This is New York City, not fucking Oz. It’s a fast-paced city full of people who have things to do and places to be, and you can’t just go around hexing anybody who bumps into you. If you want to be a decent witch in NYC, follow these simple etiquette guidelines.


Keep the train doors open for people running to catch it

This is basically your civic duty as a witch. Anyone barreling down the platform stairs screaming “Door!” and spilling coffee onto their freshly-bleached blouse must have somewhere reasonably important to be, so it’s worth delaying the train a few seconds to suspend the doors for them. But feel free to close them abruptly on the people who walk because they assume it’s going to wait for them. These people are the scum of the earth, and don’t deserve to catch the train.

Don’t fly in the bike lane.

Nothing reeks of “witch privilege” like believing that your literal powers of flight entitle you to move laterally across airspace into the bike lane. Cyclists already have to swerve to avoid parked cars and oblivious pedestrians—now you’re gonna make them duck, too?

Know which spell you’re going to cast on the deli counter guy before you get to the front of the line.

Oh my god, it’s unreal that some of you still do this. If you’re not sure exactly what you’re planning to compel the lowly shop owner to do for you, why are you standing on line? Unbelievable.

Keep your spells short and to the point.

Look, no one has time for call-and-response or holding hands around a pentagon. If New Yorkers can figure out how to walk, eat, hail a cab, and tweet “@MTA shit the bed again” at the same time, you can figure out how to shorten your spells.

If a lost-looking tourist asks you for directions…

…don’t stop walking in the middle of the street, that’s for damn sure. But also, just send them where they’re going with your literal powers of witchcraft? How is this not obvious?

Keep your familiars on your lap while riding the train.

The sad reality is that if you let your giant supernatural rat roam the train car, New Yorkers are liable to think that it’s just another one of the city’s feral pests, and either try to kill it, or film it doing “showtime” for viral fame. Just keep it on your lap, and you’ll blend right in with pigeon lady and salty monkey-having guy.

If you’re going to compel the rodents and cockroaches to do your bidding…

At least make them dedicated civil servants who pick up litter in the process. C’mon, these guys have arms and legs just like the rest of us. And instead of swirling around hot garbage or climbing through our drains, they could be helping to maintain the city they so lackadaisically enjoy. Give them an occult agenda, fine, but help us out while you’re at it.

Repeat after us: Giving ? dogs ? the ? power ? of ? human ? speech ? freaks ?out ? their ? owners ?.

How would you like it if your pet suddenly just started talking to you? Actually, don’t answer that. The point is, most humans would prefer not to have their dog suddenly scream “Marcia, for fuck's sake, could you stop yanking my leash for one goddamn second? We’re on a walk. It’s leisure. You know the meaning of the word? Or are you too busy boning the DoorDash delivery guy for the third time this week?”

Trust that the dogs will get through to their owners eventually.

Don’t upstream for cabs.

Just don’t.


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