Staring at rooms lined with seventeen years of junk, Phoenix author Cody Wagner explained that he can’t get rid of anything because it has all been blessed.
“My family is Catholic,” Wagner said, ” and when something is blessed, you can’t throw it away. You have to bury it or burn it. That’s impossible so, you know, I had to keep it.”
Wagner with one of his many blessed items.
Walking through the living room – climbing over relics, boxes, and assorted collectibles – Wagner began pointing out the sacred pieces he’s collected.
“See that statue of St. Dominic? Mom had that blessed at our church years ago. How do you bury a four-foot statue.” He then turned around and gestured at a corner. “And that’s my pile of broken scapulars.” He inched to the pile and picked up a giant handful of necklaces. “I’ve been wearing these since I was seven.” He held one up. “They’re held together with string so, yeah, they break a lot. Then what?”
According to some, anything touched by holy water is also considered blessed and, therefore, not eligible for the garbage.
“See those old Adidas?” Wagner said, pointing to a mound of shoes near the kitchen. “I accidentally dribbled holy water on them like ten years ago.” He paused before adding, “And those Nikes. And those British Knights. Yeah, those are old.”
Other items collected because of their contact with holy water included baseball caps – kept when Wagner missed his forehead while blessing himself – notebooks, pairs of glasses, and Transformers toys.
“I used to pretend Optimus Prime was a priest,” Wagner confessed. “Once, I grabbed Mom’s holy water and had him baptize Bumblebee. And Jazz. And Optimus re-baptized himself. Before I knew it…” At that Wagner gestured to a mountain of toys by the television. “Well, every Transformer is a baptized member of the church. Also my Thundercats, especially Lion-O. Big mistake.”
Wagner’s baptized Cabbage Patch dolls.
According to psychiatrist Mindy Hadley, Wagner is likely suffering from hoarding as a results of OCD.
“Victims sometimes suffer delusions brought on by the idea of discarding items,” Hadley said. “For example, patients may think a demon will snatch them if they trash belongings.”
Wagner vehemently disagrees with any hoarding diagnoses. “I really want to get rid of all this junk! Do you think I need four boxes of manuscripts because my sister had them blessed? No.”
Cody then pointed at two other boxes, claiming his mother had his short stories blessed for luck every time he entered a competition. “That’s not even how blessings work,” Wagner said, kicking a box. “But I’m stuck with them. God, I want to trash all this. You know, the floors are actually really nice. They’re dark hardwood. Or light wood. Or tile. Or whatever, they’re nice.”
As of press time, Wagner has built a bonfire in an attempt to burn items. However, after cremating three tubs of holy water, the fire is now blessed and Wagner is researching how to handle holy flames.