I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!

I worked more billable hours today than I actually was in the office. No, no, I guarantee you it’s not only true, it’s possible; no matter how few minutes we spend on a project, the minimum we can bill is fifteen minutes, and I had so many individual projects, some of which took only 7-10 minutes, that I had to bill the full fifteen for, that, at the end of the day (in which I worked eight and a half hours, with only a very unsatisfying half-hour lunch break in which everything I brought for lunch completely turned my stomach, thank you very much, I know, right? I totally deserve a medal or at least a nap or how about for this effing stomach flu to STOP IT ALREADY) I ended up with more billable hours than worked hours. So I kind of broke the space-time continuum today. Like a total spaceman. Or maybe Leo Spaceman.

Also, just a thing to know: so, I was out for a day and a half? And aw, my office SAVED ALL MY WORK FOR ME. I mean, they didn’t even give it to anyone else to do? Isn’t that SO SO NICE. I mean, seriously! I couldn’t even feel more loved right now if you bludgeoned me over the head with a whiffle bat.

Anyway, this is going to blow your minds with how brief it is, because I want to get it done and posted so I don’t have to think about it when I get home tonight and collapse on the couch like a comatose kitten.

Oh, first, I totally went to the theater last night, we picked our next season, and it is rockin’, I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but I can’t until February because until then it’s top-secret. BUT NEXT MONTH ZOMG. I will tell you ALL ABOUT IT. Very exciting! Something for everyone! Bring your whole family! Two of my favorite playwrights! THAT IS ALL I’M IN A CONE OF SILENCE MMPPH.


So The Crucible is happening in New York! It’s totally witchhunting times, you guys!

OK, well, it’s The Crucible without the witchhunting. So, it’s really just the teens being insane. OR IS IT DUN DUN DUNNNN.

OK, first, you totally know about The Crucible, right? Well, if you don’t, you know about the Salem Witch Trials? The Crucible is an Arthur Miller play (married to Marilyn Monroe? no? HEATHENS) based on the Salem Witch Trials. Which was written during, and tied into, McCarthyism. Also, it’s awesome, and if you ever get a chance to see it, you should, because if done well, it’s extremely affecting. I’d advise against the movie version with Winona Ryder. She didn’t bring the correct gravitas to the table. Although Daniel Day-Lewis is always delectable. Sorry, Winona.

Anyway, in a nutshell – these teens all suffer from a crazy mass-hysteria, led by one teen who’s suffering from being a woman scorned, and they start Tourettesing all over the place, which is annoying enough, but then they start saying the devil made ‘em do it, and the devil was called down by their friends and neighbors, and oh, no one was savvy enough to notice that the friends and neighbors they were accusing were people that had done the lead teen or the people she cared about most wrong, hmmm, suspect at all? Nope nope nope.

And then people were put to death, because, you know, Salem Witch Trials. Anyway, you all know this. I don’t need to recap something from American history that’s actually interesting, right? I mean, you could totally Wikipedia it today, it’s no longer down for SOPA or anything.

So, SO! There are twelve girls in LeRoy, New York who are suffering “facial tics and verbal outbursts” that some are saying are a type of mass hysteria and some are saying are a group Tourettes and some are saying is something called “conversion disorder” and I totally find this FASCINATING because I love shit like this like you can’t even IMAGINE.

LeRoy, New York is on the other side of the state from me. Near Rochester. Interesting fact? BIRTHPLACE OF JELLO. More interesting fact? A friend posted on Facebook her mom was stuck in a Jello-related celebratory parade in LeRoy once. How pissy would that make you if you were in a hurry? “What the hell is this effing…JELLO? I’m stuck in a JELLO parade? I have SHIT to DO and you’re CELEBRATING frigging CHILLED FRUIT DESSERT?”

Also, they make rat poison there. Which I think would make a good local murder mystery, if you combine the two, right? SOMEONE GET ON THAT. I nominate Jim, he’s got these amazing ideas for fiction even if he refuses to write them.

So, “conversion disorder,” or “mass psychogenic illness.” Seriously, I’m reading up on this, it’s totally mass hysteria. It’s stress-related, it happens when people are in close quarters and affected by the people around them, and all the girls have been tested for environmental and medical factors. MASS HYSTERIA SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS. In 2012. THIS IS TOTALLY EXCITING.

Also, this article says these girls have been exhibiting the symptoms since LAST FALL. That’s like FOUR MONTHS or something. Holy HELL.

And this article says one girl fell asleep one day, then woke up all tic-y and shouty. There’s totally a video that might show me the tics but I can’t watch videos at work. Dammit. I’d like to see tics.

But the kids and the moms and dads are all NO NO NO the doctors are totally LETTING US DOWN it CAN’T be mass hysteria NOT OUR BABIES. What the hell?

