Another Big Winner PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Gee, I sometimes feel sorry for you folks out there who don’t get the sort of exciting mail that I do. I heard from one of the thousands of deluded folks who reach out trying to convince me that they’re in touch with the future, can receive messages from Heaven – or Hell – and by mystical means have knowledge of the unknown. If so, they provide sufficiently fuzzy descriptions that I have to wonder if the have found the focus button on their brains.  Saint Paul – who came to a bad end, we’re told -- referred in one of his letters to the church in Corinth [1 Corinthians 13, 12] to “seeing through a glass darkly,” and I’d no idea that his glass was quite that dark. Someone referring to herself as “Kathleen R” – another suitably vague reference – has sent me this profound communication:

Hello, I am a psychic and am getting messages for Mr. Randi. They are as follows: The country song Golden Rings, country singers George Jones and Tammy Wynette, the colors blue and white, television shows Family Guy and King Of The Hill, a coal miner's hat or helmet of black color, and Elvis Presley. I am passing these to him as they are coming to me as symbols of his life. Please send this to him.  Thank you, Kathleen R.

Okay, let me carefully review this information. First, my interest in country music is almost homeopathic in depth. I’ve no notion who George Jones is, though the name Tammy Wynette is familiar to me. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never heard “Golden Rings” in my life. I admit that I’ve had contact with both blue and white, and I’ve seen “Family Guy” and “King of the Hill,” a few times. I have two black hats, but no helmet or any color, nor am I close to any coal miner… Elvis is very dead, I’m really sure, but is of no significance in my life. Never met him. How these can be “symbols of [my] life,” I cannot fathom…

But Kathleen knows just what she’s doing, folks. Those 38 emphasized words have so many permutations and combinations, so many possible applications, such a variety of pictures, actions, and images, that some of them have to apply – somehow – to me, my life, my future, or my past. If anything – anything at all – in either of the TV shows suggests, names, refers to, or infers any connection with me or my work, Kathleen has something she can crow about as a success. Any of the lyrics of “Golden Rings” or mention of Chicago, a wedding, or a pawn shop, is a “hit.” If Jones or Wynette make the news, that was a message for me. Any blue/white combo scores, too. Coal mining or a helmet of any sort becomes significant, and any blue suede shoes or a guitar will satisfy the Elvis requirement.

Kathleen R. just can’t lose, right? And be very sure that if there’s any way she can make any connection, she will… See? Being “a psychic” isn’t all that hard to do, as Kathy found out long ago…!