Think about the fortuneteller in popular culture -- the bandaged, bejeweled gypsy kind. Has there ever been an honest one? The only one I can remember is Whoopi Goldberg in "Ghost," but that wasn't until Patrick Swayze got into her and swayzed* her up and made her make out with Demi Moore.
Other than that, they're all the same. They all seem to be named Madam Lazora for some reason, and they're all either evil or they're just liars, like the one who sent Pee Wee Herman off to find the basement of the Alamo.
For the record, I believe that there are people who can sense things about other beings, and I have no doubt that there are honest psychics who really do help people and animals. (I mention critters only because the pet psychic in my area has a great track record.)
But given all we know about the shady ladies who give fortunetellers a bad name, you'd have to conclude that only an idiot would spend more than a few thousand or so before realizing he was being duped by one, right?
Thank God we live in the golden age of idiocy.
A 26-year-old Manhattan psychic named Priscilla Delmaro was arrested last month and charged with grand larceny after a Brooklyn man told police that she scammed him out of $713,975.
Just so you don't think that's a typo, I'll reiterate: $713,975.
I could almost understand it if the man, whose name has not been released, was really old. Swindling the elderly is exactly the sort of thing one would expect a sham fortuneteller to do, but the guy is only 32.
And I could almost understand it if the guy had been going to her since high school, but the first time he visited her was in August 2013, meaning he averaged more than $35,000 a month for 20 months.
And, of course, guys being guys, I could almost understand it if Delmaro were secretly a prostitute or else really, really, really hot. But she's not, and she's not, at least not in her arrest photos and mug shot.
The guy first went to see Delmaro about a woman he loved who didn't love him back. Delmaro told him that he and the woman (whose name was released and is apparently Michelle) were "twin flames" and that negativity was keeping them apart.
I don't know what Delmaro then told him he should do to combat that negativity, but whatever it was, it was brilliant, because the guy bought Delmaro -- not Michelle -- a $30,000 Rolex watch and a $40,064 Tiffany diamond ring. Delmaro even got the guy to pay her $80,000 for a nonexistent bridge that she said would trap evil spirits in another realm.
You have to admit, that level of moronicism is pretty good by itself, but here's the best part -- well, unless you happen to be Michelle or one of her loved ones: The man learned in February 2014 that Michelle had died, but he kept lavishing money on Delmaro because Delmaro told him that Michelle could be reincarnated.
Think about that. She told him a dead woman could be brought back to life, and the guy still wanted to date her. I don't know if he's familiar with the history of reincarnating things in popular culture, but it pretty much never works out well. Dating zombies is way overrated.
Anyway, at some point, the guy came to his senses and realized Delmaro had been lying to him and told the cops about it, and Delmaro was arrested and remains in custody.
Why? It seems to me she was just exercising her First Amendment rights. Caveat emptor and all that.
If anybody in this whole scenario is a danger to society and needs to be taken off the streets, it's the guy. Anyone that dumb is a ticking time bomb. There's no telling how much damage he could do.
Delmaro, on the other hand, must be an incredible talent. Anyone who can lie so well that a guy would give her that much money could have a bright future in politics or on Wall Street when she finally gets out of jail.
In conclusion, I'd just like to tell the guy that if Michelle gets reincarnated, don't pay a fortuneteller to help make her want you. Just watch "Road House" and "Point Break" 20 times each and learn from the master.
*swayz -- (verb) To make more like Patrick Swayze.
Nobody puts Todd Hartley in the corner when it's time to dirty-dance. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.