Cursed Objects

Do you ever wonder what kind of a person would be spiteful enough to make those cursed objects you see in films? To litter their tomb with mean tricks designed to catch out any future adventurers/grave robbers/curious teenagers stupid enough to disturb their final resting place, just on the off chance one of them happens to pick up the tantalising diamond necklace you left draped over the door handle? Who that you know would derive any kind of joy from the thought that they’re messing up the lives of generations of meddling kids to come?

Me; I’m that kind of person.


Who’s got great taste in shades and a wrathful nature? This guy.

When I die, should my family, as I expect, baulk at the idea of cremating me in a sack of potatoes, I’d like to be interred in a fancy-ass tomb. I’m talking statues and frescos – that’s the level of luxury I want my corpse to experience. I’ll instruct my second-youngest niece to go into my grave just before it’s sealed and strategically place cursed objects there; I’ll make sure to give her these objects, along with a cryptic warning about handling them with gloves, just before I die.

The rest of my niblings will be charged with the task of creating a mythology around my resting place – eg pretending they saw my ghost there, boasting about my fabulous collection of diamond saucepans I insisted on being buried with, drawing enigmatically unfinished maps. That kind of thing. I want the whole local community to be abuzz with rumours about what my grave might contain.

Assuming my descendents do a good enough job, the local people’s interest will be piqued and their imagination’ll be running away with them. Within a couple of generations, the masses’ trepidation will have evaporated and a rag-tag group of friends, possibly needing the money for child support or gambling debts, will be cracking open my tomb with crowbars.

grey skulls piled on ground

semi-related spooky imagery

Obviously, this takes a lot of planning, so let me tell you what I’ve got in mind so far.

When our heroes, such as they are, break into my tomb, they’ll be met with a message etched into the wall. I haven’t got the wording down quite yet, but it’ll be something along the lines of

Hey, thanks for breaking into my tomb, you tosser. Very rude.

There’s a special prize on my coffin but don’t touch anything else or I’ll curse you forever.

Best of luck,

Ro Daniels.


You know, something like that. Anyway, just as the intruders finish reading the message, the doors’ll rumble shut behind them and they’ll realise they’re trapped. Torches along the walls will burst into flames as they take a tentative step forwards, and, in the very distance, they’ll be able to make out the shape of my sarcophagus.

Between them and their prize, however, will be the following tempting objets:

  • my dog-eared copy of “Death and the Penguin”;

(I’ll leave it bookmarked at one of the bits where the penguin is splish splashin’ about in the tub. People who take it will be cursed with the not insignificant fate of no one ever taking your book recommendations seriously (possibly because they have stupid names like ‘Death and the Penguin’).)

  • a bent fork;

(If you touch this, you’ll never be able to eat gracefully again. Goes double if you’re on an important dinner date (eg with the love of your life, with a local radio DJ toying with the idea of interviewing you etc).)

  • a glass duck;

(The glass duck, as a clearly inferior imitation of its rubber counterpart, will bestow its new owner with the unenviable quality of always being outshone by brighter, plastickier equivalents.)

  • a model of St Isaac’s Cathedral in Petersburg;

(St Isaac’s Cathedral is the fourth largest cathedral in the world, when size of cathedral is measured as volume under the cupola. The architect, having calculated volume including the cupola, therefore considered the building robbed of the title of world’s largest cathedral. With mathematical simplicity, then, all exploits undertaken by anyone who steals this model will be one quarter as successful as they’d hoped.)

  • an empty beer glass;

(This curse is inspired by my incredible ability to spill every drink I’m handed. Now you can see how it feels, thief.)

  • £19.90 in loose change;

(If you’re anything like me, you put your silver coins in a jar in the corner of your room and save them for a special treat. When the day to spend your booty finally comes, you carefully count out exactly twenty quid – in other words, the price of a pie and four pints at my local – and head off into town. After stealing this pile of coins, though, you’ll be cursed with the inability to count properly, leaving you floundering, a pie and three pints in.)

  • dusty tin containing two (2) plasters and a 10p piece;

(You think you hoard shit now? Just wait until I hit you with this curse. Every time you go to throw away a normal household item (eg plastic fork, used floss stick, empty tub of butter etc) a weird emotional attachment will strike you and you’ll ask yourself how you could even think of chucking away something that’s been with you through so much. Tenderly you’ll place the rescued item on a shelf and you’ll cast it loving glances every hour or so for the next few days.)

