“No one saw this coming.” “Who knew it would be this bad?” “Who could have predicted this?”
Those are the three things I hear every day, several times a day. In January, coronavirus was something a few people had on a cruise ship. In February, it was an inconvenience that would disappear during warm weather. In March, it was just a two-week break from school.
And now we're talking about football season in jeopardy? Six months ago, no one warned me about that.
Otherwise, I would have stocked up on Lysol spray, Clorox wipes, and face masks. I would have been totally prepared for Pandemic 2020. This is why I need a good psychic.
In 1956 a psychic named Jeane Dixon predicted the 1960 presidential election would be won by a Democrat who would die while in office. Sadly, she got that one right, and for years after President Kennedy's assassination, that was her claim to fame. A closer review shows that she missed most of her other predictions, but she nailed the big one.
In Chattanooga, our local psychic was R.C. “Doc” Anderson. Doc was a larger-than-life character who became a local celebrity because many real celebrities sought his advice. Newspaper reports included pictures of Doc with Doris Day, Charlton Heston, and Eddie Albert. Mr. Albert would frequently visit Doc at his home in Rossville, Georgia. Mr. Albert's acting career had stalled, and Doc told him “something big” was about to happen. Sure enough, Mr. Albert was soon offered the lead role in “Green Acres,” the long-running CBS comedy hit.
A few years later, a journeyman actor named Denver Pyle came calling. Doc told him that he too was about to hit it big. That's about the time he was cast as “Uncle Jesse” in another CBS hit, “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Doc was on a roll.
So he wrote a book in 1970, called “The Man Who Sees Tomorrow.” I just had to have it, and I have kept it to this day.
In the book, he predicted Americans would have a life span of 100 years old by 1980. Nope. He also foresaw a cure for cancer by 1980. I wish. Plus, he predicted we would all be using a “TV telephone” by 1980. To his credit, he saw it coming, but it was long after that. Perhaps his biggest misfire was his insistence that Alabama Governor George Wallace would be elected president. It was not to be.
To add insult to injury, Doc Anderson himself met his maker in a most unusual way. He was swept away by raging flood waters in Chattanooga on March 20, 1980. This set off a wave of bad jokes by wisecrackers asking how the great psychic “didn't see it coming.”
Even First Lady Nancy Reagan used an astrologer, reportedly influencing her husband's decisions. She came under heavy criticism from the president's inner circle, inspiring a gold mine of late-night jokes.
I suppose the golden age of psychics is over. Although various politicos claim they tried to tell us a pandemic would happen, they either said it very softly, or we were distracted. Imagine that.
Is it possible the experts were trying to get our attention while we were consumed with the Tide Pod challenge, the Kardashians, and whether that dress on Facebook was blue or gold? Why, yes it is.
Being perfectly honest, what if a psychic had held a press conference last year, and made the following statement?
“I know y'all don't believe in psychics, especially you Mr. Carroll, still holding that grudge against Doc Anderson. And stop staring at your TV telephone. Doc told you it was coming, he was just a few decades early. Anyway, I'm here with a warning. 2020 is going to be off the chain crazy. You may have thought this whole decade was messed up, but you have no idea.”
“For example, you'd better hurry and go to all the concerts, plays, and movies you've been wanting to see, because 2020 will wipe them all out. And if you don't mind being in a crowded restaurant or airplane, enjoy them now, because 2020 will scare you from being in the same zip code with someone who sneezed.”
I would have piped up and said, “Okay, Dr. Wacko, that's enough,” when he would have interrupted me and said, ”Wait, I'm just getting started!” As I ran away, he would have shouted, “I predict no church gatherings, no fans at baseball games, and maybe even no college football, period!”
Okay, that last one would have stopped me in my tracks. But I would have paused briefly and said, “Get real, David. He's only a psychic. And from the sound of his goofy predictions, he must be a psychic on meth.” Little did we know.
(David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at email@example.com, or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405)