Humor · Short Story

The Bad Psychic

Image result for psychic

Ronald MacDonald was a bad psychic.

Growing up on the hardscrabble streets of Punta Gorda, his childhood dream was simple: to help people understand that there is more to life than just the physical world.

And also — no, he’s not friends with the Hamburgler, so just shut the hell up about it.

Ronald’s first reading was brutally honest.

He sat down with a young woman who needed validation that her deceased loved ones were still around–but not watching her take a shower or have sex, because that would just be uber-creepy.

To begin the reading, Ronald lit some patchouli incense and gazed into his crystal skull of Sylvia Browne.

Image result for Sylvia Browne psychic

“Okay,” he inhaled deeply. “I’m getting a sense that there is a father figure near you…”

“Yes! My dad! He died when I was 16!” the woman sobbed, wiping away tears.

“He’s showing me a sign for…..huh. That’s weird. He’s showing me thumbs down. Yeah. He’s got both thumbs down. Oh…and now he’s jumping up and down. He’s holding a sign that reads…”

“What? What does it say?”


“Disappointed? What?” the woman yelled.

“Now he’s underlining the word disappointed with a red sharpie. And adding exclamation points. Yep, he’s not proud of you and never was.”

Ronald didn’t let his first reading fiasco stop him from crushing yet another person’s hopes about the afterlife. He read for his elderly neighbor, Ethel, who had recently lost her husband of 70 years.

Ronald began the session. Sylvia Browne’s skull glowed a fiery orange. “Ah, your husband Stan is here! He’s standing right behind you!”

“He is?” Ethel sat straight up in her chair. “How does he look? Is he okay?”

“He’s very excited about something. He’s pointing at you and shaking his head.”

“What does he mean? That it’s not my time yet? That we’ll be together again someday?” asked Ethel.

“Well… now he’s showing me a huge plate of pot roast. He said that’s what killed him. Your leathery, disgusting pot roast that he had to pretend to like for decades.”

“He didn’t like my pot roast?” Ethel’s voice quivered.

“Now he’s opening and closing his hand rapidly to indicate talking…now he’s showing me the sign for choking someone…” Ronald closed his eyes and drew a deep breath.  “Oh! Okay! He’s saying your nonstop bitching slowly killed his soul and he would have rather died than to listen to another second!”

Ronald slowly exhaled as the incense swirled around him. “Oh!” he continued. “And now he’s saying the only thing that scares the crap out of him in the afterlife is the thought of you dying and your soul finding him on the other side so that you can continue your relentless blabbing on and on about politics and that godawful show, The View. And he says that by the way, all of the women on The View end up in hell. Especially Joy Behar.”

Sadly, Ronald MacDonald’s psychic career pretty much tanked when it was discovered he really couldn’t read anyone and basically made everything up as he went along. Yet curiously, he delighted in causing others needless pain and suffering.

He now has a successful career as a politician in Boca Raton.



Family · Motherhood · Parenting

Deep Thoughts by Little Miss J


My daughter is six and a half years old and tends to be a wee bit dramatic at times. She’s also much smarter than I’ll ever be.

The other morning she flew into my bedroom, eyes ablaze, and wailed, “Oh, Mommy! It’s just not fair! I mean, seriously! Seriously!” She threw herself onto my bed. “Like, seriously!” she cried again.

“What? What is it? What happened?” I rushed over and started stroking her long brown hair.

She lifted up her tear-soaked face and sobbed, “It’s this!” she blurted, dramatically handing me the board game cover she was holding.

“Oh! Of course,” I shook my head. “Scrabble. Wretched game. Just terrible.”

“No! I love it! I was winning with the word, QUIET! But it says Ages Seven and Up, Mom! Seven and up! So I can’t play it anymore!” and she continued her writhing, moaning, and gnashing of teeth.

When I was her age, I spent most of my days either eating Scrabble tiles or jamming them up my nose.

So it’s no surprise that my girl is also interested in other typically light, playful subjects such as life, death, afterlife, God and reincarnation. And she usually interrogates me with rapid-fire questions right as I’m tucking her into bed at night.

This wouldn’t be a problem if I were half as smart as she is or knew any of the answers.

“…and so Big Bird and Elmo played baseball and they all lived happily ever after…” I read aloud to her then closed the book.

“Man, I love Big Bird…” I sighed and stared off into the distance.

big bird


“Is this a question about why Elmo has no ears?…. Please?”

“Oh, Mom! Elmo’s not real,” she wrinkles her nose. “He’s imaginary. This book was fiction. That means it’s made up. Mrs. Bouthot [her kindergarten teacher] said so.”

“Well, she would know,” I frown. “Pffft.”

“She does know. She knows everything!” her eyes widened. “Mom? What happens after you die?”

“Um, you go to heaven. OK, good night!” I kiss the top of her head.


“You just go.”

“What do you take with you?”

“Um, your soul. Okay! Good night!”

“And where do you go? Is God there?”

“Yes. And it’s very nice and beautiful and wonderful,” I pull the covers up to her chin. “Sweet dreams! Think of Big Bird! I know I will!”

big bird

“What’s God like?”

“Umm….he’s a pretty cool dude. He loves us no matter what.”

“Even when I don’t brush my teeth?”

“Even then.”

“So….we’re babies again after we die?”

“Uh, I’m not sure…”

“Do we stay the same after we die?”


