Fortune Kooky

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Welcome, friend. I’m glad you’re here. I sense that it was necessary for you to come to me. In my trance, I saw you heading down High Street to me here. I felt a disturbance in your aura. You are troubled. About many things, but mostly about Town Meeting. Sit here, across from me. Put everything out of your mind, even Town Meeting. I shall gaze into my crystal ball. You have nothing to worry about now. You are here, in my care. All I need is twelve dollars, and I will peer into your future and tell you all. Twelve dollars. Cash or plastic. Ah, thank you. Is this credit or debit? OK, let me just swipe this. Sign here, please. Ah, I see your upstroke is very open. And your descenders are in the seventh house. This is a good sign. Positive events will come your way. At least until Town Meeting. And maybe even after. Here’s a list of bars that will still be open that late.

Now let me see your palm. Ah, yes. Your life line points straight to the IPAC. You will attend Town Meeting. But see how your heart line bends away? You will attend Town Meeting, but you may not survive it. No, wait — look here: Just below the heart line is the head line, and your head line tapers off. This means you will nod off during Town Meeting, and thereby survive the experience.

However, you will not fall asleep before voting on Article 17: “Occupational Licenses — Fortunetelling for Money.” As I peer into my crystal ball, I see you there, in the 17th row, very alert and aware. You are brimming with good citizenship. You are paying attention even as the entire Article is being read aloud. Now I sense a disturbance in your life-force. At first, you can’t believe that there is actually an Article about “Occupational Licenses — Fortunetelling for Money.” Now, I sense that you’re concerned. A cloud of gloom is descending upon you, as you hear what they want to do the fortunetellers. Yes, I see you shifting uncomfortably in your seat as Chief Nikas presents his proposal that working fortunetellers be required to apply for a license from the Town of Ipswich. And be photographed! And fingerprinted! Like a common criminal! I haven’t been fingerprinted since that night at Saugus, after that one party.

Now I’m seeing grief. Yes, you’re grieving. Grieving that the Town of Ipswich would take such hateful action against honest, hardworking, diligent people simply trying to make a living in forecasting, especially when the weatherman and your stockbroker do it all the time, and Lisa Mennino says “This will look great on you” 50 times a day at Gifts 4 Soul on Market Street, and your mother at this very moment is predicting to your father how long it will be before you phone.

Now I’m sensing rage. You’re enraged by how far they’ve gone to suffocate us poor, unfortunate fortunetellers — specifying in Section 4b of Chapter XIV all the different ways we’ll be banned from making our living without a license: “by means of any occult, psychic power, faculty, force, clairvoyance, cartomancy, physchometry” — look, they misspelled it — “phrenology, spirits, tea leaves, tarot cards, scrying, coins, sticks, dice, sand, coffee grounds….”

Yes, my spirit is one with yours. We are in total agreement: Using coffee grounds to tell fortunes would be dumb. I also have a low opinion of sticks. Although in fortunetelling school I saw a guy from New Hampshire predict the outcome of a dorm-room spitting contest using nothing but Pez dispensers.

Wait, now — the scene is changing. The crystal ball is in transition. The time of the voting is growing near. I hope it’s not a voice vote; my crystal ball has no audio. Yes — there it is, I see it now — the Town Moderator has asked to see ballots. I see a flickering sea of brightly colored rectangles, fluttering above the people’s heads. I see color, lots of color. Yes, the Town Moderator still has a thing for neon, doesn’t he?

And there you are, with your ballot high in the air. You’re confident. Defiant. You’re voting no. No to police harassment of innocent fortunetellers!

Now I see them counting. Counting the ballots. Counting, counting. Oh, I’m sorry. The meter has expired on my crystal ball. I’m going to need another twelve dollars.

What? You wanted to know about the override vote? Oh come now. That doesn’t take a crystal ball. If the override fails, Ipswich has no future.

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