— If you can read my mind right now you should be celebrating. It's National Psychic Week!
Every August I call members of the clairvoyant community to wish them a happy National Psychic Week. Most of them are surprised to hear there's a holiday in their honor. How's that for intuition?
But don't get down on your friendly neighborhood psychics. As they always tell me, just because they're clairvoyant, doesn't mean they don't know everything.
What's more, they're often busy. As I found this week, many support their paranormal practices with workaday jobs. When they're not looking into our future, psychics are also designing Web pages, selling incense, or even performing as children's clowns.
The Famed Miss Cleo, formerly the star of TV's Psychic Readers Network, has worked as an actress. She even supplied a voice for the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
If You’re So Damn Psychic …
It just shows you how cynical I am. If I could see tomorrow, I'd run to the racetrack or call a stockbroker. Give me a day of precognition, and I guarantee you that my children's children's children wouldn't have to work.
Of course, once I'm rich enough to make Bill Gates look poor, I'd put my ESP to good work, solving crimes, rooting out terrorists and so forth.
Forgive my temptation to judge psychics by their economic stature. I'm often reminded of that sign in novelty stores, "If you're so damn smart, why ain't you rich?"
Sometimes I think, "If you're so damn clairvoyant, why do you work at a carnival?"
But psychics say it doesn't work that way. Their special gifts are often said to be limited. Their powers only work for other people. They can only see certain things.
I have come to think of ESP as something akin to an "all-risk" insurance policy. You think your car is covered for everything. Then you read the small print and you're out of luck.
Now, to celebrate National Psychic Week, I take a look at how many psychics have diversified, branching into matchmaking, toy making, and you name it.
In many cases, they say they do these things to reach new people with their special gift or raise money for a good cause. Others are just adapting to a changing world.
In any event, there are a lot of psychics out there, and it's up to you to decide who can see into your future (for a reasonable fee). I honor the following people only for the unique products and services they provide.
Very Rare Mediums
Stallone's Rumpology: Has astrology let you down? Sylvester Stallone's mom applies the concept of palm reading to a spot where the sun doesn't shine. She practices "rumpology."
A rumpologist like Jackie Stallone will tell fortunes based on a print of your butt. There's some logic in this. Can't you just look at some people's behinds and predict that they eat too much junk food and have let their gym membership lapse?
Ms. Stallone, a one-time trapeze artist, also claims to be the owner of psychic dogs, miniature Doberman pinschers who are sometimes dressed in tutus and dresses and are said to be very accurate in predicting Oscar winners.
The only question is why these pooches let Sly star in Get Carter, Judge Dredd and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Those are bad dogs.
Geller's Metaphysical Teddy Bears: Why buy your kid a plain old teddy bear? Uri Geller, the famed "spoon-bending" psychic, is selling metaphysical teddy bears — dressed up as fortune tellers, palm readers, and astrologers.
Geller even hugs each "Uri Bear," to energize them, if only psychologically, with special healing powers.
Geller has an impressive résumé. His Web site describes how he's worked with the CIA, and advised Michael Jackson and 'N Sync, among various other newsmakers.
Jackson thought so much of Geller that he served as best man two years ago at the psychic's remarriage.
Given all that, Geller's foray into the plush toy business is a bit curious. But his online store also offers such gift items as key chains, collectible pottery, autographed pictures, and other products designed to nurture your mind power.
Hug a Uri Bear tight enough and maybe you, too, will one day have a line of metaphysical toys.
Celebrity DNA Readings: As Shakespeare may have said, "The fault lies not in our stars, but in our stars' DNA."
Psychic Bayless Secord of Medina, Minn., is homing in on the psychic power of the biological blueprint for all life — DNA — and using it to explain why certain celebrities are so special.
"A friend told me, as a DNA psychic, I'm a little ahead of my time. It's a little like trying to sell real estate on Mars," says Secord. "I take that as a challenge."
Secord says stars like Tom Hanks and Reese Witherspoon have extra strands in their DNA that allows them to project a special aura, or energy force, which allows them to do special things.
"When I watch a movie like Legally Blonde 2, I try to concentrate on the spiritual dimension of Reese Witherspoon's DNA," Secord says, and that's led him to believe that Witherspoon has the wherewithal to make real progress in the field of animal rights, just as she did in the movie.
Psychic Camp for Kids: At the Enchanted Forest Intuitive Camp, kids are swimming, hiking, and practicing clairvoyance, just like Harry Potter at Hogwarts. At this Asheville, N.C., camp, the counselors say psychic power is hardly fantasy.
"There are children all over the world who are experiencing this gift," says Nancy Baumgarten, host of the summer program.
She says the Enchanted Forest, now in its fifth year, exposes 60 young psychics of tomorrow in such skills as dousing and delving into the energy fields of the spiritual world.
On her Web site, Baumgarten expresses hope that there will soon be "appropriate" high schools and colleges for "intuitive and psychic young people" to hone their "super senses."
I'd have a very simple final exam if I taught at Psych High. Each kid would get a blank piece of paper. If you can guess the questions, you pass. If not, you grow donkey ears and get banished to my dungeon.
Visiting Dead Relatives: Your dead relatives may be waiting for you in upstate New York. And if they were loud and pushy, the better your chances of making contact with them, according to some believers.
For more than 100 years, visitors hoping to speak with the dead have been flocking to Lily Dale, N.Y., a community south of Buffalo, where virtually all of the 400 residents claim to believe in spiritualism.
"They say Lily Dale attracts so many spirits that there is something of a waiting line and the pushy ones break through first," says Christine Wicker, author of Lily Dale: The True Story of the Town That Talks to the Dead (Harper).
Lily Dale was founded near an Indian burial ground and has been a magnet of the spiritualist community since the mid-19th century. Harry Houdini, among many other paranormal investigators, came to debunk Lily Dale's reputation.
Still, the hamlet estimates that about 20,000 visitors come each year, providing business for scads of spiritualists.
Wicker says it's not unusual for mediums to be channeling Jesus at one end of town and Mary at the other end, with other spiritual shout-outs to Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
Singing Psychic: Fran Baskerville, the singing psychic of Dallas, says she knows your tune. She recently strummed her guitar as visions came to her of Martha Stewart serving jail time. As the song goes:
Cooking with Martha in the jailhouse now, Stir up some stew with Stewart in a stew, The prisoners are all very happy today, A good cook is on the way!
The domestic diva hasn't been convicted of any crime, but Baskerville predicts she will end up with a sentence that's short and sweet. She has visions of Stewart preparing flan for other inmates.
Clairvoyant Clowning: When I heard of JuWanna the Clown, I thought I had finally found my spiritual mentor — a palm reader with big red floppy shoes.
JuWanna offers both clowning and psychic services to the Washington, D.C., metro area, according to her Web site.
Alas, my calls to JuWanna have yet to be returned, so I don't know if she would provide both services to me at once. When my phone failed to ring, I even attempted to contact JuWanna via out-of-body experience. Still, no luck.
Next time, I'm calling my old friend Bozo.
Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.