I went to the PNE last night, for the first time in a couple of years. Amongst the numerous vendors of household implements, cheap wallets and miracle stain removers at the marketplace were a few psychics, promising insight on your future, love life and financial situation for a modest fee. And, a Dianetics booth. The people there—who, it must be said, didn’t seem at all creepy or crazy—kept asking people if they wanted a stress test. I heroically resisted the urge to ask them how their pseudo-therapy was working on Tom Cruise.
One of my friends did get his palms read, purely for entertainment purposes. Which I considered doing myself, but I didn’t want to encourage the psychics by giving them my attention and money. (Mind you, I do occasionally buy the Weekly World News myself, when it has an especially outrageous cover story. The Garden of Eden being found in Colorado is one of my favourites. Apparently they even found two skeletons, one male and one female. Of course, the male skeleton was missing a rib!)
They printed out his chart—actually, two charts, one for the present and near future, one for the more distant future—which included some pretty diagrams of all the lines and regions on the hand, their connections to astrological signs and so on. His computer-generated scores in various areas of life (a) were really not that accurate, and (b) seemed to change more or less randomly between the two charts. But I guess the suckers who believe this stuff will assign special meaning to it anyways, ignore or forget the misses, and think they’ve spent their money wisely.