“The Confusion”


It was either ’61 or ’62 on a Friday night early morning shift on the desk.  I had been working as complaint deputy on the pm shift and then doubled back onto the em shift with Henry (Buddy) Barrett as Dispatcher.  The phones had been lit up all night, it was either a full moon or the county welfare checks had come out or both.  During a lull in the action, Barrett picked up a call around 2-or 3 am from an unk female who inquired if he knew the phone number to the local witch doctor.  Now Buddy, not being one to let an opportunity like this get away from him, motioned me to push the button on my phone so I could listen.  He asked what the problem was. The female explained that she and her neighbor had been fighting all day and she had put the “confusion” on her, and she needed to have the witch doctor break the hex.  Buddy tells her not to worry, that the Sheriff’s Office (note: it was an Office then not a Dept) had the manual with the recipe on how to break the confusion hex.  He asked her to hang on the line while he found the right page.  By this time I was laughing and it was hard to keep it quite.  Buddy came back to the line and began to recite the recipe.  “One chicken with neck just wrung complete with legs feathers and guts boiled with a combination of mice tails and snails (the more the better) in either red mountain or T-bird depending on if the hexor and/or the hexee was light skinned or dark skinned”.  By this time I was out of control I was laughing so hard.  Buddy goes on and on until he finally starts to lose it and has to break it off and tells her that was it and it should work.  She thanked him and asked his name and then the poop-head tells her “Deputy Miller”.  I could have killed him.


 Two or three nights later I’m back out in the field working the north end in one of the Adam cars 11A or 12A.  We had an occasion to roll back to the station either 10-15 or on a chow run, whatever.  In any event the same Buddy Barrett tells me that a package was dropped off at the desk for me. He then hands me a dirty paper sac with a Voodoo doll in it.  I’ll leave it to your imagination where the pin was stuck.  I can only guess that the recipe for the anti-hex didn’t work and this was her way of getting even.  These were the days before name badges so I wasn’t worried, I just blended into the sea of tan & green.  Some time later I did get even with Barrett, but that’s another story.   


Jack Miller

FPK 61-66