Just a few hours before the New Year, Seraphic Secret crawled out of bed at 5 in the morning for my daily three-mile walk. Half-comatose, I grabbed my trusty Apple laptop and started down the stairs.
If this were a film, you would see high-contrast black and while lighting, ominous music, and the creepy sound of soft footsteps on the carpet. And then, a SHOCK CUT as —
— Yours truly trips, tries to gain balance, fails, and then desperately seeks to arrest what could be a neck-snapping fall by grabbing hold of the bannister while simultaneously losing grip of beloved laptop, and in SLOW MOTION watching computer bounce
I have shlepped this computer all over the world. I have carried this computer up and down the stairs in Casa Avrech for close to seven years. How did this happen? There is only one answer: Witchcraft.
Seraphic Secret receives curses and death threats every month from our loyal readers in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan—who are particularly poisonous—and other Islamist swamps. We also receive deranged notes from frustrated screenwriters—mostly from, go figure, New Jersey—who are angry that I won’t read their scripts. It’s a toss up as to who is crazier, Islamists or aspiring screenwriters. But both have been slinging nasty curses at Seraphic Secret for quite a while.
I’m kidding. Obviously. I tripped because I was half asleep and because I’m a bit of a klutz.
But over in happy-go-lucky Gaza, Hamas takes witchcraft and, um, mannequins quite seriously. I know this is hard to believe and it sounds like a scene from a dopey sit-com, but what can I tell you, all cultures are not the same, all religions are not the same, and all people are not the same.
The Hamas-run government has launched a series of campaigns targeting fortune-tellers, mannequins and cigarette vendors in the Gaza Strip.
Police sources told Ma’an that 142 fortune tellers were forced to sign an agreement at the Ministry of Interior pledging that they would not practice their craft.
As well as predicting the future, fortune tellers sell amulets for protection and are sometimes called on to solve personal or family problems.
Another campaign targets boutiques displaying lingerie on mannequins. Police officials told Ma’an that security forces inspected clothes shops across the Gaza Strip and warned owners not to display naked mannequins, lingerie or “indecent advertisements.”
This would be almost funny, except over in Saudi Arabia they just beheaded a woman on charges of sorcery.
As to the fate of my computer:
“Dude, this is bad,” said the genius at the Apple store.
Breaking out into a cold sweat at the thought of being computerless, Seraphic Secret immediately shelled out for a sleek Apple AirBook, henceforth known as “Audrey.”