Help Wanted: one witch, pays £50,000

In these hard economic times it’s nice to know there are still good jobs out there. Wookey Hole, Somerset, England, is advertising for a witch.

Wookey Hole, famous for its beautiful limestone caves, is home to a family theme park. The company that manages the park wants to hire someone to play a witch and is willing to pay them £50,000 ($81,000) a year to cackle at visitors, teach courses in magic, and (here’s the catch) live in the caves. It’s not the greatest job in the world, but it beats flipping burgers and asking “Do you want eye of newt with that?”

According to legend there really was a witch in the Wookey Hole Caves. Back in the Middle Ages, an evil old witch who had been unlucky in love cursed a young couple so they would never marry. The young groom-to-be was so despondent over the loss of his love that he became a monk, and swore revenge. One day he entered the cave, blessed the underground river he found flowing through it, and splashed the water onto the witch, turning her into a stalagmite that can still be seen to this day.

It sounds like a fun way to make some money off an old legend, but one thing confuses me. Considering their name, why don’t they open a Star Wars theme park and hire a Wookiee?

Check out some of these other wacky laws, place names and signs from around the world!

Witchcraft in EU Courts?

Just as soon as Romania has been let into the EU, there’s double, double, toil and trouble brewing. A Romanian judge has been fined and demoted for practicing witchcraft in her court.

Elena Simionescu is alleged to have splashed mud, water, “other liquids,” as well as salt and pepper, on fellow judges’ desks. Should one think it was a simple culinary event, she admitted to sprinkling “holy water” on her co-workers’ desks, “in the spirit of good Christians’ rituals.” Other folks are more concerned: some were “convinced that she was casting spells.” The official line was that she used “unorthodox methods” in her court.

But, I guess it’s not too surprising, considering (according to the Sofia News Agency) that that country legalized witchcraft as an official profession last year.

Word for the Travel Wise (12/12/06)

Running low on luck these days? According to Wikipedia, Obeah, a type of sorcery practiced in Jamaica and various parts of the West Indies contains many traditions for helping, healing and bringing love and money to those who are seriously without. I’d never heard of it until a couple of days ago when I went searching for words for tonight’s word plug and I also wouldn’t mess with it, but I’m also not at rock bottom in my life. Anyhow, just throwing this one out there for anyone who wishes to further investigate.

Today’s word is a Patois word from Jamaica:

obeah – a brand of witchcraft practiced in Jamaica

You can expand your ‘Rasta Patois’ in several ways. The most rewarding way is straight from the horse’s mouth, so you may wish to seek the knowledge from some West Indian folks in your neighborhood. If you can’t learn anything that way due to the low number of West Indian peeps in your circle, try watching films. The Rockers is an awesome and entertaining starting point. The 25th anniversary edition DVD has great features, including a small Rasta Patois dictionary. A good source on the net is Jamaicans dot com and Jahworks seems decent.

Past Patois words:
satta, gwaan, labrish, mash up, budufbaf, tegareg, peenywally