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Who Could Have Foretold a Bad Psychic Experience?


The operator was very chipper when I called.

"Have an amazing experience!" she chirped, as she sent me on my way to the psychic reading that Miss Cleo guaranteed would change my life.

Lauren was my psychic. Lauren was not a real live-wire, but then, I didn't give her a lot to work with: No, I was not thinking of starting my own business. No, I don't think anyone from my past is trying to reach me. No, I haven't suffered from arthritis.

I told her I was pretty happy with my financial status; she saw more money in my future. Maybe from a lottery. Did I ever play numbers?


"I don't usually tell people to play numbers or give numbers out but I see some numbers here for you if you'd like to give them a try. . . . OK: 5, 8, 17, 33, 35, 40."

(Over the next six days, I checked the lotteries. Not even close.)

Lauren asked me how long I had been with the person in my life. Twenty-two years, I said. "Wow," said the psychic. "Yes, I definitely believe this person is your soulmate."

She told me I was going to live a long life, "probably into your 80s or 90s, actually." She told me that my children are going to be successful, and that the youngest would be the most successful (Way to go, Benjamin!).

The operator had told me that I would be getting five free minutes. But the recorded preamble to my chat with Lauren said the first three minutes were free, and ultimately I heard a tone--softer than the one I had been told to expect--one minute and 50 seconds into the call.

"Was that three minutes we just passed? I heard a beep," I said.

"I don't know about the three minutes. . . . I see some legal action in your life. Are you suing someone?" Lauren asked.

Ultimately, I ended the conversation, as Lauren tried desperately to keep it going ("Why don't I ask you what your favorite color is?") The entire call lasted 7:04.

On my next phone bill, I was charged $29.94--for a nine-minute call.

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