Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For what the future holds, please look elsewhere

One of the themes of the Clint Eastwood-directed Hereafter, starring Matt Damon, is that those with genuine psychic ability can often be reluctant to share it because of how society generally perceives psychics.

As usual, I agree with Clint Eastwood—it can’t be easy to be a psychic. To reference another movie (my entire worldview is based on information I have gathered from movies) just look at how difficult things got for Whoopie Goldberg in Ghost. She almost got murdered by that guy! But she maintained her sense of humor throughout, plus her sense of being psychic. She’s the best, Whoopie Goldberg.

I mean, not only do psychics have to deal with the burden of communication with the supernatural, but they also have to deal with the jokes of commoners like myself: What do you mean you forgot your jacket? You’re a psychic! You should have known about this cold front. LOL. (Seriously though, you should have worn a jacket.)

So psychics have it tough, for sure. However, they don’t do themselves any favors sometimes. For example, when they call me to place a classified ad for their psychic business.

Years back, a psychic advertised in this paper. It was a simple word ad in classifieds, the name of the business and contact information. After it ran for one week, the husband of the psychic called me to complain about how nobody called his wife to have a palm reading, and maybe if we changed the font or whatever, the ad would stand out more.

He went on to explain that I should heed his request because he just had heart surgery. I was like, “I don’t really understand how that is relevant, and we only offer one font for line ads.” This made him very angry and he began yelling about how if business doesn’t improve, he won’t be able to pay his heart surgery bills, and the anger he was experiencing at that very moment was not helping his heart. Or his knee, because he also just had knee surgery.

Eventually I was forced to say, “Thank you for your passion and health updates, but I am pretty sure we are not going to run your ad anymore because the hassle of you being a jerkhead is not worth the $10 you tried to spend. Your card was declined.”

Apparently, psychic businesses had a long, storied history of being a pain in the butt and also not paying for ads. The sad part is people like this give legit psychics like Long Island Medium and Whoopie Goldberg a bad name. Anyway, I was unaware that because of this, we actually had a loose policy of not placing psychic ads in our papers. Now I knew, but I never had to impose that policy because I went years without getting a similar call.

By the time I did last week, my stance had softened, mainly because I had seen Hereafter. I shouldn’t be so hard on psychics—they don’t have it easy. (As a note: I do wholeheartedly believe in the legitimacy of psychic ability, so there.) So I heard her out.

She called many, many times. Can I tell her the price again? She only wanted the ad in the Peoria Times because she had a problem with a psychic in Glendale and didn’t want to escalate things by advertising “on her turf.” PSYCHIC BEEF. The ad was only like four lines, but she’d call back repeatedly to change wording that made absolutely no difference. Also, what was the price again?

I was just about to give up when she agreed to commit and give me her payment info. I waited on hold as she fumbled through various things, telling me she couldn’t find her credit card. I was like, “What do you mean you can’t find your credit card? You’re a psychic!” I didn’t actually say that.

Finally, she found it. The exorbitant amount of time spent on this 15-word ad would finally pay off.

The card was declined.

My point is that we are officially no longer placing psychic ads in our paper. Sorry, everyone who wants to know their future :( But that is our policy, from hereafter.

 "They ... they wouldn't let me place a classified ad."

Note: This column appears in the 10/31 issue of The Glendale Star and the 11/1 issue of the Peoria Times.

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