  • and about forty intriguing pebbles.

(Every time you’re in a serious situation (eg job interview, close friend’s pet’s funeral etc) you’ll remember that story about the labrador that ate loads of pebbles on the beach and when he walked his owners could hear the pebbles clacking about in his stomach. Even if you manage not to beam, those close to you will be sure to pick up on the joyful glint in your eye. Plus, this one will be particularly hard to sidestep because there are some pebbles, we can all agree, which are just crying out to be grabbed.)

If those pesky grave robbers manage to get through all of that without giving in to the temptation of nicking something, they’ll find a humble envelope propped against my coffin. In it they’ll find

  • a congratulatory note;

(It’s important to recognise achievement.)

  • three spiders;

(This is in case, as I suspect, spiders will have been wiped out by the time of my death. Absolute travesty, I must say. If, by some miracle, these spiders manage to survive until they’re freed, they’ll run out into the world and repopulate the Earth with their disgusting eight-legged babies.)

  • a £5 WHSmith gift card.

(My successes at school were always rewarded in this manner; hopefully those who have proved themselves worthy will be able to buy themselves a treat from Smiths (eg some nice highlighters, this month’s National Geographic, a calendar to give to their aunt etc).)

June’s Bland Horoscope

No one likes the unknown, especially when bland stuff is concerned. Get a headstart on fate by seeing how your month is going to play out…

June: The Month of Middle Class Hobbies.

The British Middle Class have some of the weirdest hobbies in the world. This month, however, they won’t just fill your time, empty your pockets, and impress your friends – they’ll affect your very fate.

Aries (21st March – 19th April)

Lucky Hobby: Photography.

And not just any photography: photography in black and white, with an expensive camera. No doubt, this is the month to adjust settings that you don’t understand on a camera the salesperson swore would make all the difference to your snaps.

You need to commit, though: get up at four, hike up your nearest hill, and lie in a patch of brambles to get that perfect shot of the sunrise. Then post your best ones to Instagram. I mean, otherwise, what’s the point?

Taurus (20th April – 20th May)

Lucky Hobby: Craft ale tasting.

If you’re a man, you already own ten thousand craft beer books people have given you for Christmas. Fish them out from wherever you stashed them (in the loo, under the stairs) and get stuck in – find whichever beer has the best name and label and order a case of them online. Bonus points if they ship from abroad and you have to wait two weeks for them. Once they’ve arrived, invite all your friends with beards around, and say things like,

“I normally don’t like my hops as malty as this, but I really love what they’ve done with the draught.”

It doesn’t mean anything, but it sounds impressive – and that’s half the battle.

Gemini (21st May – 20th June)

Lucky Hobby: Blogging.

There’s nothing more middle class than impotently flinging your thoughts into the dark hole of the Internet. Trust me.

Luckily, these days, it couldn’t be easier to start your own blogging empire. Just sign up to your favourite site, set your profile picture as you silhouetted against a dramatic landscape, and start typing! Before long, you too can spend all your time doing something you used to enjoy for no recompense.

Cancer (21st June – July 22nd)

Lucky hobby: Any normal sport with a kite.

Get a skateboard. Stand on it. Hold a kite. Done.

Same for surfboard, mountainbike, yoga matt, motorbike, rollerskates, iceskates, horse (real or pommel), or trapeze.

Literally any sport is more exhilarating (and more Instagrammable) if you introduce the complication of weather. How much more attentively would you watch the FA Cup if there was a chance the players would suddenly fly off the pitch, leaving only those clever enough to tether themselves to the goalposts?

The only sport this doesn’t work for, by the way, is paragliding. Because that would just be silly.

Leo (23rd July – August 22nd)

Lucky Hobby: Anything your grandmother did to help keep her family clothed and fed in the war.

This includes, but is not limited to, knitting, baking, cooking (especially with ersatz meat, like facon), making rag rugs, selling flowers, crochet, making your own curtains (black out optional), sewing buttons onto cardigans, and thinning out your bread with substitute (read: gluten free) flour.

Virgo (23rd August – 22nd September)

Lucky Hobby: Collecting vinyls.

Especially limited edition or live versions. Bonus points if you drive to some far flung town to visit a brick-and-mortar record shop.

