Other: Okay, I Was Wrong About Psychics
Caller: Have some good news and some bad news.
Me: Oh? What's up?
Caller: Bad news is, we can't make your party this weekend.
Me: What? Drag! (Hallowe'en is our one-a-year party. It's big.)
Caller: Well, the good news is because [name] is working for the week.
Me: Yeah? Well, that's a plus, I guess. So what's she doing?
Caller: Yeah, she's really happy with it. It's only one week a month, but she's making good money.
Me: So what's she doing?
Caller: I'm so glad she's not back to waiting on tables. Tough to avoid that old fall-back job, you know?
Me: Yeah. So what's she doing that's only happening one week each month?
Caller: She's at the psychic fair.
Me: So... What's she do?
Caller: Have you ever seen that TV series "Medium"?
So that's apparently her new job: being a psychic. I was ready to hear that she was selling crystals, or tarot cards, or even maybe reading palms. I was NOT ready to hear that she had joined the legion of professional liars that never give their audience a chance. Actors, you see, come off the stage now and again, and have that minimal honesty required in polite society to tell us their profession at the outset.
Not having much else to say after that, I didn't find out how exactly she was recruited for the job or who decided she was suddenly psychic, but I will tell you one thing: she's not a scam artist.
I know, I know; I don't care for psychics and their ilk, and have long considered them frauds and utterly unscrupulous fast talkers ready to take advantage of the hordes of willing fools itching to throw money at them.
I have now changed my mind.
I can now accept, after much searching in my heart, that the people who are sitting at the tables taking the cash just might be, instead of a scam artist and fraud, merely deluded.
Up until now, I had only considered that quack medicines and psychotic religious movements ("Earth Prime"? Oy.) had True Believers, and that psychics left belief for the people shelling out the cash. But I suppose if you want to franchise your service, the best salesmen are the ones who think the product works. Want to tell people Santa Claus is real? Hire Elves.
I don't think this makes what they are doing any better. The effect is the same whether the lies are told by John Edward or Jim Jones or Kevin Trudeau: just pick your poison, and if you're lucky, you won't get killed by it right away.