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Tara's Advice

Martha's Little Helper

Dear Tara,
I have intense envy toward my yuppie siblings. Every time I see their goddam SUVs, hot tubs and celadon-colored laundry rooms, it makes me want to pull a Madonna "Borderline," running around and ruining all their fancy goods with spray paint. And yet they both treat me very nice; in fact, I consistently receive from them top-of-the-line cameras, snowboarding clothes, mountain bikes, laptops, etc., that they give me with real generosity. What do I do? Grin and bear it, or take up arson?
Signed, What's the deal with blood? Isn't everything thicker than water?

Dear Blood,
Dude, you are clearly a strong and passionate artist-type, and for a person of your temperament to keep his feelings bottled up is dangerous for everyone. You need to express your feelings, and you need to do it soon. Now, once again, my contract with Metropolitan explicitly forbids me to advocate committing felonies (word to the wise: spend that extra moolah and forgo 1-800-LAWYERZ), but I can recommend a trusted and true bit of malevolent, sympathetic magic that I first read about in Martha Stewart Living, spring '95. I'm talking, of course, about effigies.

An effigy basically works like a voodoo doll, except that it's life-sized and really scary. Set your creative talents to work creating giant soft-sculpture dolls of your siblings, with their faces contorted in pain, or perhaps missing an arm or a leg, or stabbed through the head, etc. Note that realism is essential!

Lynched effigies can provide a stunning focal point in even the most well-appointed dining room or meticulously cared for Japanese-style garden. Signs saying "I am a dirty class traitor and deserve to die" can be hung around the neck of any effigy, but if you opt to use signs, you must pay more than the usual amount of attention to lighting and naturally occurring sightlines.

Joie de vivre!
Tara (Thanks, Martha!)

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From the December 20, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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