[Ed. Note: The following story takes place prior to me ordering a set of Self-Defense Buddha Beads, which, incidentally, arrived yesterday, and which also set off a manic desire for even more accessories that double as surprise armaments. Anyway, before I complete my transformation into a terribly fashion-forward weapons locker, let it be known that I have, in the past, utilized spiritual devices for their intended spiritual purposes, and not just to smack people around at kink awareness seminars. With that understood…]
Hindustani Convenience Store Clerk: “Hello! How are you today?”
Me: “Doing well, thanks!” [I place my purchases on the counter and notice a strand of prayer beads wrapped around his wrist.] “And hey, I like your mala.”
HCSC: “What?!” [suspiciously] “How do you know what a mala is?”
Me: “Because I have one, too.”
HCSC: “Did you get it as a souvenir somewhere?”
[Inner Me: He thinks you’re appropriating his culture. Nice going, colonizer.]
Me: “I… found it at a curio shop over near the Galleria.”
HCSC: “Okay… but why do you have one?”
Me: “Well, sometimes I use it to meditate, and sometimes I use it to pray to Ganesha.”
HCSC: “You pray to Ganesha.”
Me: “I do.”
[uncomfortably long silence]
HCSC: “Pray to Him on Tuesdays. He likes milk and fresh fruit as offerings.”
In related news, I seem to have wandered a wee bit too far down the personal protection rabbit hole: What started as, “Neat! This pendant can be used to break a window in case of emergency,” has become, “Interesting! I did not expect the Smith & Wesson heat-treated baton to receive better performance reviews than the ASP Agent-40 series, although the United Cutlery Night Watchman is really a bargain, considering the comparable construction.” This might be a good time to check in with Ganesha and ask Him for clarity as I weigh out my options, or maybe see if He’d be willing to disable my credit cards until I confirm that I’m caught up on bills.
ETA: All bills paid. And I’m going with the Smith & Wesson, because I’m from Texas, and that’s how things are done around here. Ohm Shree Ganesh, y’all.