Monday, March 16, 2009

Introduction, Robotripping, and Traiteurs

It will always be a regret that I didn't jump on the blogging bandwagon ten years ago when it was fresh, new, and edgy. I coulda been a pioneer or something. Now, I'm just a joiner. On the bright side, I have decided to use this blog as an opportunity to write someting other than academic prose. Something I would actually care to read myself. I hope to get back to creative writing, but for now these semi-public cyber postcards will have to do.

I learned a new word today: Robotripping. It sounds like something Beck does alone in some dark closet while listening to Devo. Actually, it's a current name for the fad of dosing on Robitussin throughout the day. Most of us are familiar with the teenager habit of furtive glugging on liquid Robitussin, but the principal of my friend Karen's school was not.

My back still hurts from being in a five-car pileup last week. The student health center told me that they can't treat me for an auto accident because it is against University policy. I went to a chiropractor today and while she took a lot of X-rays, she didn't get around to treating me. I'm in pain and I have nothing to take for it. So, I am taking a page from my folklorist playbook. I've decided to see a traiteur. Traiteurs are the folk healers of Southern Louisiana. The name is a French word meaning "to treat," or "to mend." They don't charge any money, they don't care if you are skeptical about their treatment, and they are pretty willing to be available if called upon. Some traiteurs treat for general illness, pain, and maladies. Others specialize My friend's late grandmother treated pain, and their down-the-street neighbor treated for fire, chemical, and sunburns. I talked to two of the women in my Louisiana folklore class today about putting me in touch with the traiteurs thier families use. It feels a bit odd to be doing this because on the one hand, I totally believe in Traiteurs, but I'm not a Christian. It's also strange because I am the one teaching the class and should already know some traiteurs, but I'm having to ask my students for referrals. The most important thing is getting some help before the back pain wears me down.

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