Kitchen witch casts spell on Bob

Kitchen witch casts spell on Bob by Bob Karolevitz Our kitchen witch (Phyllis bought it in Norway) is a rather ugly thing, with beady eyes and a long Pinnochio-type nose.

The six-inch troll with the pointed hat is supposed to bring good luck to the cook who wrestles pots and pans beneath her. It's superstitious, I know, but if it helps my wife win the lottery, I'll be glad to hang that witch anywhere she wants it.

As it turns out, the hanging was more of a job than I bargained for!

In the first place, the ceiling was too high to reach without a ladder. Then my trifocals made looking up difficult. Next, the cord on the electric drill was too short.

Phyllis started to laugh, and that made matters worse.

I muttered under my breath: "If that hideous troll is meant to bring good fortune, she started out on the wrong broom."

In time we accomplished the mission, though, but not until I was ready to burn that Norwegian witch at the stake.

"She better bring you luck," I told Phyllis, "or I'll quit believing in your heritage. Or Chinese fortune cookies!"

And that's when I made another grievous mistake!

"As long as we got started hanging things," I said, "we might as well put up some pictures."

We had the drill and the tape measure, but then I couldn't locate my stud-finder. Well, you can't hang pictures without a stud-finder, so Phyllis volunteered to go to the store to buy one.

She soon returned with an electronic gadget costing 14 bucks. It also required a nine-volt battery (not included); and the instructions � in English and Spanish � promised to make my work ever so easy.

When I used it, colored lights flashed � and I even expected it to play The Star-Spangled Banner � but I couldn't locate a stud with it. Phyllis � bless her heart! � said she'd go back to the store and get another one.

"T'heck with technology," I exclaimed. "Just get a mechanical tool like the one I had. I don't want something which would take a NASA engineer to figure it out."

This time she came back with another electronic gizmo which also required a nine-volt battery (again not included). At least this one was assembled in Mexico of U.S. parts, not made in China like the first one was.

"The gal at the store said they don't make the mechanical doohickeys any more," Phyllis explained. "You'll just have to forget your Neanderthal ways and join the 21st century."

So I took the new contraption and placed it on the wall. Again the red and green lights blinked, but the stud remained as elusive as ever. Obviously I was not made for the modern stuff.

Picture-hanging, I've always said, is worse for marital stability than wall-papering, which is why I'll quit while I'm ahead.

At least I got the kitchen witch up � although so far she hasn't brought us any good luck as far as the lottery is concerned. Or in locating an old-fashioned stud-finder either!

� 2005 Robert F. Karolevitz

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