Strange things are happening. It started a while back when a Robin flew into the house. It came and sat on the kitchen table. I’d never seen a Robin in the garden before, let alone in my kitchen. Next thing, the phone went. It was Auntie Jean, telling me that Uncle Pete had just died. The Robin flew out again. “That little bird? It’s him. It’s a message from Uncle Pete,” his grieving widow said.
Auntie Jean is a great believer in angels. Dreams too. She says that she’s psychic. She told me that Uncle Pete is pulling strings from above and when my nephew got a job in Malta recently, it was all thanks to him. But Pete was a poker player and so am I. If Pete really did happen to be pulling the strings, I’d be World Series Poker Champion by now. These days I can’t even get a pair.
Then there’s my old friend Patsy. She believes in ‘The Secret’ or the law of attraction. Think positive and good things will happen. She is always putting requests out there, into ‘the universe’. She asked ‘the universe’ for a new job, she got a new job. She asked ‘the universe’ to get her husband a new job, he got a new job. So when she invited me to a Newbridge Musical Society pub quiz a year or two ago, being the cynic that I am, I decided to test it out.
At half time, the raffle tickets came out. I bought five strips and lay them on the table in front of me. So did the eighty or so other people there on the night. To liven up the draw, I told my friends that I would predict the next winning ticket using nothing but the power of my mind. With that I looked down at the table and theatrically held up a strip just before the man at the microphone called out a number. The ticket in my hand had won.
Fast forward to another quiz a few months ago. At a table with the girls at Castle Durrow I recounted that story. “Of course, the real miracle would be do it twice” one of them suggested. She was right. For the craic, just as before, I bought five raffle tickets and lay them in front of me. So did the hundred or so other guests. Just as the draw was about to begin, I held aloft a blue ticket. “This ticket will win,” I said dramatically. The host pulled a ticket from a bucket and held it up. It was mine.
The ‘do’ in Castle Durrow was a quiet one to raise funds for Rape Crisis in Dublin. When the ten of us started screaming heads turned. “It’s a miracle,” said the woman to my left. “You could make a career with a gift like that!” The woman to my right added “Now do me a favour and give me the winning lottery tickets for Saturday”.
Later that evening I was in shock. So far I’d won a bottle of wine and a shampoo hamper. If this was a new psychic ‘gift’, think about the consequences. I could win millions, put an end to the national debt and fund a cure for Ebola. Had I really developed supernatural powers in my mid forties? What next, a psychic tour of regional theatres and a slot on Most Haunted?
Feeling wobbly about it, I went to see Patsy. She was cleaning the oven and greeted me in pink rubber gloves. “It doesn’t make sense”. “Yes it does,” she said, head in oven. “It’s the universe at play. I’ve believed in it for years. Don’t try and explain it. Accept it”. I was going to a KWWSPCA table quiz the following evening and told her that if I won the raffle again, I’d throw up. “Well throw up, then give me the prize,” she added.
The next night at the pub quiz I sat down with three strangers. The raffle tickets came round and I bought five and lay them out on the table. I decided that rather than tell my team what I was about to do, running the risk of being labeled the crazy lady in the pub, I’d sit quietly, say nothing and discreetly put my finger on my chosen numbers instead.
“The first prize goes to…” It was blue, 150 – 155, my ticket. Again. About to vomit, I ran outside without claiming my prize, which was a hamper, made up of pasta sauces. I rang Patsy, totally and utterly freaked out. “See? I told you. It’s the universe”. It was all too creepy. I went back into the quiz to hear the announcer call out second prize. I’d won again.
A week later, at an ICA gathering, I told friend about my ridiculous luck. “Which of my tickets will win then?” asked Sharon, “I never win anything in a raffle”. I touched one of her three tickets. It won. Then her other two tickets won as well drawing sighs of disbelief from the crowd. My rational brain makes no sense of it. Just think about the odds, it must be a million to one.
Last night I had a dream so vivid and real that I woke up at 5am in a muck sweat. In it, pregnant friend Tamara was calling my name. She was asking for me for help. Her husband was in Oman and she had just given birth. She was crying for me, “Help me Annie!” I’ve never had an experience like it. Was I now getting telepathic dreams, just like Auntie Jean? I waited for sunrise and phoned Tamara. “This is weird, but….” I launched straight into it. Was her husband in Oman? He wasn’t. Had she given birth? She hadn’t. Was she calling for me at 5am? She wasn’t. Oh dear. It was all bit embarrassing.
The spell has been broken, supernatural powers gone so don’t bother contacting me for the lottery numbers. Me a psychic? Not even Mystic Meg would have predicted that.