Libra (23rd September – 22nd October)

Lucky Hobby: Correcting peoples grammar on line.

Most people don’t have the dedication to turn this into a full time hobby, but with a little elbow grease, you can imperceptibly improve the Internet generation’s literacy by dogmatically correcting them, one misplaced apostrophe at a time. And by the way, it’s actually correcting *people’s grammar *online.

Scorpio (23rd October – 21st November)

Lucky Hobby: Facebook-based political commentary.

It’s never been easier to tell the world exactly what you think of Theresa May’s new policy – or, indeed, what you think of her fascination with leopard-print shoes. This month, tell your friends exactly how smart you are by updating your status with derivative opinions that basically amount to watered-down Frankie Boyle tweets. If you can’t be arsed with that, you can just share articles from The Onion. #theresamaybe

Sagittarius (22nd November – 21st December)

Lucky Hobby: Hiking.

Here’s what you need to go hiking:

  1. shoes,
  2. a hill, and
  3. a water bottle.

Here’s what you need to go hobby hiking:

  1. goretex walking shoes,
  2. name brand socks,
  3. shoe covers made from baby seal skin,
  4. breathable trousers with patented ceramic plates to support your calves,
  5. a backpack that costs more than your rent,
  6. three tents (for different weather conditions),
  7. a goose down sleeping bag,
  8. a silk sleeping bag liner,
  9. energy gel,
  10. chafing gel,
  11. antiseptic gel,
  12. Timpsons tent gel,
  13. spare socks,
  14. a waterproof map (in case of rain),
  15. a snowproof map (in case of snow),
  16. a heatproof map (in case of volcano), and
  17. one of those water bottle/backpack combos where you suck the water through straw connected to your backpack.

Capricorn (22nd December – 19th January)

Lucky Hobby: Gin tasting.

Wine tasting is a bit passé, so to have a cool hobby whist still getting sloshed, why not opt for gin tasting? With its burgeoning community of well-bearded micro-distillers, the pursuit of the best g&t will show you all new ways to pretend to like tonic water.

Aquarius (20th January – 18th February)

Lucky Hobby: Gaming.

Advances in the video gaming community have helped diminish the stereotypes many grown ups have about point ‘n’ shooters. Whilst adult gamers used to be regarded with suspicion and a little mistrust, they are gradually moving towards the mainstream, which means you, too, can enjoy creatively murdering avatars so realistic you have to actively remind yourself that they aren’t real people. It’s a great stress release.

Pisces (19th February – 20th March)

Lucky Hobby: Jazz appreciation.

If you pretend to like it for long enough, you can style it out.

April’s Bland Horoscope

No one likes the unknown, especially when bland stuff is concerned. Get a headstart on fate by seeing how your month is going to play out…

April: The Month of Local Government.

Everyone loves their local government, but not everyone realises how much one’s star sign affects one’s access to local services. This month, the planet Councilis is particularly close to Earth, meaning that you might experience some unexpected local authority-based happenings!

Aries (21st March – 19th April)

The Good: Waste management. Councilis is smiling on you in this regard, my friends, and your bins will be collected promptly and with minimal spillage.

The Bad: Council tax collection. You had better hope you don’t have to file your council tax this month, Aries. If you do, you will almost certainly be overcharged and have to go down to your local council office and listen to Muzak for a hundred years whilst a grumpy lady processes your forms.

Taurus (20th April – 20th May)

The Good: Consumer protection. Have no fear about buying dodgy-looking products from a shady gentleman in an alleyway this month! If the goods do turn out to be ersatz, your local government will have your back, and it’ll come down on that dirty rotten smuggler like a tonne of bricks.

The Bad: Fire services. Just don’t light any candles this month, OK? You have been warned.

Gemini (21st May – 20th June)

The Good: Transport. Buses will be on time, train drivers will be smiley. Creepy blokes in trench coats won’t wank near you, and you might even get a seat on the Tube.

The Bad: Waste management. The foxes’ll get to your wheelie bin before the proper



authorities do, scattering litter all over the street. This will cause you some embarrassment, as Mr and Mrs Next Door will be able to see exactly how many hot cross buns you picked the cross off and then threw away.

Cancer (21st June – July 22nd)

The Good: Libraries. Escaping a seasonal shower, you’ll duck into your local library, and be delighted with what you find. Books will be free of mysterious stains, people will be reading quietly (but not so quietly you feel intimidated), and the whole place will give you a feeling of great peace and oneness with the world.

