Palm Off

Famous “butt-inski” Dear Abby devoted an entire column recently to palm reading, which she belittled as a cheap parlor game with no basis in science.

That, of course, makes it totally unlike offering a two-sentence solution to a complete stranger who has a pen, a stamp, and some frightening problems.

Nevertheless, they wrote to her complaining of being fleeced by palm readers. The letters were so unbelievable that reading the column left me shaking my head from side to side. That isn’t usually a big deal, but I was being fitted for a partial denture at the time.

Anyway, Abby dumped on palm readers. And it was about time. Now, I’m not saying all palm readers are crooks. Just some. A few. Three or four, tops. The rest are OK. (There, that ought to ward off any pesky round of lawsuits.)

But those three or four give all palm readers a bad name. Well, two bad names. So, if you want to let a woman with a cigar dangling from her mouth tell you what life has in store for you, have at it. But first, you should understand it.

The science of palm reading is based on interpreting lines and wrinkles and food stains on your hand.

For example, a long line from the center of your wrist to the index finger signifies that the palm reader’s assistant is probably breaking into the trunk of your car.

Two lateral lines almost always mean the assistant is yanking your new navigation system from your dashboard.

And seven lines forming a full circle on your palm mean your parents were very likely related.

One of the oldest palm reading tricks is for the “reader” to squeeze your hand as she “gazes at your life.” At that moment, she begins removing any valuable rings from your hand. Occasionally, she removes a finger as well. This is known in the palm reading business as “oops!”

You seldom get the ring back, and the finger back only about half the time. And losing a finger is a serious problem for most people, with the notable exception of the famous “woman-scorned” victim, John Wayne Bobbit, who shrugs off a thing like that.

But let me tell you why I personally dislike palm readers.

About 20 years ago, I visited a friend in New York—Brooklyn, to be precise—which is something I used to do whenever feeling the need to be beaten and robbed by four hookers who smelled like a landfill.

On this trip, I made a 2 AM decision (I’ve always found that to be the ideal time to make the really big ones) to have my palm read for $20. Hey, I was going to lose it one way or the other: the palm reader or the four hookers in their body-fluid-encrusted fishnets.

The woman sat me down, grabbed my hand, and started babbling: “You will soon suffer a serious loss.”

As she said it, I noticed one of her assistants rifling through my tote bag draped over the chair beside me. I quickly got up; slammed the assistant’s sweaty head in a desk drawer five or six times—hey, she was big for an 8-year-old!—took back my wallet; slipped it into my jeans back pocket; and sat down again.

“OK”, the palm reader said in an eerie, almost mystical voice. “Maybe you won’t.”

Realizing now that she didn’t have the typical Bimbo Tourist seated in front of her, she began rattling off more routine, mundane stuff.

“You will move up in the world.”

She was technically correct on this one. A month later, I was moved from the third floor to the fifth floor of my apartment building, so they could fumigate the third floor for bedbugs.

“A tall, dark, and handsome man will briefly enter your life.”

Right again. Six weeks after she said that, a Chippendale dancer bitch-slapped me after my pinky ring got caught in his man-thong.

“A great feeling of freedom and openness will follow you wherever you go.”

I was all the way to Kennedy Airport before I realized that her damn assistant had cut the entire seat clear out of my jeans.

Well, hey, consider the source. You just can’t trust those 8-year-olds.

Bye for now.
Kiss, kiss.

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