I saw a billboard recently for a psychic who would reveal your future. I just laughed.
In my youth, while reeling from a break-up, I paid ten bucks to have my fortune told. A young woman with a bizarre accent studied my palms.
She took my ten bucks, and then assured me that I would reunite with my lost love, and my happiness would be restored. Nothing she said came true, and she certainly didn’t predict that I would soon begin a long marriage with a Pennsylvania girl. If she had, I would have asked for a refund, because I didn’t know anyone outside my zip code.
At that time, I was fascinated by psychics. Several nationally known psychics appeared often on TV talk shows and were featured in local and national newspapers. They certainly seemed legitimate. One lady had claimed to predict the assassination of President Kennedy, and she cashed in on that for decades. Looking back, that would be an odd thing to have on one’s resume’, but it paid off for her.
A local TV station would occasionally interview a psychic named Doc Anderson. With his mustache, goatee, and deep southern drawl, he was right out of central casting.
He billed himself as a “psychic to the stars,” dropping names of various celebrities who traveled to Rossville, Georgia to seek his advice. He often told of an aging actor who was no longer getting parts, and was considering retirement. Doc told him, “No, you’re about to get the offer of a lifetime.” Soon after, the actor was starring in a CBS sitcom that made him very wealthy. So when you see reruns of Eddie Albert sharing the screen with Eva Gabor and Arnold the Pig on “Green Acres,” Doc gets the credit (or the blame).
Doc even published a book, so my childhood self saved up the money to purchase a copy. I’ve kept it all these years and dug it up the other day to see how accurate he was.
The answer: not very. The book was written in 1970, and he predicted greatness for Alabama governor George Wallace, who would “soon be elected president.” Swing and a miss, Doc.
He also predicted “a pill that would cure cancer, once and for all, by 1980.”
Among his other sure things for the 1970s: a cure for the common cold, the division of Texas into three states, and giant screen color televisions for $35.
Sadly, Doc Anderson met his own demise in 1980, drowning in the raging flood waters of Chattanooga Creek. It would be tacky for me to comment on the apparent irony of that, so you may draw your own conclusions.
I haven’t noticed any of today’s clairvoyants taking credit for their foresight of what has happened in the 21st century. Perhaps that’s because what we have lived through in recent years would have seemed outrageous if predicted in advance.
The COVID-19 pandemic was forecast only by a few scientists, who were largely ignored by government leaders.
And who would have believed that almost half the nation would blame 80-year-old Dr. Anthony Fauci for creating the virus, after fifty-plus years of fighting infectious diseases? If his goal was to kill us all, why did he wait so long, and then fail to carry out his “evil plan?”
Could anyone have predicted the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021? And if so, would they have predicted it would be led not by foreign foes, but from forces within our own country?
Who in their right mind would have predicted millions of Americans would be in favor of “defunding” the FBI in 2022?
And did anyone predict that three decades after 78-year-old Ronald Reagan was considered ancient when he left the White House, Americans would list senior citizens Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders as their top choices in the 2024 election? Each would be well into their 80s by the end of their term.
Finally, here’s an accurate prediction. I predict this bad joke will make you groan. Did you hear about the petite psychic who is on the run after being accused of a crime? Police are looking for “a small medium at large.”
(David Carroll is a Chattanooga news anchor, and his new book “Hello Chattanooga” is available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405, or at RadioTV2020@yahoo.com).