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Old 13th May 2008, 02:27 PM   #1
RobRoy
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What's Your Gris-Gris

MattusMaximus noted in the the quote from Penn Jillette that, "Everybody's got a gris-gris."

That was really driven home to me, again, when I thought I had lost my own. I don't attribute any special powers, luck or anything else to mine, but it does have extreme sentimental value. It's a bookmark given to me by my best friend at least 25 years ago now. I've used it for almost every book that I've ever read. It's a simple thing of paper with a hobbit-like gentleman carrying a book and a walking stick. The heading reads, "Lengthen your stride and quicken your pace." The green tassel has been retied at least three times in an attempt to preserve the yarn strands, and the top has been folded over so many times that I decided to put the entire thing in a plastic sheath, lest it finally give up and break.

Today, I took my book to a fast food restaurant for lunch, and instead of inserting the bookmark in the back of the book as I usually do, I set it on the table. When I got up to left, I'd forgotten it, as I'd simply walked out still reading my book. When I got back, and started into my office, I reached for the bookmark to save my place and found it missing. I immediately realized I'd left it in the restaurant and called them. They hadn't found it and when the lady went to look said she couldn't see it. I had a co-worker drive me there immediately, all the time thinking someone had either thrown it out or walked off with it.

Fortunately, it was right where I had put it, and my day was not ruined over the loss.

I was curious what other people's gris-gris were, and why they were deemed important.
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Old 13th May 2008, 02:37 PM   #2
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"Knock on wood."

Whenever I say something optimistic, I knock on wood (or, if no wood is handy, my head) and say either "Touch wood" or "Knock on wood."

I justify this superstition to myself by reasoning that it keeps me grounded, by forcing me to remind myself that things might not always go the way I plan.
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Old 13th May 2008, 02:56 PM   #3
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I almost crossed my fingers earlier but I caught myself.
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Old 13th May 2008, 03:02 PM   #4
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Perhaps I should have defined as I'm not interested in superstitions that folk might follow.

Gris-gris - charm, fetish, or amulet.

I am sincerely interested in knowing what physical items fall into this category, even on the periphery like my bookmark. I'd like to know the story about them, how long you've had them, and if you consider them to have a supernatural power, what that is.

This isn't a trap or some kind of ploy. I'm curious about the stories.
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Far an taine n abhainn, s ann as m a fuaim.

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Old 13th May 2008, 03:09 PM   #5
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I have little charm, too many fetishes, and I once made an amulet of the Journey "Escape" beetle in HS Jewllery class.
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Old 13th May 2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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I still say "bless you" when someone sneezes simply because I was taught that it was the polite thing to do, but I always question myself after I do it. Does that count?
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Old 13th May 2008, 03:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ksbluesfan View Post
I still say "bless you" when someone sneezes simply because I was taught that it was the polite thing to do, but I always question myself after I do it. Does that count?
Switch to "Gesundheit". Means "Good health" or somesuch in German. Fulfills your enculturated need to say something (and avoid appearing rude) without the appeal to a deity.

It will torque off a very few ultra-religious who see it as similar to the "war on Christmas" sort of thing.
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Old 13th May 2008, 03:52 PM   #8
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I have a "safty charm" I carry with me when I work. It's a Zuni stone armadillo fetish. I had taken a couple 1950s Hopi pots to a dealer to see if the symbol on the bottom could be connected to a specific potter, and when I got them back the armadillo was in one of them...
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Old 13th May 2008, 04:08 PM   #9
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In various childproof plastic medicine bottles I have: several fragments of the ten kidney stones I have passed, the original dental bridgework that I got to replace the two front bottom teeth (the adult versions of which never grew in, a common genetic abnormality in my family) which broke off in an apple, a ball bearing that spent several months of my thirteenth year lodged in my left ear canal after a "magic trick" gone awry, Several of my children's baby teeth, and a lock of hair from my two living children.

In a separate box I have the cremated remains of my third child.

I also have a lot of things I keep just for sentimental reasons.
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Old 13th May 2008, 04:19 PM   #10
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I know for an absolute fact that if I go to see the Orioles in person, they will lose. They've lost every time I've been there starting when I was seven and they lost to the Washington Senators--one of the losingest teams that ever played the game of baseball.

If someone wanders into my department and says, "It's quiet in here," all hell will break loose withing five minutes.

If I try to plan anything nice for my birthday, something terrible happens. When I planned a party for my fiftieth birthday, my brother died.

My mother firmly believes that it never rains on Yom Kippur.
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Old 13th May 2008, 04:27 PM   #11
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The only Gris-gris I need:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 14th May 2008, 07:07 AM   #12
ponderingturtle
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Perhaps I should have defined as I'm not interested in superstitions that folk might follow.

Gris-gris - charm, fetish, or amulet.

I am sincerely interested in knowing what physical items fall into this category, even on the periphery like my bookmark. I'd like to know the story about them, how long you've had them, and if you consider them to have a supernatural power, what that is.

This isn't a trap or some kind of ploy. I'm curious about the stories.
The problem is that you are using the P&T quote out of context. They used it to show that everyone has values that others would regard as strange or wrong.

It was not about sentimental attachement to specific items.
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Old 14th May 2008, 07:24 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Tiktaalik View Post
I have a "safty charm" I carry with me when I work. It's a Zuni stone armadillo fetish. I had taken a couple 1950s Hopi pots to a dealer to see if the symbol on the bottom could be connected to a specific potter, and when I got them back the armadillo was in one of them...

