A Story Overheard

May 5, 2009

posted by caroline picard

Gossip.

palm-reader

“Jared was in charge of Basti’s bachelor party,” the lion said. “Basti made a rule, No Strippers.
“Jared was annoyed by the rule.
“A week before the event, Basti got nervous and took charge of his party. He announced that he would simply have a BBQ at Mike’s house. Jared was now totally irritated.
“Jared called Mike in order to conspire.
“Halfway through the BBQ they stole the bachelor away to an undisclosed location. Everyone at the party knew about this plan beforehand, and because people gossip, Basti probably knew too. He nevertheless complied, because it would have been too difficult to object. He had always been a nervous person, but he tried to hide his anxiety from large numbers of people.
“At 4 pm the bachelor got into Mike’s car. They left for the Unknown Location.

“All other attendant party members went to a bar downtown that has a beach inside—yes that’s right, it’s a bar with sand inside and the bartenders wear flip flops and bring you a cooler with all manner of beers on ice, though one can also order big glass girly (as in many-colored) beverage.

“The bachelor was in a separate car. Mike had been instructed to take some time before arriving to Undisclosed [Beach] Location. They happened to pass a psychic on Western Ave, and Mike decided (on a whim) to stop.
“‘This is what all the ladies do,’ Mike exclaimed. ‘On their bachlorette parties, they go to psychics!’
“Mike pounded on the door, having double-parked the car, and eventually a woman with curlers and a night coat came to greet them. She ushered them in to her lobby without too much fuss. It seemed like this sort of thing happened often—people bothering her in the middle of a Sunday to learn their fortune.

“She looked at Basti. ‘This is the bachelor?’ she said.
“The men nodded.
“‘I see,’ she said. She studied the bachelor’s eyes.
“She recited Basti’s whole life story. Including, for instance, ‘You were in a serious relationship before this. You are about to be married. Your future wife’s name begins with an ‘M.’ Your old fiancé’s name also began with an ‘M.’ You were raised in New England. You are afraid of witches.  Etc.,’
“Until she said
“‘You are about to go on a trip.’
“Basti said, ‘My honeymoon.’
“She said, ‘Not that one. A business one. You will do very poorly. You will come back with no money.’ And then added, farther, ‘You will marry this girl. You will have six children. You will never finish your novel.’

“And, begging fatigue, she shooed the men away. Basti paid her $20.

“It wasn’t for several days later that Basti discovered, (through the admission of another one of his friends,) that Jared had set it all up. He’d found the psychic a few days before. He greased her palm and fed her information about Basti’s life.
“Basti, meanwhile was so concerned that despite all of his skepticism around all such mysticism, he had grabbed Jared by the shoulders at the beach bar and announced that they should be very concerned about their business meeting (because she said it wouldn’t work out) and further, was plagued by the idea of never finishing his novel.
“And so. Basti told everyone at the bachelor party what happened. He also told his fiancé, and when he went into work at the newspaper the next day, he told everyone in the office about the peculiar fright he’d happened upon.
“Days later, he had to tell everyone that it had been a joke.”

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