When The Woo Goes Bad: “I Was A Teen-Wolfette!”
The other day, I promised to share some of my woo-gone-wild stories. Here’s the first of them.
Once upon a time…
…I spent a bit of time hanging around online with alternative spirituality peeps. And by alternative spirituality peeps, I mean people interested in out-of-the-mainstream belief systems, not marshmellow treats in the shape of crystals and dream catchers.
Because that would be just too weird.
Most of the folks in that crowd were lovely, sensible people, but there were a few outright wonky individuals, who took their woo a little too seriously. These most serious of the serious, strangest of the strange folks could be found online; these are their stories. Names and details have been changed to protect the innocent and wacked out. And yes, even though the stories are somewhat tragic, it’s ok to giggle, so long as it’s an affectionate giggle.
Ahem. Story #1:
“I Was A Teenage Wolfette”
One of the hazards of old timey chat rooms was that they tended to attract teenagers,who wandered into spiritual/religious chats looking for help with their angst. Usually, a pat on the head and some reassurance that they were normal and it would get better did the trick, but sometimes…
There was this one kiddo who was really, really fascinated with wolves. She had a social studies teacher who was Native American, and had shared some of the traditional mythologies with her, including stories of ancestors who could shape-shift into animals.
So our young teen friend started scouring the web for instructions on shape-shifting, and eventually found a group of middle-aged wolf-fanatics who were absolutely determined that with enough faith and howling-practice, they’d be able to actually, physically turn into wolves, at will. Their technique involved a lot of self-hypnosis, deep meditations and disciplined baying at the moon.
On hearing this, I explained that her new ‘net friends were not exactly playing with a full deck, that she should be cautious who she listened to, and pointed her back towards her parents and social studies teacher to clarify the meaning of the old stories.
But she was having none of it.
Her teacher was “holding out” on her, and she insisted he was “refusing to tell the truth!” (In other words, Mr.Social Sciences had politely said the internet wolf-friends were bonkers.)
When I refused to help with her quest to become well-furred, Ms. Teen-Wolfette quit talking to me, too… at least for a while.
I wasn’t sure if I should be relieved, or concerned; in the end, I was both.
A month or so later, she came bounding back into the chat rooms, seeking me out.
“OMG, I have fangs… FANGS! And they’re growing! This stuff works and I’m scared and I don’t want to be a wolf anymore! Make it stop!”
Somehow (I’m still not sure how) I managed not to LOL at her.
It turned out that she’d been doing lots and lots of meditations on becoming a wolf, for hours a day. My suspicion was (and is)she’d planted such a strong “I’m becoming a wolf!” suggestion in her head that when she peered at her teeth and noticed the normal, adult pointy cuspids at the corners of her mouth, she assumed they were new wolf fangs sprouting. She was in her early teens, so it’s possible that her adult cuspids had only recently come in, or that she’d had them a few years and just never noticed.
Or, well, maybe she WAS growing wolf fangs, for all I know.
But I patted her on the head, referred her back to her parents and teacher again, and assured her that yes, if she stopped the howling-practice, she would definitely not continue down the path to wolf-hood.
A few years later, she tracked me down again to thank me for being so patient with her, and for not giggling where she could hear me.
Thus endeth the saga of the Wolfette-Woo-Gone-Wild.
The Moral of the Story?
Well, it might be “Never look a teen-wolf in the mouth” or “Let sleeping cuspids lie.” or “For Gawd’s sake, Lil’Red, stay on the path all the way to Grandma’s house, and don’t talk to Wolves!”
But in an effort to make this weirdly fit the topic of success as a Quirkipreneur? We’ll go with this:
“Beware the risks of buying of your own PR…”
Think you have a better moral to offer? Maybe your own scarified woo tales?
Wanna tell me to stop referring to woo and get on with the biz talk?
Your thoughts are welcome in the comments!
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