Wear a Feng Shui pig? Ok, I’m a monotheist really

I hereby affirm my lack of belief in mumbo-jumbo

By Stephanie Brickman, September 10, 2009

Perhaps it was a terrible idea from the start to draw on the services of a grand master of Feng Shui, but it is indicative of my levels of despair at the state of our flat, or Battleship Domestica, as I like to call it.

Said battleship has been listing rather more than usual recently, having been regularly broadsided by assortments of children and my scientist husband, whose habits I won’t go into here.

I imagine myself like Scotty on Star Trek as yet another washing up landslide, or other disaster, strikes Battleship D. I yell things like: “she cannae take it, Captain” in a fake Fife accent.

The great thing about Scotty is that he, unlike me, doesn’t take it personally. You wouldn’t catch him in a huff mumbling tearfully “I’m trying my best you know, but I just don’t know where the time goes.” Perhaps Scotty and I should swap lines more often?

And so a Feng Shui grand master himself came to our hovel, with two adoring ladies who measure stuff and fiddle with compasses. Unfortunately, at the moment of his arrival, our geriatric cat had got over-excited and pooed on the hall rug.

“She’s very elderly — 17,” I said in a low voice as if I didn’t want to embarrass the poor cat.

I ushered the group into the living room to find a pile of cat sick on the living room floor. Just at that moment, my daughter yelled from the bathroom “Mummy my poo is stuck in my bottom and won’t come out!”

What could I say? “Message for Starfleet Command: I’m sorry, there seems to have been a Klingon attack, my cat and daughter have been replaced with changelings with no control of their bodily functions.”

We proceeded around the house and Grand Master Chin sighed at regular intervals. He looked at the overgrown garden and spent ages analysing the rattle on the front door. Then pausing in our catastrophic bedroom where a mountain range of laundry gives way to dust dunes of neglect, he turned to me and said: “You need to tidy up.”

And there it was, the Grand Master’s wisdom.

About a week later, a report arrived. Much of what was in it was quite sensible — prune bushes in garden, good positions for furniture. But the report arrived with a small green pig carved in jade. A note instructed me to put it on at 9am on October 5 and then wear it at all times hooked around my bra strap.

I was suddenly very annoyed. What had begun as a fun incursion into another culture’s wisdom on improving your home, had suddenly dragged me to the brink of polytheistic mumbo jumbo, where I had to wear a small green pig inside my bra.

What would happen if I didn’t wear the pig? Was it bad luck to leave it languishing in a dust dune?

I put these thoughts to the back of my mind, it’s not every day you have the opportunity to affirm your monotheism. And so Lawrence of Pigarabia was set free in the desert dust dunes of my dressing table and I resolved to use Jew-do, not voodoo.

As Jews we are meant to clean our houses at Pesach and Rosh Hashanah and once a week for shabbes. And that is exactly what I am going to do — as soon as I fix this warp drive.

Last updated: 11:53am, September 10 2009