Ask Ceil – Psychic Nightclubs

"Shiny Disco Balls"

Dear Ceil,

How can I become a psychic?

More-Large-Than-Medium in Melrose

Dear Large,

I like where you’re going with this. A lot of people have trouble deciding what to do for a living, but you have picked a profession that is imaginary. I think that takes a good bit of courage. For instance, I have always wanted to be a “Person Who Gets Paid To Hang Out With Friends” for a living, but that never panned out.  I even tried to  make friends with the people I worked with, you know, working it from the other direction. I was predictably (ha!) chagrined when I found out that I also had to do real work. Buzzkill.

Imaginary or not, though, there are people who are actually willing to pay you to be a psychic. And not in theoretical money, either. Real, hard cash. Here are some ideas on how to get your hands on some of those lovely dollars.

Your first option would be to work for a phone psychic group. You get paid by the minute, and you can wear anything you want. Or nothing. Or a small animal. Really, it doesn’t matter, because no one will see you except your neighbors, and quite frankly, if you shop for some thick curtains, you should be fine with them, too. (Unless you don’t like them that much, in which case, open all the windows and doors! You’re home! Be free!)

At some places, you get a bonus for having repeat customers. So, I guess the lesson here is to not forecast too far into the future. You can also be a “chat” psychic, so you can practice guitar or grind coffee while you’re telling the future.  I am trying to imagine what that’s like, to have an online chat with a psychic, and all I’m coming up with is a sort of mystical tech support.

“Hello, this is ANGELA. How may I tell your future today?”

“Hi Angela. I just broke up with my boyfriend and…”

“Have you tried re-booting your boyfriend?”

“What? No, we just broke up… but I still miss him.”

“My crystal ball says that you should try to re-install your boyfriend.”

“But he never really respected my choices, and it started to get old.”

“I see a newer version of Boyfriend in your future. Four to six weeks, depending on fulfillment times.”

Your second option is to actually open up a little psychic studio. I imagine you sitting glumly in a dusty turban, tiny bells chiming whenever a random breeze blows through your drafty windows. You glance at the black cat sitting on your table and say, “Nope. It wasn’t a customer. Just the wind.” Then you’d open up a pack of Ramen noodles and make lunch.

Though I’m sure if you had a following, it could be much more promising than that: Your elaborate seance table shimmers wild with purple and gold scarves, and incense is wafting in and out of rafters as your mortal assistant makes appointments. New Age flute music bounces off shiny tarot cards and encircles a bust of Jonathan Cainer, as a satisfied customer, full of calm and seascapes, glides into the harsh light of the parking lot.

But no matter how good it is, you still have to get dressed in the morning and face actual people (or cats).  So for me, Option #1 is still the better choice. Plus, I’m kind of over New Age flute.

Third, you can become a party psychic. You have to be a special kind of person to tell drunk people their future. I know this, because I was once drunk at a party with a psychic. Since I went last, I had a lot of time to waste, which I did by drinking too much wine and visiting the cheese table. (“What do you think of this [gesturing widely to some unidentifiable part of the room] stuff?” I asked loudly at a new friend who was inescapably standing in the corner near the dip.) So, when it was my turn, of course I pressed him and pressed him for details about my upcoming life. Even through blurred vision, I could see that he was becoming uncomfortable with the blunt and extremely personal questions that I was happy to ask in front of  even the most distant of party acquaintances. Still, he managed to flatter me in exactly the right way, and emerged from the party mostly unscathed. (But with second thoughts about his profession, I’ll wager. See? I didn’t even need to be psychic to feel him slightly regret his own misguided life choices.)

Any time that you have to deal with drunk people, it is either so much better, or so much worse, than sitting in your kitchen folding laundry while talking to ruined business people and bored receptionists. If you are interested in peoples’ stories, tequila shots and having your life threatened, it could be an exhilarating lifestyle. However, if you are just treading water until The Price Is Right comes on, then you’d still want to opt for the first choice of psychic careers.

Now, if you are asking how to actually be psychic, you should definitely download this handy .pdf from  And that should clear up the whole matter for you.

If you have any other questions about your career path, feel free to give me a call. It’s $2.99/minute.

Dear Ceil,

Why do people go to nightclubs?

Somber in San Bernardino

Dear Somber,

Are you kidding? There’s moving! And music! And alcohol! And those lights that give you seizures! And large sweaty people, bumping into each other! And women ignoring the way-too-obvious flirting. It’s almost like going to the gym, but with nicer clothing and better drinks!

It’s a great place to go if you don’t actually want to talk to your date. By extension, it’s also a great place to find someone who you won’t want to hear from again, and whose voice you also won’t recognize if they happen to call later. If you want to get “to know” someone, but not well enough to actually converse with them, then a nightclub is your place.

It’s a wonderful spot to study human behavior. (By the way, nothing says, “Act natural around me” like staring and taking notes. FYI. Personal experience.) As a matter of fact, there are three totally perfect places to study human behavior: 1. Nightclubs, to observe the mating rituals of humans who celebrate their communication through interpretive dance and public drunkenness; 2. Airports, to watch the family drama play out in sixteen languages, all of them telling the children to stop running around and to be quiet; and 3. Allman Brothers concerts, to see all socioeconomic factions of society come together to appreciate each other in love, music, and illicit drugs.

Nightclubs are terrific for watching trends in style, trends in style mistakes, trends in horrible, horrible hair, and trends in overdone makeup. In short, it’s a great place to feel good about your fashion sense.  You would also think that you’d be able to follow trends in music–even just dance music–but sadly, no. They are still playing music from 20 years ago. “Everybody Dance NOW!” (Listen, that last link was an inside joke, but I’m not apologizing for it. You’re in my world now, so that’s just the way things go. It was appropriate payback and that’s all I’m saying.)

Nowhere else will you be able to find “Extremely Awkward Still-in-Office-Clothing Woman Who Was Talked Into This By A Friend.” Nowhere else will you find “No Sense of Rhythm But That’s Not Stopping Him Guy”. (Except maybe at a wedding. Damn. Perfect place to observe humanity #4: Weddings. Boy howdy.) And while they can be found elsewhere, “Aloof Bartender Who Doesn’t Have Time For Your Bud Light” can be found here, in their natural habitat.

The nightclub is Eden. It is an old story of success and failure, but with a better backbeat, some soft couches, and a long line for the rest room.

I would go to nightclubs every night if I could, just to watch humanity get their bizarre groove on. Sadly, the music is too loud, and I have apparently busted one too many moves.

Go now, while you still can. While you can still let the rhythm take control. Everybody. Dance. Now.



Thought for today: The existence of Tim Berners-Lee allows for the possibility of a mobilized army of Bronies. Think about it.

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