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The Tarot phone

June 29, 2014

We celebrated our tenth anniversary last week.  I was still a rather silent person with a calm demeanour while she was still the frank, elegant and outgoing girl I fell in love with so many years ago. But I have never understood women completely. I‘ve always wanted a pager in my mind to tell me how to react when she says she hates it when my sister comes to visit us or when she says I don’t love her as I used to. Whenever I am halfway through watching a documentary or in my final week of evaluating the year end papers, she sends subliminal messages for me to be with her. When I don’t react satisfactorily, I end up sleeping on the sofa that night. I’ve always prayed for that pager and these incidents make me want that pager even more.

We visited Spain, I for an academic conference on “Technology and Anthropology” and she on a sabbatical holiday. I met a senile looking old man at the conference who lectured on “Telepathic wireless technology”No one paid any attention to this lecture. Whackos are usually alienated and this old man looked like a patient who escaped from a mental institution. As is the way of fate, we ended up taking the last empty table during lunchtime and he started talking while I simply nodded “yes” or “no” to all his questions and comments. The conference was over and I quietly went back to the hotel.

It was when I opened the conference bag that I realised that the “Whacko” got our bags mixed up. He took my bag while I took his during the hurry to finish lunch and reassemble for the next conference session. I found his phone in the bag and found no numbers to call in his address book to inform his loss. I decided to talk to the conference authorities the next day as I had my supper appointment with my girl.

I took the bag with me to meet the conference authorities after dinner. When we sat down and she was looking in the menu, I fiddled with the Whacko’s phone. It looked like any other handheld smart phone. On the back cover was engraved in a gothic style font “TAROT PHONE”. It had a small red button next to the mike area. I pressed it and it displayed “fettuccine alfredo or veal marsala?” I didn’t know what it meant.

When the waiter arrived and asked our order, she asked me “what do you think is good – Fettuccine alfredo or Veal marsala?” I couldn’t answer her. I just sat there flabbergasted. The waiter and she just stared at me with the blank expression. I ordered the veal, ate it in silence and left the restaurant in a very confused state. She was used to my bouts of silence and didn’t mind. While on our way back, I pushed the button again. This time it showed me “Aashaa and Aashik”. I thought I understood it.

“I think we should call the baby Aashaa if it’s a girl and Aashik if it’s a boy” I said.

She was shocked beyond belief and asked me if I had read her mind. I brushed it off as mere coincidence and my knowledge of her taste. She hugged me warmly and kissed me on the cheek. This Tarot phone could make me sleep on the bed for the rest of our lives!

Once we reached the hotel room, I told her that I needed to have my usual walk outside before sleeping. Kissing her goodnight, I rushed eagerly to test my newly accidentally acquired toy on the next person I may encounter. The doorman bowed and I pushed the button.

“Ah! Here’s a bum walking out on a cold evening. How’ll he withstand the cold!?”

Surprisingly, the phone could translate Spanish thoughts into English! I yelled “Gracias” and ran and picked up my jacket before I ran on to the street. The temperature outside was 7 0C.

A man was walking out of the supermarket. ‘Click

Why do they touch the tomatoes without wearing the gloves? These Indians need some manners.

Well I use gloves Senor!” I said. He stared at me and ran away in a trice.

A policeman was on his beat. Click’

I marvel how Nature could ever find space

For so many strange contrasts in one human face:

There’s thought and no thought, and there’s paleness and bloom”

I said “And bustle and sluggishness, pleasure and gloom.”

“Wordsworth’s ‘A Character’ eh?” I asked him with a wink.

He was stunned and stared at me. I just walked away really fast from him.

A hooker was walking on her high heels and waiting for her next customer. Click’

Ah little Pedro! How many more customers before I get 50 euros to get your school fees ready!

I went straight up to her and gave her a hundred euro note. “Give this to the school” I said and kissed her on the cheek and waved Adios to her. She was shell shocked. I turned to see her crying while she smiled. She yelled “Gracias Senor! Gracias!

While my adrenaline rush from all the excitement was starting to wane, I walked back to the hotel pondering about the possible implications of this invention. I had slept through the Whacko’s lecture but it all started making sense now. Reading minds will now not be restricted to junkies and gypsies looking into crystal balls or picking Tarot cards! This technology could revolutionise the entire gambling industry! Military and spying agencies could go berserk with this device! Crime scene investigation and forensics will wrap up cases in a jiffy! Frauds of all kinds will rot in prison! NGOs would not anymore get any investigative looks when they come knocking on the door for charity! People in coma may probably be understood if they want us to pull the plug! We might even understand other animals!….Wait wait wait…Animals? Was it possible?

I decided to test this out. I saw a drunk bum sleeping on the park bench with his hairy St. Bernard. ‘Click’

Just like how my god is a big dog with with a big juicy bone, is the human god a big human with a very big couch and TV? Hmmm… I wonder!

That’s when I fainted thinking –

Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true

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