LISTEN SIDE NOTE. I totally went to college with someone who had Tourettes? And maybe it was Tourettes but then it went away so I always wondered if he was making it up, it seemed totally suspect that once no one was paying attention to him shouting inane noises in the crowded dining hall because we were all “eh, whatever, THAT’S JUST TOURETTE’S BOB” anymore it just stopped.

The only thing that bugs me is that everything I read is saying this only seems to happen to WOMEN in close quarters, so way to make us all feel like crazy incipient psychopaths, DOCTORS. I’ll mass-hysteria YOU. With a CARVING KNIFE. Oh, sorry. Sorry. OR AM I. I’m pretty sure that men could experience mass hysteria, given the right circumstances. Right?

SIDE NOTE AGAIN. You know how I’m trying to get out of Dr. Lady-Business’s practice? It’s like getting out of the MOB over there. I found a new doctor? And today I called to get my records faxed over? And Dr. Lady-Business’s office was all “NO NO NO you need to send us…um…a SIGNED request! Yeah, that’s it! In…triplicate! And it costs…A GAJILLION DOLLARS! Plus a COUNSELOR will contact you to TALK about your DECISION to leave us! And it takes up to three WEEKS!” What the hell. I don’t want Dr. Handlebar Moustache all up in my bits anymore, because he LAUGHED at my TUMOR. Why is this so hard to understand? I made up the triplicate. The rest of that? Totally true. Well, I might have exaggerated the gajillion part.

OK, here’s the thing, to get back on track. I’m not a doctor. I have no idea what’s going on here. But it does seem to me that if they’ve ruled everything else out, and they are, after all, dealing with teenagers, probably something psychological’s at work. I did some wack-ass shit when I was a teenager. I bet ALL of you did. Those hormones are a bitch, right? I mean, weeping and manic and “I love you!” “I hate you!” WITHIN SECONDS and HEAVENS FORFEND if someone tried to tell you that you were acting like a crazy. Once my mom got so mad at me she kicked a hole in my DOOR. No, I’m totally not kidding. It was a hollow-core door, but it’s still there, I have the proof and everything. She’s not even embarrassed about it. “You were AWFUL,” she says. And I totally was. I was Hormone McGee for like, ever.

I know you don’t want to think your kids are being assholes. And maybe it didn’t start out as them being assholes. Here’s just a theory – maybe they started it as a joke and now can’t get out of it because you know how you get stuck in a huge lie and it would make a bigger mess to come clean than to keep lying? I mean, I don’t know, I don’t live their lives. The only experience I have with the Rochester area is that one time I spent New Year’s Eve there with my then-BFF and forgot my driver’s license so they wouldn’t let me into the club so I had to go ALONE back to the hotel room and get it and by the time I got back to the club everyone was totally drunk and I missed all the good times so screw you, ROCHESTER.

Anyway, I’m just waiting for these kids to start monster-shouting and being all “It’s Goody Proctor! She stuck pins in a poppet in the copse behind the barn!” and then BAM BABY we’re totally in for Crucible-times. Can’t you see that happening? I can. I think our political climate is ripe for another witch hunt right now, with the hatred between the liberals and conservatives. Eek.

ANYWAY. Mass hysteria! There’s totally MASS HYSTERIA happening! Like from GHOSTBUSTERS, you guys! Can dogs and cats living together be far behind? I THINK NOT MY FRIENDS. This is a banner day, a totally banner day!

OK, back to work. I know, are you so disappointed at the sad length of this? I put in a photo, what more do you want. I WARNED YOU TAX SEASON WAS GOING TO SUCK.

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

18 responses to “I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!

  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    I win AGAIN! Yes: I know about “The Crucible”! And how it was a metaphor for McCarthyism! And about the Salem Witch Trials! (w/o resorting to Wikipedia!)! And Henry Miller! AND that he was married to Marilyn Monroe!

    Um, but Rochester & Jell-o. Nope. Sorry. I didn’t know that. I hope that the afore-mentioned winning outweighs my Jell-o losing. ;-)

    Glad you are feeling at least a little bit better.

    Oh, and totally awesome on the time-bending billing. FTW!


  • lynnettedobberpuhl

    Mass hysteria. Definitely. Unless they are possessed by a team of demons, because that could happen, couldn’t it? I suppose the parents are hoping for nerve toxin or something “normal” which seems strange to me. Mass hysteria is embarrassing but you should be able to snap or grow out of it eventually, whereas nerve damage would be permanent. Demonic possession I am less sure about. It seems in the movies everyone thinks they’re exorcised or cured but then they aren’t really. Poor crazy kids. Until they start calling for the executions, then poor rest of us.


  • Rich Crete

    I really wanted to make some pithy comment but I find myself pithless.

    I suppose I could tell you about the time I was in a jello parade…except I’ve never been in a jello parade. Sad, really.


  • blogginglily

    I’m uncomfortable with the idea of manufacturing food products and poisons in the same city. But I suppose it happens all over the place.

