Everything you always wanted to know about yourself but were afraid to ask

May 14, 2006 at 2:03 am (Uncategorized)

It was eerie. Not five minutes after I sat down in the chair, the psychic across the room began to utter details about my life. She kept her eyes closed during all of this and her first remarks were dead-on.

"There is a woman in your life. A dark-haired woman, very pretty."

FortuneTeller2014.jpgThe room reeked of incense. Somewhere, a tabletop fountain gurgled and sputtered, mimicking the sounds of nature. I sat very still, hands folded neatly, as the ageless woman shared her visions.

"This young lady is a believer. You are skeptical, yet you want to believe."

I nodded gravely. Sunlight slanted into the room and yet it seemed very dark. Eerie, yes. The woman with the tie-dyed skirt had spoken two sentences and both were undeniable. There was a dark-haired lady in my life. She was a believer and I was not.

I was prepared to drop to my knees and proclaim my acceptance of this woman's remarkable ability. I was prepared to indulge in her marvelous prescience and implore her to tell me more! Tell me all, so that I might conduct the remainder of my life under the guidance of her wisdom!

Then reason found its way through the narrow sunlight and sweet incense smoke. Five minutes before, I had walked into this woman's home with my new girlfriend, the dark-haired lady in question. Five minutes before, we had shared a joke about my reluctance to indulge in this sort of quackery. The tie-dyed woman had not drawn knowledge from some spiritual vein. She had drawn very practical conclusions from what she had seen and heard. In fact, the skank was not even trying very hard to deliver an impressive telling of my fortune.

"Tell me more, oh tie-dyed skank," I beseeched her, in not so many words. Because I was curious now about how she might proceed. Would she guess my weight? Would she predict a windfall of wealth because she had spied my Geo Tracker outside and intuited that I could not possibly get any more destitute?

For the next fifteen minutes, I choked in a cloud of incense and charlatan hocus pocus as the woman delivered stab after benighted stab.

You have a sister, no wait! A brother… a dear relative, anyway… who is very far away.

I have a brother in Annapolis. Far away is relative.

You enjoy your work, but you feel it is time for a change. You have grown tired of manual labor.

Yeah. That reporting gig is a real back breaker. All that ass I have to haul.

You miss someone very deeply. Someone you love and who is now gone.

Right again, Madam Ambiguous. My dear dog Daisy, my third grade teacher, that shifty-eyed hussy from the Portland bar whom I drank pretty, fell in love with, and then lost when I went to the men's room. Oh, how do I live with this pain and loss?

And on and on. One vague shot at perception after another. I was gracious, thanked her at the end, and forked over $40 I could have gleefully spent on beer and carnival rides.

It's not that I dismiss all psychics as shysters. It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn there are those who have developed, through evolutionary quirk or intellectual pilates, abilities for preconception or clairvoyance. Little is known about the unused portions of our brains.

psychic.jpgBut I always imagine the true mystics as Tibetan monks or wild-eyed reclusives who spend days on end in quite introspection. I never trust the person who hangs out a psychic shingle and charges $40 for readings in between Tupperware parties and Pampered Chef gatherings. I mean, they strike me as people who spent time on serious deliberation over whether to take the job pitching time shares or foretelling the future.

I may get beaten up over this by those of you who swear your entire life was laid out by a perfect stranger who only charged $29.99 and who then disappeared in a cloud of red smoke. There are those of you who will swear you had a frank and earnest conversation with your grandpappy Gus by paying just $399 for the medium who contacts the dead through a form of wireless connection that makes T-Mobile look like a Tinker toy.

And I want to hear those stories. Because I am not all that jaded and cynical. I used to dabble with Ouija just like everybody else. (Oh, great spirits… our Little League championship is today. Can you tell us who will be pitching for Barney's Hotdog Bombers?). I would jump to my feet if somebody invited me to a seance. Like Mulder, I want to believe.

It's just that my one and only visit to a psychic was a big, fat letdown. I could have gotten the same educated guesses from an auto mechanic, and he might have at least timed my spark plugs at the same time. I want to hear great success stories about true providence, divination and life-changing advice from genuine seers. I want to believe.