The Bad: Strategic planning. All your strategies this month, even if they’re not related to your local area, will be spectacular failures. This is not the time for blue sky thinking – just settle in with a cup of coffee and try not to think about the future. Even the odd daydream could be seen by the universe as a strategic plan.

Leo (23rd July – August 22nd)

The Good: Fire services. If you leave your straighteners on, knock over a candle, or accidentally set fire to your hairspray this month – don’t worry! The planet Councilis has your back. The second you press the final 9 in 999, a fleet of valiant (and, coincidentally, sexy) firemen and women will be converging on your location, thick hoses in hand, ready to make things wet and steamy.

The Bad: Police. If the above situation does pan out as I’ve described it, the police will pursue you with biblical anger and prosecute you for arson and sexualising members of the fire service.

Virgo (23rd August – 22nd September)

The Good: Regional development. This is the month to start any entrepreneurial ventures. As far as the local government side of things goes, everything will be peachy.

The Bad: Transport. Running late, you’ll be forced to jump on the tram without buying a ticket. Unfortunately, this will be the one day of the year that Larry, the overenthusiastic ticket officer, will be on patrol. You’ll be slapped with a hefty fine and, after the dressing down Larry gives you, you won’t be able to look your fellow passengers in the eye for the rest of the journey.

Libra (23rd September – 22nd October)

The Good: Council tax collection. It’s rebate time!!!

The Bad: Consumer protection. After buying what looked like a legit Superdry coat from your mate’s brother, you’ll realise you’ve actually bought an overpriced cagoule made by children (no different than a normal Superdry coat then #satire). On complaining to your local authority, you’ll be met by four hours of hold music that makes your ears bleed.

Scorpio (23rd October – 21st November)

The Good: Police. On handing in a wallet you found in the gutter, you’ll be rewarded with a cup of tea and a long chat with the sarge, a genuinely charming man who will become your lifelong friend and confidante.

The Bad: Libraries. Escaping a seasonal shower, you’ll duck into your local library, and be disgusted by what you find. Everything will be slightly sticky, the pages of all the books will have that icky grainy quality, and the librarian will judge you for texting. You’ll leave the place slightly anxious and rather nauseated.

Sagittarius (22nd November – 21st December)

The Good: Strategic planning. Whether you’re scheduling an appointment or thinking about your next staycation, your plans are sure to bring roses this month. Be warned though – if your strategies fall outside of the purview of your local authority, positive results cannot be guaranteed. (For more information about the scope of your local government, contact Citizen’s Advice.) Scheme carefully, my friends.

The Bad: Regional development. Halt all construction on that shed! This month is cursed. Potholes won’t be filled, planning permission will be summarily refused, the £million development on the ringroad will be stalled – indefinitely. Keep your head down and your nose clean, and you’ll be lucky if that shed is done by the new year.

Capricorn (22nd December – 19th January)

The Good: Cemeteries and crematoria. On wandering through your local graveyard this month, you’ll be approached by a mysterious, well-dressed gentleman. He will introduce himself as your local cemetery ombudsman, and after conscientiously noting down your thoughts on the site, he will reward you for your time with a £5 Boots voucher.

The Bad: Education. Your child/niece/friend’s child/local urchin will give you a really shit drawing you’re compelled to put on the fridge. No one visiting will comment on it, but you will sense them judging you, and you will be resentful of their weighty silences and pointed looks.

Aquarius (20th January – 18th February)

The Good: Education.Your child/niece/friend’s child/local urchin will give you a really great drawing to put on the fridge. Every time you see it, you’ll be filled with joy and wonder at how much they’ve blossomed, and, despite yourself, you’ll smile.

The Bad: Local planning. The blueprints for your rockery will be destroyed in a freak accident. You suspect your enigmatic neighbour, John.

Pisces (19th February – 20th March)

The Good: Housing. When reaching between the bed and the wall to retrieve a lost sock, you will find either

  1. the deeds to the house or flat (if you’re a renter); or
  2. a really sweet kitten (if you already own your place).

