Since I live in Hungary, I dedicate a lot of my reality-altering techniques (I formulate it this way since I don’t always use “magic” per se, but half the time just good old-fashioned straightforward visualization) to push through red tape and to get glacial public administration moving faster. For this purpose offerings to Ganesha, visualizations incorporating Ganesha, and chanting Ganesha mantras have often done the trick.
But recently, I have been presented with a nastier obstacle, with a shorter deadline. I am part of a group of people who are setting up a new institution in Budapest (I am being vague intentionally). A foundation was established, officers elected to the board and funds collected. We have been renovating a house for this purpose, with much of the work done by volunteers.
But there are those in the neighborhood who are opposed to the project. Most of the opponents have no reasonable grounds for their opposition, they are simply afraid of change. I have been operating in the background as this project’s unofficial magician, with only two or three people knowing what I am doing (I wonder how often that’s the case?). These neighbors are throwing wrenches into the machinery of administration to slow things down by: calling the cops when our renovation work gets “too loud” and; lodging legal challenges to our project with the district city council. We’re also having troubles with inflexible and overly strict fire department and health department officials (possibly expecting to be bribed to cut us a break). There is a permit to operate our institution that we must have by the middle of September, or it will cause us lots of difficulties. And seen from the conventional way of looking at things, it doesn’t look highly likely we’ll get it.
I’ve only worked with Expedite once or twice, and that was in his lesser role as a retrainer of procrastinators. While I was doing this, I got the impression that what he wanted more than pound cake or offerings to the poor, was to be in a church.
I could be wrong, but I am fairly certain that Expedite doesn’t really have a traditional presence in Hungary, though sources say he was venerated in “German-speaking countries”, which Hungary most certainly was until after the first World War.
There’s a large brick Catholic church about five minute’s walk from our apartment (I’m not naming it so it doesn’t show up on searches, but that’s it on the left). The outside doors of the church are unlocked all day, but the church proper is sealed off most of the time by doors and walls made of wood and glass. I go in on occasion to have a look inside from the vestibule. It’s a sweet nostalgia for me since I was brought up very, very Catholic.
It occurred to me that it would be very easy to place a colored printout of Expedite in a little wooden IKEA frame, spread super glue on the back of the frame, and press it onto a chosen plaster wall. I know some people would find this to be distastefully subversive, even vandalism, but I choose to think of it as guerrilla decorating.
I explained my idea to my teenage sons, and they were quite willing to help. We devised a plan worthy of Ocean’s Eleven.
I had the framed picture and glue in a cloth shopping bag (there are are two supermarkets within a hundred yards of the front door) and my eldest son and I had walky-talkies with earphones. He sat in a location where he could see the front door, and my other son stood at the corner the elder one couldn’t see around, pretending he was waiting for a ride. This son is into prestidigitation, so he came equipped with a set of Chicago balls in his pocket. His job was to offer ten seconds of distraction by doing magic tricks if someone threatened to enter the vestibule at a critical moment.
My eldest son and I had code words worked out to signal by radio if someone was approaching the door, coming up the steps, or if the other son started doing magic tricks. (“Zeppelin” was the signal that someone was coming up the steps. Can you figure that one out?) He was cool as a cucumber, and I alway knew what was going on outside from his signals.
The operation went smoothly, except that I slathered too much glue on the frame, so it didn’t dry as fast as I expected. But my boys had my back. We had a good laugh when we met at our designated rendezvous afterwards.
I was afraid that the picture was either not glued properly and would fall off (the wall was more porous than I’d expected) or that someone would notice the uncanonized intruder and remove him from the wall.
I’ve been back to visit him twice. After nearly a week, it is tightly on the wall. And it looks so natural where it’s hanging, I don’t think anyone’s noticed it (unless some gypsies have recognized him and have started offering prayers to him).
I have the impression that Expedite is pleased. He’s in a church where he can serve God. Where else would he want to be?