But mostly, I want my forty bucks back.

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76 Comments

  1. Gil said,

    I went to see a psychic when I was younger. Not one of those “hang out a shingle” type, but an honest to God, word-of-mouth, black magic woman. It wasn’t at a carnival, or off of a busy sidewalk. It was actually in a drab, ordinary house with gi-normous sunflowers lining the driveway. From the rumors and innuendos we had been able to piece together that she was northern European, had been in an accident as a child, and had the “gift ever since. She pulled secrets out of my head that I had never told anyone. It was spooky. She then proceeded to give me hints about my future. She said she couldn’t do specifics, because the future is up to chance. A “Crossroad of Choice” she called it. She saw a lot of travel (true), she saw a lot of violence (true), she saw 3 kids (true – one of my exes had a son before I met her, and now I have 2). There was a lot more, and most of it has actually happened. There was no vagueness about what she saw, the things that she mentioned were very specific in certain details like location, or time of day. When those events happened months and years later, I would remember what she had said and it would send shivers down my spine. There are still a few things left that she told me that have not happened yet and I catch myself thinking about them from time to time. Some probably won’t, but she was so dead on with the others that I’m still expectant.

  2. jarheaddoc said,

    I saw a tv show about psychics and seers and things like that, where two old Russian gypsy women were given a picture of a man and asked to describe him. The people who gave them the picture didn’t answer any of the usual questions, they just wanted the women to give them an impression of the person. the women said he was a kind man, did a lot for humanity, and talked him up to the point of sainthood. The interviewers thanked them, paid the money, and took back the picture of Ted Bundy.
    I am skeptical of the vast majority of people claiming to be able to contact the dead and be pyschic who do it for profit. If you listen to what those people ask, they are very good at interrogating people and giving very vague prompts that draw very specifc answers, and they go from there. It’s very easy to beleive when you want to believe, and you can manipulate vagueness into something very specific. Gil, the woman obviously made an impression on you, so how much of what she said has been manipulated by you to acheieve the outcomes she spoke of? And I just ask that objectively, as Devil’s advocate.
    However, I am not suggesting that this type of phenomenon does not exist. How many world leaders throughout history have used psychics?
    Personally, I’m not interested in being psychic, but telekenetic: I already have a pretty good idea of what people think of me, and being able to make the remote control move without having to get out of the chair has a great appeal to me.

  3. Mainetarr said,

    OK, so now you will have proof I am insane after reading this post, but yesterday we took Bailey to a pet psychic. No, I didn’t go out of my way to find her, I didn’t research her, or anything like that. I just happened to bring Booboo to get his nails clipped at Pet Quarters and she was there. Bailey took a liking to her, so I said what the hell. She was actually pretty good, said a couple of things no one would have known and answered a few questions. And yes, I was caught off guard (big mouth Mark) and got all teary eyed when she was telling me how much my dog loves me and how lucky he knows he is. He is wicked spoiled. But, he IS my child, we have no kids, so he is it. So there, now you know it, I am a big softie when it comes to my yellow lab Bailey.

    On another note, I went to see a psychic after my father died. I had a good reading, it was mostly about my past and he did talk about my father a lot and was very believeable. A couple of things he said stood out and made sense to me, no one would have guessed these things out of the blue. So, yes, I am a believer.

  4. K2 said,

    Years ago, 60 Minutes’ Mike Wallace (enjoy retirement, Mike, ol’ buddy) interviewed some psychics around the globe. He visited a highly ‘respected’ psychic in Russia, and proceeded to show the soothsayer a photo of Ted Bundy, and asked for the pyschic to tell him about the person. Well, let’s just say the psychic overlooked all Ted’s killings, but, to be fair, he did identify Ted as a male human.

    That was just one example of many. To me, psychics are totally bunk. If they knew what they were doing, they’d be rich from the stock market or from successful trips to Vegas.

  5. Linda said,

    I’ve never been to a psychic but I’d be easy to convince. Some people are amazing at picking up cues from those around them, and why should there be a boundary where that stops? At the far end of the continuum, we don’t necessarily understand it but so what?

