Sunday, October 31, 2010

Three is a Magic Number

If you believe everything that Sesame Street taught you, and for the most part I do, you’ll believe that three is a magic number. You’ll believe that the Crocodile King really did need a worthy son, the lady bugs all attended that picnic, and Gracie Slick really did sing a very clever song about numbers. She did, really. Like me, from the time of early childhood, you’ll know that three heads are better than one. Larry, Moe and Curly proved it. You may even know that two’s company and three’s a crowd. Most of all, three is a magic number to me personally. It’s the number of people in my family … 1, 2, 3. It’s also the magic number that brings us to our next tribute witches.
Witches and other magical women have appeared in threes since the beginning of time. Well, at least since the beginning of half way decent literature, making their first and precedent setting appearance in Shakespeare’s play “MacBeth”. As the official Three Witches or Weird Sisters, these supernatural women were drawn from mythology and legend, and represented rebellion and treason in the worst sense (as Wiki states it). We’re not talking about the Three Graces here, goddesses of charm, beauty and creativity. Or even the very lovely Maiden, Mother, Crone virtues in Wicca. Indeed, these are your more malignant types, representing deceit, betrayal and murder, all nefarious values upon which countless pieces of art and sculpture have been rendered throughout history.
The magic number three doesn’t lose its poignancy moving into modern media. It very simply transmogrifies into something more understandable, something that requires a lesser attention span. There are three sisters, all witches, in the series “Charmed”, which by the way, is set in San Francisco, the city I most adore. There were three vixens in the movie, “The Craft” before the fourth showed up and they all got greedy.


This leads me directly to my favorite witchy threesome, and the witches to which I give tribute in this installment … The Sanderson Sisters in Disney’s movie, “Hocus Pocus”.

Believe it or not, it was just on television this morning.

These three sisters are my favorite for various reasons, not the least of which include Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy.

“The movie opens in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts where three witch sisters — Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson — transformed a boy, Thackery Binx, into an immortal black cat as punishment for trying to prevent them from absorbing the life force of his younger sister, Emily. He fails to rescue her and instead is cursed to spend eternity as a black cat. The witches are tried and executed by the locals. However, thanks to a curse created by Winifred's magic spell-book, they vow to return when a virgin lights the Black Flame candle on a Halloween night when the moon is full (wiki).”

Winifred is played by Midler. She is the loud mouth, red-headed, buck-tooth sister, who is the most powerful magically, and the brightest lit of the three dim bulbs. Demonstrating where the lines between real life and television can often blur, it is no strange coincidence that Midler has since become a headliner in the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, Las Vegas, and holds her crowd in a hypnotic trance, just like she did in the movie. Her sister, Sarah, is played by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, aka Carrie Bradshaw, who reigned supreme in another fabled city known as New York, this time ruling with a a laptop, and an array of unusually hypnotic outfits. The last sister, the chubby one who was most prone to various canine tendencies, and rode on an airborne vacuum cleaner, was played by Kathy Najimy. Najimy also moonlighted as a plus size nun in Whoopie’s movie, “Sister Act”. Since then, she has lost considerable weight, shrinking & growing, shrinking & growing, thus demonstrating her powers of transmogrification. All three Sanderson sisters are undeniably stupid, so much so that they couldn’t outwit the three children who released them from 300 years of hell and then tried to send them back.

So, without further ado, I give you The Sanderson Sisters …

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