are known to be tricky, so I would forgo all that “world peace” and “no more sickness” hooey. I wouldn’t ask for the typical health, wealth and love. Somehow I know that could only end up backfiring on me, like a camel after eating too much prickly pear.

Instead, I’d ask for practical things that could make my life a little less stressful, like:

The ability to always find a parking space right by the door.

Never getting those tiny paper strips in the Hershey’s Kiss stuck in my mouth because I tried to eat one too fast – oh, that was just me?

Always getting my French fry order at just the right temperature and with just the right mushy-crispy ratio.

Important stuff like that.

I’m going to think carefully before ordering, though. As the seller states: “Due to the nature of our business we do not offer refunds … This is not fair to the spirits or us and we can no longer do it.” 

I don’t think I could sleep at night if I thought I had in some way been unfair to a spirit. That’s why I also ordered my PETS T-shirt: People for the Ethical Treatment of Spirits.

Hey, I don’t want the ACLU on my back.

Tell Kelly Kazek what wish you would make by emailing kelly@athensnews-courier.com.