I worked in The Burque for one week last November. When I was here that last time, I splurged and purchased a fine silver and turquoise Pakistani necklace from a Swedish woman with an intense handshake who runs a new-age type crystal shoppe/bookstore. I wore the necklace to my next destination, Chicago, whereupon, the very next day, one of the platelet hinges snapped. Admittedly, this happened while I was dancing super-hard with a bunch of friends in front of a juke box at one of my favorite Chicago beer joints, Estelle’s. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed, but also, kind of impressed with myself that I was able to break a hundred dollar necklace simply by some crazy booty-shakin’.

Yesterday, I was in Inga’s store again, this time purchasing a hard-to-find book. I re-introduce myself and mention that I purchased a necklace last fall – and that it broke two days later. Inga pauses, looks at me over the top of her bifocals with a gaze equally as intense as her soul-stroking handshake and says very evenly, “You know, dear, zat vhen someting like dis happens, it is because zat necklace has protected you from some-sing.”

“What?” I ask. I don’t really know what I was expecting her to do about the busted merchandise, but I truly wasn’t expecting her to tell me that the necklace saved me from some sort of attack – psychic or otherwise.

“Yes,” she said. “It’s true. Once, I was coming home across a darkened parking lot, and my necklace broke.” She shuddered. “I know it protected me from some-sing!” She smiles. “I can recommend someone to fix it . . . ”

For the record – I do have a tendency to believe these sorts of things, but that belief system certainly has limitations. The only thing that I can’t shake about her explanation is that . . . . OK, let’s pretend that she’s correct and that it did “save me” from some-sing. Why did it break whilst I was dancing, surrounded by friends? I have to hand the prize of proprietary excuses to my local crystal shoppe owner, Inga. I’ll be back to her store; it’s a good store. I just won’t buy any more jewelry there.