How do you foretell the future? Simply put, you don’t. But if you approach each new day, each new week, or each new set of circumstances without a plan and a rough idea of the near future, you are even more of a hopeless fool than Mickey is.
While it is true that a crystal-ball connection to the future would be really handy for figuring out what to do next with our little lives, it is also provably true that crystal balls, Ouija boards, and divining rods don’t actually work. Statistically even the best users of these fortune-telling devices are no better at foretelling the future than are well-informed guessers.
Ghosts are not provably real. You cannot actually talk to them. Not even in a graveyard at midnight with a dead cat to throw at the devil.
Oh, and that reminds me, the devil is not provably real either.
But I admit to talking to the dead.
My Grandma Beyer was one of the wisest people I knew in my childhood. She advised my Dad who was her son. She was a guide for the Beyer side of the family. And I talk to her a lot when I have a tough decision to make.
In 2017 I irrationally made a commitment to write for a nudist website. The article assigned was to go to a nudist park or resort and write about my first-time experience there. Of course, getting my wife to go along with her RV camper was out of the question. She was a Jehovah’s Witness in good standing then, and was sure that nakedness in a group was a terrible sin. But I had known nudists back in the 1980s when a previous girlfriend’s sister was living in a clothing-optional apartment complex in Austin, Texas. We visited there a number of weekends. I never actually stayed there or got nude while visiting. I saw naked people there, male, female, and children. And after my eyes popped out on the first visit, I picked them up, put them back in, and learned a lot about nudists while at the same time turning down all invitations… which I could do because my parents were living nearby, and I could stay with them and keep all my clothes on. But the nudist website assignment weighed heavily on me. Grandma Beyer had been the one that threatened to spank me before I was supposed to take a bath at her house because I wanted to run around the house naked rather than get in the tub with my sister. I was five at the time, not in high school… honest. So, she was the one I consulted when it came time to decide if I would actually go to a nudist park and be naked in front of other people just because I had made a commitment to a writing assignment.
Of course, she had been among the no-longer-living for fifteen years when I asked her about it.
The thing is, however, that I knew my grandmother well enough to know what she would say as I basically discussed it with her memory rather than her ghost. I even saw what facial expressions she used as she explained that it was more important to keep my word than it was to be a little bit embarrassed. And besides, it was not like I was going to an orgy or anything. Nudists are merely ordinary people who are dedicated to the belief that getting your vitamin D directly from the sun without any clothes between you and nature was good for you.
So, I made the visit, got naked, and wrote the article, as well as articles on this blog that were used on other nudist websites as well. It is how I came to be a member of the nudist writing community on Twitter. And that has helped me promote my books whether there were nudists in them or not.
Even with consulting a Ouija Board you are not really talking to ghosts. You get an answer from somebody with their fingers on the piece of plastic that picks the letters and is accessing their unconscious mind, or even their conscious mind if they are a bit of a dershenbugle (a word which doesn’t mean anything at all, just like the answer they picked.)
I often use a coin-flip to make decisions, adding an element of total chance to the decision I am making. (I admit, that’s how the decision to accept the writing assignment from the nudist blog was made.) If either answer to the question being asked is acceptable, but one causes a bit of anxiety, I flip a coin. Not just one coin. I throw three. Yes is three heads. No is three tails. Ten straight no decisions is indication not to decide at that time. In truth, this only works for me because it forces me to take an arbitrary amount of time to think about the decision. And often, I toss three heads when I have already decided to say no. And then I go with no.
So, divining the future is silly superstition, and I don’t do superstition. But that is not to say I don’t try to divine the obstacles ahead and prepare for them. And what looks like Mickey being an idiot about consulting coins or other signs, is really only Mickey being only slightly an idiot as he makes up his own danged mind.