Part L in the 2015 A-Z Blogging Challenge
When I was in primary school, I was at my aunt's house flicking through the TV Guide and I came across an ad for a clairvoyant. She was an older woman with silver eyes and very small pupils and she promised to fulfill three wishes for anyone who decided to write in to her and ask for them. At the bottom of the ad was a checklist of the things she could help with. They included things like "Get a promotion at work", "Win the lottery", "Become popular", "Find the guy/girl of your dreams" and simply "Live happily". All the reader had to do was tick the three things they wanted and send the ad in an envelope to the provided address. The clairvoyant would provide it for them completely free of charge. That sounded perfectly reasonable to an unhappy 12-year-old me, so I grabbed a pen and started considering my choices. I think in the end I picked "Get the boy/girl you're after", "Become popular" and "Win the lottery" (impossible for anyone under 18, I now know). And being the little sad-sack I was, I also decided to scribble the words "I know I'm only 12, but PLEASE!" I sent it off and forgot all about it.
A week later, my parents handed me a letter from New Zealand. It had that same picture of the clairvoyant on the front, albeit in black and white. My parents wanted to know what it was and I was too young to realise that I had a right to privacy. I opened it up and read aloud how this woman had apparently studied my stars knew how to make my three wishes come true. I don't quite remember how she justified that it would now cost over $300, but I was still interested. My parents... They weren't. They wondered allowed how anyone could sleep comfortably at night trying to prey on kids and angrily threw the crumpled-up letter in the trash. I guess that wasn't going to happen.
A week later I received another letter from the clairvoyant. My excitement returned as I sat down at the kitchen table and read it.
'Michael! I'm offering you the chance to achieve all the things that will fulfill your life. Now is the time to act, as the stars are aligned in your favour [conveniently]! Act now before the stars shift and your moment is gone forever!'
I didn't get to read any further because my Mum walked in at that moment and looked at what I had.
'Argh, how did this creep get our address?!' she cried as she grabbed the letter and tore it up.
'Yeah, that's so weird isn't it? I said as casually as possible.
'Did you sign up to anything or put your name down for something?'
When the third letter came it was Mum who saw it first. She came into the kitchen with a vein showing on her forehead.
'There's another letter from that psychic lady. She said through gritted teeth. I'm going to have to do something about this.' And she left without another word. The letters stopped coming after that. Three weeks later I was ruing my missed opportunity when I decided to ask Mum how she'd stopped it.
'Well I tore up that last letter and put it in a reply envelope with a note saying "STOP SENDING THIS TO MY 12-YEAR-OLD SON!"'
'Wow, and it worked!' I said, outwardly impressed but inwardly disappointed.
'Yes it did. But I still don't know how she got our address.'
'Imagine if she'd sent a letter back saying "Your son asked me for these,"' I chuckled.
That ought to throw her off the trail.