Dig Your Own Grave

Voodoo Doll Vending Machines

Baron Samedi must be spinning in his grave.
Outside my local supermarket is a series of vending machines offering the usual array of child-based products; colorful sweets, bouncy rubber balls and various plastic nic-nacs. I’d never really paid too much attention to them until today, when a small skittering child ran past me and fell almost head-first into the collection of them, his raging mother chasing behind him. It was then that I noticed one of the machines seemed slightly different to the others, it had a green glowing interior and the word VOODOO printed in huge letters across its front. Inside of this machine are a variety of colored balls, which each contain their own personal voodoo doll. They cost a single pound each, and the only instruction to come with them is the ominous sentence written at the bottom of the machine: What Will You Do With Yours?

‘Whiskey McRabies’ – My new best friend.
Thus, today’s review will be on this cheeky little chappy right here. It’s my very own personal voodoo doll whom I immediately named ‘Whiskey McRabies’ on account of his whimsical yet strangely sinister appearance, like a drunk tramp in a park who’s hilarious to watch from a distance, but would probably bite you if you got too close. My favorite aspect of Whiskey is the little stitch sewing his mouth closed. That innocent grin and raised arm at first give the impression that if he could talk he would probably say “Why wuv woo vewwy much,” but then you look a little closer and you realize that Whiskey can talk, but what he actually is able to say is so soul-tearingly awful that his creators had to sew his dirty little mouth up.

Well so much for the aesthetics review, it’s time to see my Haitian hell-child in action. Having gone to the supermarket for the sole purpose of buying some beans, and it being a Sunday and thus having very little to do, I decided to target one unsuspecting shopper and subject them to various tests which would determine Whiskey’s voodoo abilities. In order to keep this study fair, I chose one male subject whom I felt represented the hegemony of society which reside in my city; a white, middle-class student. I also felt that if I was to be found out for my experiments, this subject would be least likely to either press charges or punch me in the face.

Before I release my findings, I would like to point out that I am not the sort of person to stalk people around shopping centers. However, in the interests of science and product reviews, one must sometimes step outside the boundaries of what is deemed socially acceptable. You also must understand prior to these events I had already stared into the inky blackness of Whiskey’s eyes for a good solid twenty minutes and by this point was beginning to question whether my actions were truly guided by myself alone.

Subject A – a study in terror.
So; onto ‘Subject A’, an average guy in his mid-twenties, largely unshaven and wearing a hat in a supermarket. The blurriness of the photo is due to the fact it was taken hastily on my phone, as one must never let ones subjects know that they are being tested on, for skewed results and restraining orders all too often hamper scientific progress. My vague recollection of voodoo practice (based solely on one James Bond film and an early nineties graphic adventure game called Gabriel Knight) was that in order for a voodoo doll to work, one needed something of the person you wanted to enchant. Luckily, ‘Subject A’ was a rather scruffy individual and his clothes didn’t seem to have been washed in a while, so I believe by merely standing close to him and holding whiskey I was able to collect a few free-floating skin cells.

I decided for my first test to determine whether I could force ‘Subject A’ to remove his hat. As he moved closer to the delicatessen I hung around the bakery section and held Whiskey next to a freshly baked tiger loaf which had just been prepared. My heart skipped a beat as his hand almost immediately moved to his head, but only lingered long enough to result in a vague scratching movement, which could have been construed as his automatic response to deciding over which cold meat to buy. However, I saw it as a sign that my totem did indeed posses magical powers, and was determined to discover how else I could manipulate my new puppet.

For my next experiment, I rubbed Whiskeys belly in a clockwise circular motion. Success! No sooner had I applied pressure to Whiskey’s midriff than I noticed ‘Subject A’ respond by picking up what appeared to to be a medium sized jar of pickled eggs and place them in his bag. It was at this point I realized I held in my hand an object far beyond human comprehension. No mere mortal choice could possibly be the impetus behind buying a jar of vinegar soaked eggs, and I decided to end my experiments there and then, content that I had for a few minutes played the hand of God on an unwitting member of the public.

I have since deeply cleansed Whiskey in a herbal mixture of rosary beads and various Herbs de Provence, a time honored ritual which ‘Wikipedia’ assures me is the only way to remove a person’s soul from an authentically vended Voodoo Doll. I hereby award Whiskey McRabies a very respectable nine out of ten, for both aesthetic qualities and practical application, no mean feat for a toy which can be bought for one pound from most high street shopping centers.

Article by Duncan Stevens

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