    My husband has two sisters who are very close. A long time ago, when long distance calls were a bit of a luxury on a tight budget, one of them claimed that the other used “brain waves” to get her to call. They’ve always joked about how they read each others’ minds, and I’ve certainly seen it happen often enough that I completely believe it.

    Jarhead, telekinesis is certainly appealing. It would be really scary to have control over other people. Sometimes fun, but scary.

  6. "The Weasel" said,

  7. jarheaddoc said,

    K2, to buy into what you’re saying about these psychics being rich, many of them profess a deep and abiding faith in god and claim that God gave this gift to them, so they only use their powers for good, not evil, since money is the root of all evil, at least according to some.
    And have you noticed that psychic and peyote both start with P? I see a connection there….

  8. LaFlamme said,

    Anyone every heard and listened to “Dark Lady,” by Cher? You may heckle me all you want. It’s a totally creepy tune:

    Dark Lady laughed and danced and lit the candles one by one
    Danced to her gypsy music till her brew was done
    Dark Lady played back magic till the clock struck on the twelve
    She told me more about me than I knew myself

  9. Mainetarr said,

    What was with Cher and Gypsies anyhow?

  10. LaFlamme said,

    I think Cher IS a gypsie.
    And welcome back, MT.

  11. Mainetarr said,

    Thanks, nice to be back. Geesh, I am not even the one who bitches about wordpress and I get booted. Thanks for unspamming me every once in a while so as I would not be forgotten. You know, out of sight out of mind.

  12. LaFlamme said,

    Nah. Never happen. I know because a fortune teller told me.

  13. Linda said,

    Hi MT, we never forgot you.

    And Mark, I think Cher is a gypsy too.

  14. Bobbie said,

    I don’t need to go see a psychic-I’ve got enough of that stuff going on in my head anyway as it is.

    I know when I need to call or e-mail someone because something is going on with them, I’ve surprised people by saying that I know things without people telling me beforehand about them-sitting with a friend waiting for a ride home from work and telling her that I needed to ask my mother what time my aunt had died that night because I knew that she had just died or telling my mother not to answer the phone one New Year’s Eve because if she picked up the phone, an uncle would be dead type of thing.

  15. Gil said,

    K2, I’ll have to agree with you again. I confess, I made that whole story up to see what kind of response I got. I believe that people who believe in psychics belong in the same group as those who watched David Blaine and actually believed it. While I will allow that there MAY be a few actual psychics, for the most part they are charlatans just waiting for fools to depart with their money. They have an inane gift at reading people and telling them what they want to hear. The people who go in honestly seeking answers are willing to believe that the vagueness in the “psychics” responses are actually based on some sort of vision. If you’ve ever watched that yokel John Edwards on tv, you may be inclined to think that he is the real deal. However, what they don’t show you is all the edited material that never makes it on the show. Watch it carefully and you will see him using leading questions and vague refrences. Those that induce no responses are edited out.
    They are criminals of the worst sort, taking advantage of people who are only seeking closure or contact, and they should be condemned for their acts, not glorified and out on TV, Sorry for the deception, but it was a pretty good story for 3am.

  16. Gil said,

    Now why didn’t he see it coming?
    http://wjz.com/topstories/local_story_301114345.html

  17. Linda said,

    Gil, you made that all up??? I gotta get less gullible hanging out here. I totally believed it. Thought it was out of character, but believed it.

    Got any bridges you want to sell? Obviously I’m buying

  18. Gil said,

    Didn’t see this one either
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1731541,00.html

  19. Gil said,

    Got some oceanfront property in Kansas for sale Linda

  20. jarheaddoc said,

    Okay, gil, you said it the other day, so I’ll have to say it, too: do we kinda sorta maybe agree on somethng else? Good story. Sure Mark isn’t masquerading under your name in the wee hours of the morning?

  21. Linda said,

    Sounds perfect, Gil, let me find my checkbook. Three day rule applies, I assume?

    I’m at work. How can that be, when the sun’s shining and it’s Mothers Day. At least I spoke with my sons on the phone.

