Respectful Insolence

I could use one of these

Worried about ghosts bothering you? What about demons possessing you? Or aliens abducting you for all sorts of strange experiments, complete with anal probes?

Well, fear no more! I’ve discovered just the thing. You need a Paranormal Restraining Order!

Feel like sinning and don’t want to be subject to the Lord’s wrath? This is just the thing! Tell the Big Guy to stay away and leave you alone!

Here are some handy guidelines that you might be in an abusive relationship with a paranormal entity and hence need a restraining order:

  • You frequently worry about how they will react to things you say or do
  • Your family and friends have warned you about them, or told you that they are concerned for your safety or emotional well being
  • You leave and then return to them repeatedly, against the advice of your friends, family, and loved ones
  • You have trouble ending the relationship, even though you know inside it’s the right thing to do

Personally, I think I’ll take one out against the Grim Reaper. Somehow, I doubt it’ll stop him when the time comes, but, hey, you never know.

Comments

  1. #1 Ian Myles Slater
    May 28, 2006

    This looks like a modern permutation on an old theme. I have two examples readily at hand (there are others).

    The “Eyrbyggja Saga” (Iceland; later thirteenth century?) includes a vivid description of an eleventh-century haunting which was ended by legal proceedings, the revenants being summoned by a properly constituted court, charged with trespass and endangerment, and ordered to remove themselves permanently upon being dismissed. The dead appear, complain, but depart as ordered, and only then is a Catholic priest, equipped with relics, brought in to sprinkle holy water, and celebrate Mass (chapters 54-55). There are several translations.

    Raphael Patai’s “The Hebrew Goddess” is perhaps the most readily available source for translations of formal “bills of divorce” against female demons (liliths) written in Jewish Aramaic on “incantation bowls” from Nippur, ca. 600. C.E., and includes references to literary versions of the concept (1967, 1978; third edition, 1990, pages 224-229). There is a substantial literature concerning the bowl-texts, but a good deal is in out-of-the-way journals and books, so I cite this relatively accessible version. (“The Hebrew Goddess” has some major methodological problems, but Patai at least knew the documentation extremely well.)

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