I was wondering if I would write a decent book, so went to have my future told.
They had Zoltar at Hot Springs. Yes, you recognize him from the movie, Big. You can buy your own Zoltar machine and customize it how you like, changing its face, hands, eyes, even the speaker type and cabinet and type of bill acceptor.
An economy model will costs you $5,500. If you go premium Zoltar, with birch veneer cabinet and oak trim, you will drop $8500.
For one dollar, Zoltar told my fortune. First, he addressed me in a type of condescending wilderness of laughs. I got the immediate feeling he despised me and thought me a fool for paying him money. He cackled four times more, then rolled my “lucky numbers” off his pointed tongue.
24: This is not a lucky number. In fact, it is the number of the most depressing day of the year. Fuck.
39: This is not a lucky number. Are you joking? “39” is a song by the rock/glam group, Queen, off the spectacularly dramatic album A Night at the Opera (taken from the Marx Brothers film of the same name). The song “39” tells the Sci Fi short story of a group of volunteers leaving a dying earth to find a sustainable place to exist for the human species. They do find a better world, but return from their voyage one hundred years later (yet only one year has passed in their lives, due to time dilation). All their loved ones are dead! They collapse in grief and agony. You call that a fucking lucky number, Zoltar? (clairvoyant creep)
21: This is not a lucky number. This is the legal age for drinking alcohol. One drink leads to another. I said to another. Next thing you know you wake up in a picked Nebraska corn field with llama on your breath and your pants gone fishing.
12: November 12, 1912, the explorer Robert Scott and his men are finally found in Antarctica. They are frozen and dead.
31: What? “31 Days” is a book about how Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney rose to power. Thanks, Zoltar, oracle of shit.
04: I guess four is kind of lucky. Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Etc.
Now onto my written fortune. I got the feeling an out-of-work MFA graduate was lurking.
I see a great deal of happiness in store for you. (OK, pretty cliche start. I took this to mean I should walk next door to the Nuevo Latino restaurant and order nachos.)
Waitress with a voice like espresso: “No nachos here.”
Me, in aftershock and disgust: “WHAT?! Well, then bring me the closest thing you have to nachos, and beer bottles growing like mushrooms on the dried manure disc of this table.”
Wow. This actually tasted great and so I calmed down like a TV show. In Hot Springs, do eat here.
Zoltar continued (my comments in parentheses): Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. (I question this but will remain focused) Happiness never decreases by being shared. (Right) So, if an object you ardently pursue brings little happiness when gained (does dude know me?) remember most of our pleasures come from unexpected sources. Share the good news when it arrives. (HUH?)
Has anyone reading this ever graded a freshman composition essay? WTF? Zoltan is clearly drunk on a drink called Faulty Logic Run-on Crazy with a lemon twist. My head spun like a black helicopter after this one, so I went to my hotel and unpacked the lime green cooler of nacho fixings. I routinely bring nacho fixings along when I visit foreign countries (if you have been to Arkansas, you know it technically is), and this time was a bonus: I had just visited my gardener dad. My lime green cooler held:
* one package veggie crumbles.
* one big-ass organic tomato.
* one yellowy wisp organic onion.
* one Mason jar of bhut jolokia. (WARNING! If you are an amateur, do NOT try this salsa. IT IS THE HOTTEST IN THE WORLD, and this is not hyperbole. I couldn’t handle this until a full 5 years into my adoration of agony. However, if you are a heat aficionado, you can buy it here.)
I heated the tomatoes and onions and tofu in microwave. I mixed in jolokia. I poured it over Garden of Eatin’ baked tortilla chips. My tongue did the dance of hard chuckle cocaine while watching an American win the French Open. Something. I suppose this is what Zoltar meant.
Zoltar goes on, and my future now takes a bit of a dark turn:
For happiness is like a sunbeam which the least shadow shall intercept, while suffering is often as the rain in spring.
Wow. This really made me want to know who writes these fortunes. I kept seeing this young guy with an old face sitting in a motel outside those jai alai courts in Miami, with a greasy pint bottle of peppermint schnapps on the table alongside a pocketknife and a book of matches with a woman’s named scrawled on the back cover. The ink is bleeding and the woman’s name is MISTY. The man’s head throbs and he has a six-inch gash on his shin. It is an angry gash, hot and pulsing. He tries to ignore the pain as he leans over one of the last typewriters left on planet earth, picking out fortunes letter by letter (he gets paid one nickel per completed fortune, and he averages about three per long day).
I researched the source of the fortunes, a company in Boulder City, Nevada.
They are out of business…You would think if you wrote the future, you would make really excellent business decisions, but I suppose not.
Time to out Zoltar.
Zoltar is a fraud, I want to say that. He’s a plagiarist in my book. Here is the original fortune teller, ZOLTAN. Zoltar obviously copied his look.
Zoltan is a bad-ass, and note you don’t just randomly get a fortune. You play an active role, by selecting your astrological sign, thus leading to a more individual destiny. You also get to pick up and listen to an old-school telephone. I’m sure this felt even more personal, like you just received a phone call from God.
Here is tricked-out Zoltan, so obviously you could customize him, too. I would like to have Zoltan in my bathroom.
The bidding starts at $6500.
Here is a schematic for Ander Monson. Hey, Ander Monson, put this in your Diagram thingy. This is how Zoltan actually tells the future!
Back to mine… Clever writing, this last part of my Moirai, actually taking spring (traditionally, in literature, a device connoting growth, rebirth, hope) and turning it into a time of rain (it is), showers of misery and flood and choking sorrow. As I said: Wow. Thanks, Zoltar, palmist of pain.
What to do?
I ran 5 miles up Hot Springs mountain, hopped in the hot tub without showering, met a Cajun fellow in the hot tub and he told me his business idea (He plans to open a Yelling Zoo. He goes, “You know, like a petting zoo, only you scream at all the animals! It calms your stress.”), dried off in my room, went to the hotel bar, drank a Spaten, a Spaten, a Budweiser, a jager, a jager, a Spaten, went to my room, threw things at the wall, got a knock on my door and a noise violation warning (embarrassing), fell asleep, woke, couldn’t find my phone battery (apparently my phone was thrown and shattered), drove home, told my mom I loved her, went to eat nachos with my cousin at my favorite restaurant, RP TRACKS, where I had BBQ tofu black bean nachos with a side of Fat Tire (and they let me keep the glass, keep the glass, Zoltar! You tea-leaf smelling mother fracker! You phony psychic of shitinits (infection of the shit?); you fraud-o exponential! Big sucks, dude! Tom Hanks sucks. He keeps playing Tom Hanks! That isn’t acting! Your movie sucks. You suck. I hope you get hit by a truck and don’t even see it coming! I hope your crystal ball pops and withers like a balloon. I hope chicken feathers fall on your grave like the, the…I hope, uh [but I digress]).
calm, calm…(I need to go run now. Seriously.)
Taste like foreordination to me.
I guess I won’t write a decent book.
My favorite flower is the jonquil.