Monday, May 12, 2008

Behind the Eight Ball

How do fortunetellers make money? I notice Palm Reader shops in high rent areas, and I never see lines of people waiting to get in. So how do they manage?

I ask this because I have to find a job this year. Adjunct teaching is fun but not financially rewarding. Writing books, blogs, and magazine columns is even more fun, but only slightly more financially rewarding. So I need to find a job.

I went to a temp company, but they had no idea how to place a guy whose only skill is public speaking and Torah commentary. Of course I could look for a rabbinic position, but I want something more satisfying than pretending that Judaism has anything of spiritual value to offer twelve-year-old kids and their harried parents. A local church offered me a job, and I admit to being tempted by the chance to damn to hell people who disagree with me, but in the end I have decided on fortunetelling.

Not astrology, mind you, that’s too hard. You actually have to be able to make and read charts, and, to be honest, I can’t remember all twelve Zodiac signs. Tarot Card reading is out as well. If I can't remember twelve Sun Signs, there is no way I can recall the meanings of the 22 Major Arcana. Palm reading, too, isn’t for me, since I don’t like the idea of having to touch people’s palms. Who knows where they have been?

No, my plan is to use a proven fortunetelling tool that has been with me for over half a century: The Magic Eight Ball. I trust the Ball. You can ask it anything, and it always answers.

To prepare for my new career, I spent New Year’s Day asking deep personal questions of my round Seer.

“Will I loose this year the fifty pounds that I failed to lose last year?” OUTLOOK NOT SO GOOD. “Will I have to work hard to make ends meet this year?” AS I SEE IT, YES. “Will this be the year that I stop hurting people I love?” DON’T COUNT ON IT. “Will this year find me finally changing the way I live and think so that I can at last do both with true serenity and integrity? MY SOURCES SAY NO. AND WHILE WE ARE ON THE SUBJECT YOU ARE A REAL BUTTHEAD.

See: it never fails. So I have the tool for my trade, now I just have to figure our how to ply it. Maybe I should rent space in the town square. MY REPLY IS NO. Or maybe I should set up a roadside stand. VERY DOUBTFUL. Hey, I’m not even asking the Ball these questions. WITHOUT A DOUBT. Then who is feeding me these answers? BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW. This is weird. IT IS DECIDEDLY SO. OK, knock it off. MY REPLY IS NO. All right, fine.

Anyway, I think people will go for this. I will charge five dollars for an answer, and another ten to explain the answer. And if I have no idea what my client is talking about— REPLY HAZY. TRY AGAIN. That’ll be five dollars, please.

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