Jun 18, 2011


It's just gone 1:04am, and I'm watching PsychicTV, a live-to-air Foxtel forecast-a-thon, which has been picked up by the digital free-to-air channel Gem.

Why? Getting ready for bed... left the channel on after Conan O'Brien... no excuse really.

The host is a skeletal blonde with an unforgiving asymmetrical bob. When she turns to talk to her guest psychic, the longer right-hand slick of hair obscures her face.

She welcomes a Blondie Psychic wearing thick black eyeliner, and they take voice and text message requests from viewers. Blondie Psychic provides a "snapshot" reading, and Skeletal Bob encourages the person - and all home viewers - to ring in for a full consultation.

At $5.45 a minute.

Simon texts "I'm studying now, but I have no idea what I'll be doing in a year from now. Can you see anything for me?"

Blondie Psychic shuffles her big tarot cards and says she sees success. She says she believes Simon will change fields and do something different, and that will lead to A Lot of Money.

And I think - surely it's not that much of a jump to land on Simon's text's subtext? That he may not be entirely satisfied with his current study choice. So isn't she just... suggesting the obvious, with a little glitter on top?

Skeletal Bob bades farewell to Blondie Psychic, who'll take a place in one of the booths behind the hosting desk, where she'll join other TV psychics taking calls from home viewers.

At $5.45 a minute.

80s Fringe Psychic is welcomed to the hosting desk.

I think 80s Fringe Psychic may be a man. Surely no woman who lives in the modern age still thinks a heavily blow-dried side parting mixed with a short feathered fringe is acceptable.

But Skeletal Bob maintains she is an expert astrologer, clairvoyant and author, so 80s Fringe Psychic is allowed to offer a texter some consolation on whether her time for love has arrived.

"You have to work out what love means to you," she says, "Then work out how to find that love in your life."

It manages to be both simplistic AND confusing. There is more sense in early-90s Eurodance tracks.

Still, I'm intrigued. I wonder what they would say, if I called them up? Would they predict fame and fortune? If they saw my future as obscurity writ large, would they tell me?

Better yet, what would they say if I asked them some real doozies?

"Can you tell me what the federal government intends to price carbon at in its emissions trading scheme? I'd like to get the jump on my big polluting rivals".

"Can you tell me the name of the horse that will win this year's Melbourne Cup? I'm a bit worried about my finances and thought if I had that information, I could secure my family's future very easily."

"My friend has cancer. Are they going to die?"

But then I realise that if I DID ring up, I would be charged.

At $5.45 a minute.

Yes. Well. Quite.

Concluding a discussion on "revving up" someone called Raven's creativity, Skeletal Bob and 80s Fringe Psychic have the following exchange...

"We're unique anyway - why not be SUPER unique?"

"Yes, we like being super unique!"

.... without a hint of irony.

And I realise.

In half an hour of polluting my brain with this nonsense, Simon is the only male name I've seen.

By and large, the callers seeking advice are women.

Why, ladies? Why?

Love, money, family, health and career are the hot topics, but most requests are "Can you see anything for me this year?"

Why do we need this? Why do we want this?

Are we more enlightened than our brothers, living on a higher plane of consciousness?

Or are we just bigger suckers for bullshit?

Do we just need someone outside ourselves and our immediate circle of friends and families to stroke us on the head and say "Good girl, it will all be all right."

I chew my lip.

I could DO this stuff. I'm a reasonable actor, and I'm a top-notch bullshitter.

But not even I, with my devilish conscious, could allow myself to charge you for it.

At $5.45 a minute.

So, I am pleased to declare PSYCHIC CLUMSY open for business.

Tell me your fears, your concerns. Ask me your questions, on any topic. I shall respond to answers about love, family, career and health like so:

"Good girl, it will all be all right."

And if your question is about your finances, then I shall suggest you buy a pack of tarot cards, set yourself up as a home psychic, and open a hotline offering advice.

At $5.45 a minute...

...you should be back in the black in no time.


  1. For the the low, low price of your entire self-esteem just call this number 1-800-RIP-OFFS ... we'll take that pesky excessive money you've been squandering on frivolities like food and shelter. Cheers!

  2. Woman at my wifes work rang up over $100 worth of calls to a Psychic helpline. Denied it of course, but everyone knew it was her.
    Why do (mostly)women go for this crap? Just another mystery...same reason they read womans magazines? *shudder*

  3. I lost my job, the bank forclosed on my house, my wife left me and I have an incurable disease and have only 6 months to live. Do you see a happy future for me? Or should I write a country song?

  4. "unforgiving asymmetrical bob", which for me called the image of a really lopsided looking sidekick named Robert who works with the psychic, but makes sarcastic comments about her ability.

    "Yeah, right just like you 'saw' how awful those pants you bought would look"

    "Isn't that the same future for that housewife from Mussori who rang in, what are they hidden twins".

    "You can see what sort of life partner they would be happy with, but you couldn't tell you lost VCR and your looser druggie boy friend.

  5. I'm starving but sleepy ... Will I be upset with myself after ordering and stuffing my face with a Pizza ? Or should I just get up and make a toasted sandwich ??

  6. Thanks for your comments, all!

    It really does stagger me that people call these lines, at such a cost... and I'd really never thought much about why women seem to do it more.

    Barnesm - I do like Unforgiving Assymetrical Bob as a comedy character!