I'd stay away from Zuni fetish dolls if I were you.
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Old 14th May 2008, 07:26 AM   #14
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I still believe in recycling.
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Old 14th May 2008, 07:29 AM   #15
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I met my wife-to-be on a summer internship program for college students. That group produced three couples who eventually married, in addition to some other lifelong friendships.

My friend Larry was part of the group of guys who shared an apartment, and we spent countless hours playing cards and shooting the breeze with another great guy, Jonathan. I was apparently the only one who had a deck of cards handy, so we used it endlessly. I ended up introducing Larry a few years later to his eventual wife.

Thirteen years later I still have it. It's ratty and one of the cards is starting to tear. I don't get to see Larry and Jonathan very much anymore, since I moved overseas, but we've made a point of playing at least a few hands of something on those occasions that we get together.

Larry visited Israel a few weeks ago, with his wife and 2 kids. We hosted them for a day or two, but never quite got the chance to sit down and play - work, cooking, kids, etc. just took up all the time.

But the cards are still on that shelf in the hallway, waiting for him to come back.
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Old 14th May 2008, 07:59 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
The problem is that you are using the P&T quote out of context.
Since I'm not using it as anything but a segue into my own post, I fail to see the point of this. Was I not clear in what I was looking for? Is the definition too obtuse? Too confusing? Was my OP too long and too boring?

I'm sincerely interested in the stories regarding particular items, and I appreciate anyone providing their descriptions.

Most people appear to be missing the point anyhow, but my thanks to those who have actually answered my OP, all stories were interesting.
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Far an taine n abhainn, s ann as m a fuaim.

All your base are belong to us.

Last edited by RobRoy; 14th May 2008 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 14th May 2008, 11:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Since I'm not using it as anything but a segue into my own post, I fail to see the point of this. Was I not clear in what I was looking for? Is the definition too obtuse? Too confusing? Was my OP too long and too boring?
In your OP, you where not clear at all what you where looking for no.
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Old 14th May 2008, 12:11 PM   #18
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I have always kept a gris-gris around, but they change occassionally. I always get attached to them and then something happens to them. When I was in elementary school I kept a rabbit's foot in my pocket until my friend's dog got it when I was sleeping over at his house one night. Then I got a keychain with a four-leaf clover in it. The key chain was made of clear polycarbonate, with the clover loosely kept in the middle. Eventually the resin holding the plastic together failed and the clover was disintegrated when it dislodged. Now I carry a skolpadda in my pocket. It is a faux scrimshaw tortoise my best friend gave me, which is important to us. I gave her one as well. They are derived from The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. The characters in the novels use them as a talisman that grants good luck and has the power of persuasion over people. I don't really believe that my skolpadda can do that, but I keep it around, nevertheless.
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Old 14th May 2008, 12:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
This isn't a trap or some kind of ploy.
That's exactly what you'd say if it were a trap or some kind of ploy.

I thought it was to do with the correct definition of "zombie".

Quote:
I'm curious about the stories.
I have a few sheet of paper stapled together which I have used as a coffee mat for about a quarter of a century. The paper has absorbed a vast amount of tea and coffee. I have drawn around the coffee stains.

While I own it I will never die.
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Old 14th May 2008, 12:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
In your OP, you where not clear at all what you where looking for no.
You're right, my statement, "I was curious what other people's gris-gris were, and why they were deemed important." does seem to confuse the issue.

Thanks for your assistance in clarifying the issue.
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Far an taine n abhainn, s ann as m a fuaim.

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Old 14th May 2008, 12:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by westprog View Post
That's exactly what you'd say if it were a trap or some kind of ploy.
Hmmm. Your keen intellect leads me to question: Are you Keyser Soze?

That's just what Keyser Soze would say!
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Logic is what man stoops to when absurdity and surrealism has failed. It's shameful. whatthebutlersaw

Far an taine n abhainn, s ann as m a fuaim.

All your base are belong to us.
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Old 14th May 2008, 12:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
You're right, my statement, "I was curious what other people's gris-gris were, and why they were deemed important." does seem to confuse the issue.
(taking the smilely as sarcasm)
As you where referenceing one definition of gris-gris and using a different one it did. As is seen by the people who referenced beliefs and not objects.

This only leads to confusion.
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Old 14th May 2008, 12:56 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
(taking the smilely as sarcasm)
Nopers, it wasn't sarcasm. I figured people were confused when they started providing other than what I was interested in, aside from those who were just being silly. That's why I inserted the definition and clarification.

In this case, I was sincere in what I was asking for.

So, in the hopes of avoiding further derail: do you have a gris-gris and a story you're willing to share?
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Logic is what man stoops to when absurdity and surrealism has failed. It's shameful. whatthebutlersaw

Far an taine n abhainn, s ann as m a fuaim.

All your base are belong to us.

Last edited by RobRoy; 14th May 2008 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 14th May 2008, 01:15 PM   #24
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I'm not superstitious but I still keep a rubiks cube that was my first success with this puzzle .
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Old 14th May 2008, 01:17 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Nopers, it wasn't sarcasm. I figured people were confused when they started providing other than what I was interested in, aside from those who were just being silly. That's why I inserted the definition and clarification.

In this case, I was sincere in what I was asking for.

So, in the hopes of avoiding further derail: do you have a gris-gris and a story you're willing to share?
Not that I carry around. But I have many family heirlooms such as my great great grandfathers railroad watch.
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Old 14th May 2008, 08:56 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
I still believe in recycling.

Ditto, though I'm only militant about recycling aluminum. Still...
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