Archive for Thursday, May 23, 2002

Psychics find future in reading credit cards

May 23, 2002

As I left the office Monday night, I noticed a bright light on the western horizon. As I focused on the light, another appeared.

It soon occurred to me the lights were planets shinning through the city haze that blotted out the stars. As I drove home, the two original lights took on the red of Mars and bright white of Venus. Two other lights popped into view, which I assumed to be Jupiter and Saturn.

The string of planets on the horizon is a much-remarked celestial happening. I couldn't help wondering what the ancients would have made of the event.

Astrology used to be so important that kings and emperors wouldn't make important decisions before consulting court stargazers.

We've come a long way from the superstitions of our silly ancestors. We know now the best prognosticators are out-of-work actresses affecting Caribbean accents on call at 24-hour hotlines.

With a shuffle of their tarot card decks, they can discern the sexual identity, criminal records or infidelity of a love-struck caller's romantic other.

As a journalist, it would be very helpful to know the future. With foreknowledge, I could scoop even my best-informed and resourceful competitors.

Since the hotlines all promise a free psychic reading, I figured I had nothing to lose. Why not, I thought, call one of the Caribbean Cassandras and get the straight skinny on the future.

With some nervousness I called late one night. A woman, who sounded as if she was from that Caribbean island known as the Bronx, answered with the question, "What is the number of your credit card please?"

Wait, I said, I'm interested in the free psychic reading mentioned in your TV ad.

"Yes. If you would just give me the number of your credit card please."

I explained I was new to this. All I wanted was the free psychic reading so that I could see if the service would be of use for me.

"Yes sir. We can do that. What is the number of your credit card please?"

I tried again. I said I didn't want anything personal. Pick something easy, I said. Something that could be read on a tarot card as obviously as a billboard from the highway. Like, who's going to be elected governor of Kansas?

"We could do that sir. What is your credit card number?"

It was obvious to me then, the conversation was going nowhere or more to the point, only going to one place.

"My credit card number?" I said. "You're the psychic; you figure it out."

"I'd be glad to sir if you would just give me your credit card number."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.