Psychic Readings by Mrs. Johnson also brightly shone in neon through the front bay residential window. By Mrs. Johnson, I thought seemed somewhat vanilla, even milquetoast, especially when accustomed to the more gimrack monikers such as the Psychic Readings by Ms. Moon or Madame Star, Ms. Gabriella or even Madame Zoradamus.
I later googled Psychic Readings by Mrs. Johnson, and surprisingly discovered it to be not an uncommon business title; it may even be a franchise. And reflecting on this, of course it could be and why wouldn’t it be; after all, communicating with the spirit realm is big business.
A psychic is one who professes to have extrasensory perception (ESP), an ability to perceive information that is hidden from the ken of normal senses. It is commonplace for a psychic to express aloud to an audience something like: I am receiving a J, the name Jack … Jake … James … Jamie … Jeremy or I am hearing a loved one who has just recently passed by the name of Helen … Ellen … Eleanor …or Lenore. Psychics refer to this as a cold reading. Critics call it fishing.
It is always the case that psychics need assistance from their audience members and clients for clarification and interpretation of who these senders from the spirit realm may be, and why they want to momentarily cross over, given to suggest that either psychics are hard of hearing or, heaven forbid, when attempting to communicate with the quick, the dead can only mumble.
In years previous I taught high school Psychology. You do know why I teach Psychology, I would say to them, because I am psychic! Predictably every Friday a certain few would be stunned by my proffering some general adolescent behaviors:
- One of you swore at your parent this week, and even slammed the door when you left your house.
- One of you were just recently dumped by your girlfriend.
- One of you has serious boyfriend issues.
- And one of you, sitting in this classroom right here, right now, is very, very sad.
All such soothsayers, clairvoyants, astrologers, graphologists, tea leaf readers, new-age healers, and mooniacs have similar speils. Here are some made-up examples:
- You are most certainly not what you seem. There is this shadow within you that longs to defiantly spring forth during the sunshine of day.
- Something is troubling you and I am getting that it is work related. You are feeling that you are not appreciated for what you do and are wishing to move elsewhere, move on to where there is recognition and opportunity.
- Not all of your family members make you happy. Remember you need to treat yourself as number one, for you deserve it.
- I am getting thoughts you are having about your significant other. Sometimes keeping the harmony is difficult. Even though talk is cheap, it is time for you to speak up.
- Right now you are having grave concerns about your personal health and well-being. You must stay positive, treat yourself to an apple a day, so to speak, and the world will spin your way.
And some more just made-up examples:
- Sometimes your dreams seem unrealistic to others that are close to you, and to keep the peace, you simply agree.
- Outwardly even people who are close perceive you as being in control, though inwardly you have angst.
- Your honestly, as of late, has been detrimental to your sociability.
- You wish you could be candid with your comments, but your social conscience prevents you from doing so.
- You are infatuated with someone … a situation that is either untenable or socially taboo or morally wrong.
The psychics provide the words, banking on their clients' inclinations to find and provide the meanings. We, as humans, tend to find meaning in just about anything (e.g., Jay Leno’s image on a potato, e.g., the Virgin Mary’s image in a water stain), and oftentimes sideload these discoveries to the tramontane of trumpery (and to the psychics). In short, tell people what they want to hear and they’ll always come back for more.
I am writing this essay to neither debunk nor investigate psychics and their readings. I am writing only to express that it is both mysterious and magical to think that when people pass on, they continue to live beyond our memories. For consumers, the words of a psychic may be full of wonder or full of folly.
Speaking of wonder and folly, the members marching in my Chaucerian Parade this week:
- Hey man, can I borrow a couple bucks to buy some strings for my guitar? asks Brian, a busker who is wailing in front of the liquor store next to me in the Extra Foods parking lot. Brian refers to himself as a musical performer – he hates the word, busker.
- I love that hat! expresses a consumer greeting me as I strum in front of Shoppers on Broad. He is referring to my brand new Brixton Tiller Ranch Hat, a gift from my nephew, Brad, purchased at the Chinook Mall in Calgary.
- You know what you should do, states a fellow dressed in suit. You should rent a big hall, play just like you’re playing, and charge admission. You’d make a lot more money!
- You know about the effects the residential schools had on our people, states a fortyish fellow walking with two children. Well, it wasn’t all bad … Some good, too, came out of those schools. My uncle learned to play the fiddle and the guitar while in one of those schools. You should hear him play!
- A young man wearing a derby hat shows me a fifty dollar bill by holding it in both his hands up close to my face. He then pretends to toss it into my guitar case. But he keeps the fifty in his fist and laughs.
Goodnight, Mrs. Johnson, wherever you are!