  22. AO said,

    Sorry to hear that you have to work, Linda. I’m glad you got to talk to your son’s. Happy Mother’s Day to you all! And, yes, I also mean, K2 and Gil! No disrespect intended. You guy’s wear two hats. I know how that feels!

  23. Gil said,

    Both of K2’s hats are lined with tinfoil

  24. K2 said,

    Damn. Foiled again, Gil.

    You should see me in my 4X beaver Stetson. Striking.

  25. K2 said,

    And thanks, AO.

  26. Mainetarr said,

    Oh what, you say thank you to AO, K2, but when I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day you blow me off? Thanks a lot. Just cuz I was banned from the blog doesn’t mean I don’t still have feelings you know. You asshat.

    I’m sticking with my initial response. I still think some psychics are for real. Probably 99% are hacks and lead you to the responses you want to hear, but sometimes they nail stuff. Now tell me, how on earth would that pet psychic have known we had a 5 day old puppy in the house last Thursday that I was trying to save? And how would she know it died? I didn’t say anything except my dog’s name to her and I asked her how she “communicates” with animals. And i told her l lived in Auburn, but that was it. She blurted out the rest..she asked me if we were going to get another puppy since the “girl” passed on. I said yes. Then she said a bullshit line to me that my dog was very happy. Well, duh, he’s a friggen 105 lb yellow lab. He licks everyone and his tail constantly wags. He is the happiest dog I have ever seen. She told me he likes swimming, another duhhhh, all labs like swimming. When she said swimming, he went nuts, jumped all around and I think he barked. She said “see, I told you he liked swimming”, which caused him to almost have a nervous breakdown because he thought he was going swimming. (you cannot say swimming, treat, car, bye-bye, or ride in front of him unless you want to get knocked down or licked to death) So, Gil, I hear yah, 99% is bullshit, but I tell you, sometimes they pull stuff out of the air that no one would know.

  27. Mainetarr said,

    Oh what, you say thank you to AO, K2, but when I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day you blow me off? Thanks a lot. Just cuz I was banned from the blog doesn’t mean I don’t still have feelings you know. You asshat.

    I’m sticking with my initial response. I still think some psychics are for real. Probably 99% are hacks and lead you to the responses you want to hear, but sometimes they nail stuff. Now tell me, how on earth would that pet psychic have known we had a 5 day old puppy in the house last Thursday that I was trying to save? And how would she know it died? I didn’t say anything except my dog’s name to her and I asked her how she “communicates” with animals. And l told her l lived in Auburn, but that was it. She blurted out the rest..she asked me if we were going to get another puppy since the “girl” passed on. I said yes. Then she said a bullshit line to me that my dog was very happy. Well, duh, he’s a friggen 105 lb yellow lab. He licks everyone and his tail constantly wags. He is the happiest dog I have ever seen. She told me he likes swimming, another duhhhh, all labs like swimming. When she said swimming, he went nuts, jumped all around and I think he barked. She said “see, I told you he liked swimming”, which caused him to almost have a nervous breakdown because he thought he was going swimming. (you cannot say swimming, treat, car, bye-bye, or ride in front of him unless you want to get knocked down or licked to death) So, Gil, I hear yah, 99% is bullshit, but I tell you, sometimes they pull stuff out of the air that no one would know.

  28. K2 said,

    MT, put down that hypodermic needle, undo the rubber tubing, shake youself out of the dragon’s stupor, and go to the ‘Outbreak’ topic, post #97.

    Shun you I would not, fair maiden.

    Hey, at least we missed a lot of that rain. My in-laws just bought a house in Melrose, MA, and now their ‘new’ basement’s totally flooded. Caveat emptor, I guess.

  29. Asshat said,

    We all know those cute little computer symbols called “emoticons,” where:

    πŸ™‚ means a smile and

    😦 is a frown.

    Sometimes these are represented by

    πŸ™‚

    😦

    Well, how about some “ASSICONS?”

