Which is that culture that believes your dead ancestors look down upon you and, through subtle means, guide you and impart their wisdom? Is it Native American? Or is there more than one culture that believes in that? Anyway, consider that at any given moment, your grandfather or great-grandfather or great-aunt on your mother’s side might be looking down at you — say, right now, for instance. Weird, huh? What I mainly want to know is, who the hell is charge of me, and is he or she really doing the job? Because I’ve done a lot of boneheaded things in my life, far too many for a supernatural agency not to notice. Where was, say, great-uncle Hjalmar when I bought that lemon-yellow Chevy Vega back in 1977, the one that kept breaking down and never ran right? I knew it was supposed to be a crappy car, but I went ahead and bought it anyway. If Uncle Hjalmar had just once told me, in a thin voice barely heard above the breeze, “No, Schprockie, no — Consumer Reports says Vegas suck,” that would have stopped me. I wouldn’t have bought that car. Of course, Uncle Hjalmar only spoke Swedish, which I don’t understand, and Uncle Hjalmar probably was never interested in Consumer Reports, even in heaven, but still, a little help, you know? Come on, ancestors, I’m dying here! And don’t just say it’s my “destiny” every time things go awry either. I’m wise to that.
Wouldn’t you like to have what Luke Skywalker had with Obi Wan Kenobi? When things start going wrong and panic sets in, right there at that critical moment a tiny, bearded, monkish specter with a shimmery, sparkly aura appears and calmly reminds you to use the Force. Of course! How stupid of me! The Force! That’s just what the situation needs! Or how about a guardian angel? A minature, white-robed, winged fellow foreseeing trouble and helping you avoid it 24/7 with no coffee break? Wouldn’t that be great?
This is who I want for my spirit guide: Mick from Rocky. Just at the moment I start to do something stupid, I want a little, wizened old guy with a hearing aid jammed into his cauliflower ear to yell out in a gravelly voice: “Schprock, you bum! Your wife don’t want no bowling ball. Get her roses, for crissake!” Or: “Goddammit, Schprock, that’s the dessert fork, not the salad fork, and you don’t drink no wine outta no straw!” Or, if he was there with me on that fateful day in 1977: “Whaddaya you think that car’s painted yeller for, Schprock? Huh? Now get over there and talk to that guy about the ’73 Pacer instead.” Boy, Mick could have sure helped me out.
Question du jour: if you had your choice, whose spirit would you like to guide you?