    I looked up the rat poison in question. It’s called “Rough on Rats”. I wikipedia’d it and this is what they said about a “good” rat poison: An effective rodenticide must be tasteless and odorless in lethal concentrations, and have a delayed effect.

    In other words. . . IOCAINE POWDER, BITCHES!!!! Inconceivable!!!

    Rats are smart, apparently, and they nibble, and then see if they die. . . and if they don’t die. . . they continue to eat. Since Rough on Rats’ effects are delayed. . . they eat until there’s enough in their system to cause their blood vessels to become more permeable, and they bleed to death internally.

    There’s a fucking JINGLE!!!
    “R-r-rats! Rats! Rats! Rough on Rats, Hang your dogs and drown your cats:
    We give a plan for every man to clear his house with Rough on Rats”

    And sheet music is (i’m not kidding) available.

    So. . . I know you don’t do musicals for your local author spotlight, but you know how musicals always have overarching themes that play throughout in various forms to tie all the different tunes together? Well that sheet music would TOTALLY be the basis for the opening to our musical or would be mood music throughout (if not a musical)

    The music was composed by Jules Juniper: http://beachpackagingdesign.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f0014bd88340133f3eb1f56970b-pi

    My nephew is a hemophiliac. They compare the effects of Rough on Rats to that of hemophilia. Death by failure of the blood to clot. So our victim has hemophilia, making his death by internal bleeding seem less suspicious. Rough on Rats is a turn of the century rat poison, so it’s probably not made anymore, (in favor of more current and lethal poisons) but our killer has a chemistry background, and synthesizes Anticoagulant Rat Poison to use on his victim (the hemophiliac).

    While we’re at it. . . isn’t Jules Juniper a pretty kickass name for our hero or villain? And a nice nod to someone who made his living getting paid to make cutesy songs for poison. Seriously, you have to read the song.

    The victim’s name would be Rod Muroidea (Rod for rodent, Muroidea for the superfamily of the rattus subfamily).

    There are the bones of it. . . go ape!


    • lucysfootball


      That song is AWESOME. I’m totally going to blog more about this when I get a chance.

      Also, check out this advertisement. These cats are STUNNED: http://www.hagley.org/library/exhibits/patentmed/items/roughonrats.html (Also, it worries me that “Rough on Rats” was supposed to also rid your home of flies and beetles. How could it do both and not kill you and your family? Worrisome.)

      Your comments would win awards, were I fancy and knew how to do such things.

      Oh, some of my coworkers are going to Rochester for work next week. I warned them about Jello parades and rat poison and mass hysteria and I’m pretty sure they thought I was on drugs.

      I sadly can’t find anyone singing the song on YouTube. I did find a band CALLED Rough on Rats. They are not the same thing. It’s up to you, Jim. You have to sing it. KEEP IT ALIVE.


      • blogginglily

        Yeah, it’s apparently also particularly lethal to dogs. So. . . really. . . just kills EVERYTHING. Rough on Life it should be called since it’s just more or less arsenic.

        I would accept awards on behalf of my comments.

        I’m almost positive becky can take that sheet music and strum it out on her guitar. Cause she’s seems like a bonafide musician based on the one thing i ever heard her sing while wearing a fake mustache and a hoodie.

        And I was wrong about Jules Juniper. . . Jules just wrote the music. Someone else did the lyrics. I have to go back and look that piece up now.

        Well. . . maybe tomorrow.


      • blogginglily

        also also. . . a link to the story of a woman who used Rough on Rats to murder someone. . .



        • lucysfootball

          I’m so blogging about this. Maybe Sunday. Tomorrow’s is done already. There were also sites talking about Rough on Rats’ racist ad campaign – something about negative portrayal of Asians, I think? The plot thickens!


  • blogginglily

    Composition of Rough on Rats

    Per cent
    Fine sand 1.59
    Moisture .20
    Arsenious oxid 71.83
    Barium oxid 20.22
    Carbon dioxid 5.81

    This mixture contains as its active poisonous constituents arsenious oxid and barium carbonate and will be apt to serve the purposes for which it is intended. Great care should be taken not to leave any of this compound carelessly around a house since it might be stirred up with the dust breathed by persons and finally cause arsenic poisoning also in the presence of organic matter the same action might take place as has been noted in the case of arsenical wall papers resulting in the formation of a very poisonous gas arsine

    Our villain is the housekeeper. . . stirring the dust while protecting herself from inhalation.


  • kitchenmudge

    In case anyone cares, the most accurate dramatization of the witch trials seems to be “Three Sovereigns for Sarah”: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090164/ no longer available on Netflix, the bastards, but if you ever get a chance…

    Spoiler Alert: It was all about property and personal feuds. Surprise, surprise!

    Some scholars think ergot poisoning might have played a part. As this was used in controlled doses since medieval times for certain “women’s ailments”, it might be plausible.


  • 35jupiterdriveEm

    See, personally, I find the whole thing suspect because they make rat poison in their town that seems like a potential causal to me.

    I have proof. They have jello parades.


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