    Here goes:

    (_!_) a regular ass

    (__!__) a fat ass

    (!) a tight ass

    (_*_) a sore ass

    {_!_} a swishy ass

    (_o_) an ass that’s been around

    (_x_) kiss my ass

    (_X_) leave my ass alone

    (_zzz_) a tired ass

    (_E=mc2_) a smart ass

    (_$_) Money coming out of his ass

    (_?_) Dumb Ass

  30. Mainetarr said,

    Ok, you are forgiven K2. I didn’t see it. Thought you were blowing me off…

  31. Mainetarr said,

  32. Linda said,

    Gil, I just read your links — those crystal balls are scary aren’t they! Everyone loves to bash a psychic, did you find any stories that were in favour?

  33. jarheaddoc said,

    MT, did Chloelise die? I’m sorry if she did.
    K2, it is raining like a bitch down here. I’m hoping I don’t have to worry about too much, as my residence is elevated about thirty feet, and I don’t have a cellar.

  34. Linda said,

    My sister had a bad time on the ME turnpike, water up to the doors of the car. And the stream through my town is ROARING.

    I thinking of building an ark.

    (Lord … what’s an ark?)

  35. Linda said,

    “I thinking ..” I should worry more about my typing than about the rain

  36. Mainetarr said,

    It’s not raining here at all, but it is cold cold cold and windy.

    Yes, Jarhead, Chloelise did die last Thursday, that is why we are getting a different pup from that litterm a boy, Milo. Thanks for asking and for the well wishes. I will send pictures of the new pup when I get him home in about 3 weeks.

  37. Linda said,

    I’m sorry about the puppy too, MT. That happened to us when my two boys were little. We only had the puppy a couple of days, but when my husband came home from work he found the three of us huddled on the sofa crying. I’m sure your yellow lab will be glad of the company when you get Milo home.

    Now that you’ll have a dog named Milo, will that fill your Milo-cravings and will you give up the idea of moving there? Believe me, it’s a very rural place!!!

  38. Mainetarr said,

    Oh, we are not planning a move up there again. We almost did it 3 years ago, but you know, things happen for a reason, and here we are, happier than ever in Auburn. It’s beautiful up there, but not meant to happen. We have been there quite a few times, and yes, Linda, it’s rural, but that was the beauty of it. Plus, I am a big fan of Bangor’s shopping areas. But, we are NOT moving.

  39. Linda said,

    Nice place for a vacation; that’s my chosen relationship with East Millinocket where my husband has aunts. Up there every two or three months to sort stuff out for them, then back to — wait, it’s not that much different where I live! Shit! I still don’t know how this happened.

  40. LaFlamme said,

    What? Millinocket is Manhattan relative to Wilton, isn’t it?

  41. Linda said,

    Yes but East Mil is to Millinocket what Wilton is to … well, I guess to Farmington?

  42. LaFlamme said,

    Word games. I’ve never been good at them.
    Okay, who watched the Family Guy?

  43. Linda said,

    I did. who knew that Peter had slave ancestors??

  44. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah. And who knew the universe began in such mundane fashion.

  45. jarheaddoc said,

    I’ve been trying to move that remote telekinetically and it just ain’t happened, so now I’m having visions of myself going to bed. And just because I remembered it now, I have another medical condition for you, Mark: The Asshole/Eyeball Reflex. Every time my asshole hits the chair, my eyeballs snap shut.

  46. Linda said,

    No, jd, I think that’s Oldtimer’s Disease.

  47. LaFlamme said,

    That’s like cranial-rectal inversion: head up ass.

  48. LaFlamme said,

    Addicting link. Tap out a tune on your keyboard, the program will try to figure out what song it is. Try it with Smoke on the Water to start.
    http://www.songtapper.com/s/tappingmain.bin

  49. Linda said,

    Mark, there goes the rest of the evening! what a wacky site.

    One question, though. I tapped in 3 (don’t cringe) show tunes, and they all came up first on the list. But second on each list was something by Nirvana. Did that happen to you or was it a fluke?

  50. Linda said,

    Never mind, I tried another one and no Nirvana. I did get Vanilla Ninja though …

  51. LaFlamme said,

    Yeah, I get some whacky answers. If you tapped in tunes and got them first on the list twice in a row, you’re doing much better than I.

  52. Linda said,

    I can’t carry a tune but I guess I can follow a beat.

