For we have suffered under the spell of Robert the Doll’s curse each time we visit---or try to visit---Key West, Florida.
Our misfortunes began several years ago after viewing the weird-looking, three-foot- high, life-size doll on display at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West. Having heard about Robert’s reputation and seeing the actual doll, fashioned from cloth and stuffed with straw, dressed in a sailor suit, we both arrogantly dismissed its/his supernatural powers as “absolutely ridiculous”. No intelligent person could fall for that hocus-pocus stuff.
…we had openly voiced our disrespect to Robert in front of it/him. A no-no, confirmed museum staffers.
That was the day, after visiting Robert, that we lost the keys to our condo, had a flat tire on our rental car, and carelessly misplaced some cash.
At the time, my husband and I looked at each other. Not possible. This rag tag of a doll can’t possibly hold any supernatural powers. Never mind that every year tens of thousands of people pay to see Robert. He receives one to three letters a day, most of them apologies from visitors whose bad turn in life is blamed on their disrespect to the creepy doll.
We dismissed all this evidence: until our cursed trip to Key West this year.
Because the aircraft could not land due to inclement weather, our flight was diverted to Columbia, South Carolina. Five hours waiting in the plane on the ground. True, the pilot kept us dutifully updated; we were plied with foil-wrapped sweet and salty airline snacks (of which we soon tired) and water. By this time, we knew our chances of getting to Key West the same day were next to nil.
Finally, given clearance, we arrived in Atlanta. A mess! Every re-directed flight had been pushed back. Airport concourses were jammed, in near chaos, with kilometer long lines of passengers, many with babes-in-arms, trying to rebook through hapless, overworked agents.
Discovered via machine we had been rebooked by the airline for the next day but each on separate flights. Hanging on to a “may we help you?” telephone receiver forever, while partially standing in an endless line, my husband managed to secure us a flight together the next day at noon.
Suddenly, separately, but at the same time, we looked at each other. Is this the continuing saga of Robert’s curse, we impishly suggested? Surely not! But any disrespect to that weird-looking doll results in documented bad luck. World travelers for decades, we had never run into such a conundrum of flight associated problems at one time as we did now.
Next, we began to track our luggage. Clearly tagged for Key West. So how did it end up in Miami?
We left home on a Saturday. Arrived in Key West one day later after enduring one of the worst white knuckle flights ever! Luggage did not appear until Monday noon: two days astray.
So…whom/what do we blame for this miserable experience? The airline? Bad weather?
We shudder to admit this but...it was probably due to the curse from that insidious doll.
Pardon me. I should never have written that.
We humbly apologize for any disrespect to you, Robert.