“How old are we?”

“Well….I don’t know exactly…”

“Where do we all live? Are there houses? Do we eat food? Is there candy there? Can we come back? I’d like to come back as a baby again. That’s what we do, right? We get to pick new families and keep coming back down here?”

“Sure, I guess….maybe, but I’m not sure…”

“I want to come back as a princess ballerina veterinarian!”

“I want to come back as Mrs. Bouthot. Or Big Bird.”


Parents: How do you handle heavy questions from your kids? Do your kids know more than you do, too?
Others: What happens after you die? What’s the meaning of life? Why does Elmo have no ears?

Short Story · Uncategorized

Einstein and the Theory of Slurpees

It’s not easy being here. It takes time to adjust.

At first it was pretty cool. I loved zipping around, flying from place to place. After all, I had no body anymore, so there was that.

When I first arrived, everyone was there to greet me, kind of like a big high school reunion, but without the anxiety or bad ’80s music. It was great seeing my family and friends. But, holy shit! There were just so many of them! I was told I had already lived 52 lives back down on Earth. Fifty-two! You’d think with all that knowledge, some of it would have sunk in with my last life, but no. If only I had backed away from the bridge after the guy hitched me onto the bungee cord, I’d still be down there right now, eating Doritos and watching Roseanne reruns.

But I wasn’t. So I made do.

The first thing I noticed about the other side– it’s not ‘over there’ or ‘up there’. It’s right here. Right where you still exist. We are all milling around just a few frequencies above the living. Not far at all. Sometimes one of you might catch a glimpse of us if the dimensions accidentally leak into one another. But we’re not up on some cloud playing harps with the angels. (The angels have more important things to do, trust me.) We have buildings. We have mountains and lakes. But no Walmarts or McDonalds. It’s just like Earth.

Only infinitely better.

So after I crossed over, my next stop was the Past Lives Viewing Theater. A few of my friends dragged me there that first day. I say ‘day’ but really, time doesn’t exist over here. I won’t go into specifics, but let’s just say even Einstein’s mind was blown after he crossed over.

After I arrived at the theater, I was led by a man dressed in white down a long white hall to a large white room with a white chair. One thing you’ll notice after you get here, everything seems to be bathed in white. A glowing, almost blinding white. “How do you not bump into anything?” I asked my friends and they all laughed.

I sat down to face this gigantic silver screen, better than any HDTV at Best Buy. You’re probably familiar with surround sound? Well, this sucker had the fourth dimension built in. Not only could I see any of my past lives in full technicolor, but I could interact with any moment in any of those lives firsthand, like I was reliving it with all my senses intact.

Next time you do something really stupid or embarrassing, just remember this–it’s being recorded.

Makes you think twice about dancing naked while singing songs from Glee into your hairbrush, huh.

Oh, and the refreshments were killer. I was only on the other side mere moments and already I started to miss food. I wanted a big bucket of popcorn with melted butter. Boom. It was there beside me. I wanted a jumbo-sized blue-raspberry Slurpee. Bam. It appeared out of nowhere.

“Don’t worry,” said the man in white. “There are no such things as calories here. Dig in.”

I was loving this place already.

A few things I discovered while at the movies: I was once a housewife living in a log cabin on the prairie with eleven children in the 1800s, I was once a chambermaid for a filthy rich English family in the late 1700s, and I was once eaten by a black bear in Siberia in the year 1502.

Explained my lifelong aversion to kids, bears and cleaning.

While the Viewing Theater was a riot, and a few mysteries were finally solved, I was already wondering what would happen next. I mean, what did people do up here all day long?

So I’m dead. Now what?

“I think it’s time you meet with the Light,” the man in white said.

“Huh? How did you read my thoughts?”

“Remember, that’s how we communicate up here. No need for spoken language.”

“So you know everything I’m thinking.”



“It can be quite handy.”

“What am I thinking right now?”


“And now?”

“You’re singing that you like big butts and you can’t deny…can we proceed, please?”

“You are good.”

“I know.”

“So who’s this light person?”

The Light. The Being. God. Y’know….the god/goddess of Everything…?”

“Sure. I’m game. Is he expecting me?”

“There is no ‘he’. Or ‘she’. The Light is both she and he. Or neither.”

“Right. Just like today is not today, tomorrow or yesterday?”


“Okay, if you say so,” I downed another Slurpee, watched it disappear into the ether that used to be my stomach and laughed. Whoa–no brain freeze! Makes sense, I have no actual brain anymore. Chuckling to myself, I turned to float back down the hall. Which to me was ridiculous, as I probably could have zipped straight through the walls since they–like everything else here–seemed transparent and buzzing with a crackling energy. It was all too much. My head felt dizzy. Well, if I still had a head. Now my body was more like a murky ball of vapor with fuzzy outlines. For a second, I caught myself wondering where I would put my cell phone.

Getting used to being dead is a process.

“I’m ready,” I sighed. “Just one thing–does this shapeless, formless, swirling vapor cloud of energy make my butt look big?”

“Ha ha. Very funny.”

“Man! I am so relieved humor exists up here! And where is that music coming from? Is that John Lennon I hear singing?”

“Yes.  From time to time, you can hear him jamming with George Harrison down in the gardens.”

“I think I’m going to like it here.”

“You won’t be staying for long, I’m afraid.”