    So I realize this isn’t the weather channel but — is it going to rain more? that’s what I heard. Glad I live on high ground.

    More of the unsolicited rural report: now the street light near my house is out. It actually improves things a little out there.

    I was standing on the front steps a few minutes ago in pitch darkness, and some teenagers walked by talking about the great weed they scored last night.

  53. LaFlamme said,

    Those stoners probably heard you humming and tapping showtunes on your keyboard.

  54. Linda said,

    Sure, these townies are really into show tunes. When it gets really late I’ll try an aria or two, or maybe the Anvil Chorus. See what they think of Joe Green.

  55. LaFlamme said,

    Mean Joe Green? I didn’t know he did show tunes. What a multi-faceted athlete.

  56. Linda said,

    No, the Italian Joe Green. Guiseppe. I don’t think he was mean at all, far as I know. Though some of his work is pretty vigorous.

    Note the nice transition back to gypsies.

  57. Linda said,

    though if I have to point it out, I guess that means it didn’t work, eh?

  58. LaFlamme said,

    Okay, gypsies it is. Ever read “Thinner?”

  59. Linda said,

    No I never did, but I just googled it and it looks pretty good. Is it?

  60. LaFlamme said,

    Oh, yeah. Classic King. I mean, Bachman.

  61. Linda said,

    Like Misery, the review says. I loved Misery even though some of the ax scenes made me kind of dizzy.

  62. Linda said,

    I loved The Dark Half, one of my favorites of his. Haven’t read a King book in a lot of years, anything recent worth the read?

  63. LaFlamme said,

    Like Misery? I don’t see it. Quite a different style. Thinner is more comic book fiction, pure fun. A gypsy curses a fat cat lawyer and the man starts losing pound after pound. Very entertaining.

  64. Linda said,

    “Thinner is a book about loss and redemption. In its own way, the book is a mirror to Misery, which was also supposed to be a Bachman Book. In both novels, a pompous, pretentious man is forced into terrifying circumstances in which he must choose to get better or eventually revert back to his old ways. In Misery, Paul Sheldon eventually learned that reverting would mean certain doom. Billy Halleck may not be that wise.”

  65. LaFlamme said,

    Ah, I disagree with that. Who wrote it?

  66. Linda said,

  67. Linda said,

    Write to Kev and tell him what you think, eh? He looks like a reasonable guy

    http://member.tripod.com/~charnelhouse/kevbio.html

  68. Gil said,

    Nothing beats “The Stand”.
    Pure King storytelling. Next closest – Eye of the Dragon
    Kings’s collaboration with Peter Straub gets a nod at the topof the list also – The Talisman
    And yes Linda, more rain. Or as K2 would add
    “And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall”

  69. Linda said,

    I’ve just spent some time catching up with the witty repartee on Our View. How the hell did you lot ever thrive over there, if that’s an example of what you had to put up with? What an inane pile of crap. He said, she said, I meant to do that, nyah nyah. Kindergarten recess probably makes more sense. What horseshit!

  70. LaFlamme said,

    I haven’t looked in on Our View in a while. Anything worth stumbling through the SJ muck to get there?

  71. Linda said,

    God, no

  72. Gil said,

    Not a decent article in about 3 weeks. I keep checking hoping I can upset another lib and get it shut down again. So far a bunch of state and local crap, boriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
    Sorry, fell asleep on my keyboard

  73. Mainetarr said,

    Gil, just put someone’s home address in and you will close it down. At least it worked for me and Weasel. LOL

  74. Crystal said,

    My fav S.K. book is Eyes of the Dragon. It would make a great movie, depending on who directed it. I think either William Defoe or the guy who played Andre Linoge would make a great Falgg. William Defoe can look somewhat normal, but he can be one scary dude. (Hilarious in Boondock Saints though!)

  75. Crystal said,

    OOps. Sorry, that was supposed to be FLAGG!!

  76. LaFlamme said,

    Colm Fiore played Linoge. Problem is, it’s hard to imagine him as anything as Linoge after that performance. Of course, there are those who believe Randall Flagg from the Stand, Flagg from Eyes of the Dragon, and Linoge are all the same demon incarnate.

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