Odd News Show

Always Ask Witches Follow-Up Questions

Sure we all loved Harry Potter. But when those characters are real and also adults, it can end up being a way worse story.

By Jason Salmon · May 23, 2024

This outfit on a first date should raise questions Petr Sidorov/Unsplash

Disclaimer: While this article is based on veritaserum-induced facts (one for you Potterheads), it also contains a conjuring or two of satire.

Always ask follow-up questions.

Barbara Maura Lane was known as the “White Witch of Rye.” In retrospect, that was probably the first red flag that Alfred Douglas missed. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing inherently wrong with witches, despite their checkered literary history, but this felt like a lot of details in a nickname. If your type of witch is a ‘white one from Rye’, that feels like some follow-up questions might be in order.

Maybe just to ensure the chosen color is more of a gown thing and doesn’t have a racial component. Even if she didn’t know exactly how she got her nickname, it could have been informative. I knew a guy in college who had the nickname “Dragon.” He thought it was because he was into martial arts, but we all knew it was because he had terrible breath. Either way, if you had asked him, the smell of his explanation would have given you some insight.

Her relationship with her pets could be informative.  Saso Tusar/Unsplash

Mr. Douglas did not ask follow-up questions. He also ignored that she had bombarded him with calls and texts after signing up to take his magic course. Maybe he was smitten with the younger witch. Maybe, as a self-proclaimed wizard, he overlooked her idiosyncrasies. Maybe he was just pleased to be with someone who wasn’t constantly asking him wizard questions. Either way, he invited her over and she never left.

She would tell you they were inseparable, but his friends and family would tell you that the word “they” actually meant her and his bank account. There were other red flags - she told him he was senile and dying. She had a penchant for throwing hard things at him and breakable things at the ground. She overindulged in gin, which, given the proclivity for throwing things, proved problematic. She changed his will to inherit his money, which, while problematic, also seems a little familial. She assaulted a lot of people around town and in Mr. Douglas’s immediate family.

If a dating profile looks like this, run!  Bernd Dittrich/Unsplash

Is it still possible she got the name “White Witch of Rye” from a brilliant turn in a local production of “The Crucible?” Yes. But as it turns out, it’s far more likely she got it from a grocery clerk after she screamed at a manager about how she didn’t like their bread selection. Maybe Witch is just the supernatural word for Karen.

Lane has been charged with seven counts, including stalking, criminal damage, and assault of Mr Douglas and his family. This is mostly because detectives have to ask follow-up questions.