The Bad: Cemeteries and crematoria. After a particularly moving ceremony for an acquaintance, you, overcome with emotion, will lean over the coffin to say goodbye. Little will you know that government cutbacks have meant a loose floorboard has long gone unrepaired; it will give way under your foot – overbalanced by grief, you will topple with comic slowness into the casket, which in turn will bump into the table groaning with the weight of so much homemade post-funeral food. The resultant chaos will result in your social ostracisation and banishment from all government owned funeral facilities.

February’s Bland Horoscope

No one likes the unknown, especially when bland stuff is concerned. Get a head start on fate by seeing how your month is going to play out…

February: The Month of the Shopping Bags.

According to ancient Chinese legend, the second month of the year is the month when most carrier bag related accidents happen. Avoid uncertainty this month: read on to see how the trillions of bags under your sink will affect your day-to-day!

Aries (21st March – 19th April)

Be very careful: there is great danger in your path. Be sure to stock up on 5ps or old carrier bags before you leave the house, lest you end up high and dry with an armful of loose onions and a twenty minute walk home.

Astral gemstone: Onyx.

Taurus (20th April – 20th May)

Wow! You’re going to have an absolutely fabulous month, at least as far as plastic bags are concerned. Maybe you’ll end up with more bags than you paid for at the self checkout, or maybe a concerned auntie will give you one of those special foldaway shopping bags. Either way, you’re in luck!

Astral shapeRhombus.

Gemini (21st May – 20th June)

Ahh, Gemini. The sign of the twins. I have always had a soft spot for you and your early summer birthdays, which is why it pains me to tell you you’re in for it this month. Heck, your future looks worse than Aries! If I were you, I’d get a friend, parent or significant other to handle any carrier bag related matters this month.

Hey, don’t shoot the messenger: all I do is interpret the signs the heavens send me.

Astral bargain: PG Tips half off at Asda.

Cancer (21st June – July 22nd)

Fairly average month for you guys. You’ll probably forget to take a bag with you when you go shopping and get slapped by that hefty 5p charge, but on the other hand you might find a fiver in one of the old ones under the sink.

Astral herb: Parsley.

Leo (23rd July – August 22nd)

Life’s a lottery, and so is your fate this month, Leo. Some of you will emerge victorious, clutching a bunch of sturdy bags for life; others will stumble, shaking, into March, with nothing but a holey one from the chippy.

Astral phobia: Gamophobia (the fear of commitment).

Virgo (23rd August – 22nd September)

After a shaky history with carrier bags, it looks like things are finally going your way this month. You will remember your bag just before you leave for the shops, and will spend the rest of the day with a sense of mild gratitude.

Astral nostalgic banger: Kids by MGMT.

Libra (23rd September – 22nd October)

You will stuff a shopping bag in your pocket and be uncomfortable with the bulge it makes. Don’t fight it: there is nothing you can do to stop this from coming to pass. Such is your fate.

Astral fashion tipClean and polished shoes make all the difference!

Scorpio (23rd October – 21st November)

You will amaze your friends and coworkers by telling them about how this random blog you found predicted this very conversation.

When they question you, you will show them this very horoscope, making sure to draw their attention to the high quality content and the ‘follow’ button, found by clicking the little icon on the footer at the bottom.

By doing this, you will finally gain their respect and admiration, and the CEO of Tesco’s will give you unlimited bags for life… for life.

Astral fancy foodstuff: Caviar.

Sagittarius (22nd November – 21st December)

Keep your wits about you this month. There will be people (neighbours, coworkers, enemies) who will try and take your bags from you. It’s up to you to stop them. Good luck.

Astral beverage: Soy latte.

Capricorn (22nd December – 19th January)

Carelessness this month will cause a pointy object to pierce a hole in your favourite plastic bag. It may be wise to double bag your groceries in order to avoid a high street accident.

Astral vegetable: Artichoke.

Aquarius (20th January – 18th February)

There is a crossroads in your path, and you will have to make a decision on an issue you’ve been avoiding for months. In this trying time, you will find consolation in throwing out all the old bags you’ve been hoarding since 2012.

Astral score: 2-1 Middlesborough United.

Pisces (19th February – 20th March)

Despite your marine star sign, you’ve always been wary about fish. This month your guard will slip: double bagging your purchase in a vain attempt to keep it fresh, you will leave your fresh salmon fillet in the car as you pop into work. The results will be carnage. Invest in one of those tree-shaped car airfresheners.

Astral reptile: African Pancake Turtle.