Researchers announced today that an internationally renowned seer has successfully predicted events of 1985 under strictly controlled conditions. Using a Ride Waite tarot deck manufactured in 1985, Leroi Abathakathi, a prominent New Orleans psychic, has astounded research scientists by accurately predicting events which transpired in 1985.
"I'm amazed at the high degree of reproducibility Mr. Abathakathi has exhibited in these batteries of tests. We're not certain how he does it, but I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that no trickery was involved," said one researcher.
When asked to elaborate on his feat, Mr. Abathakathi remarked, "This tarot deck is apparently calibrated to the year 1985. Being in the entertainment business, I initially asked the cards what the number one song of the year would be. The Cards responded with perfect clarity, throwing the three of Swords inverted followed by the Queen of Cups, also inverted. When I saw the inverted "Lovers" card in the past position, I knew something was odd. Call it a sense of déjà vu, if you will. The "Eight of Cups" in the Environment cinched it, indicating "a time to move on", referring mainly to relationships. This was clearly referring to "What's Love Got to Do With It," by Tina Turner as the number one song of the year. But...this occurred in 1985."
Subsequent testing of the deck disclosed events cloaked in ignominy for two decades, such as introduction and failure of the noxious New Coke and the radio tyranny of "We Are the World". "I could clearly see that the Cards were relating past disasters and it sent shivers down my spine. It was eerie and I'm not one to spook easily, you know," Leroi remarked. When asked about the usefulness of having a tarot deck that predicts 20-year-old events, Abathakathi elaborated at length. "Baby-Boomers do a lot of living in the past. People want to know who had crushes on them in college or who really knocked up their girlfriend. I can tell them." When not reading fortunes for the public, Mr. Abathakathi is a free-lance programming consultant, prognosticating on the success or failure of TV shows and movies for major networks and studios. He maintains a 92% accuracy rate.
"Last season I predicted that "Life on a Stick" would suck...and it did." Leroi's biggest prediction in recent years would have saved a client millions in losses from "Matrix" related merchandise. "I predicted the conclusion of the Matrix trilogy would kill the merchandising dead as a doornail...and now they still can't move that crap." Abathakathi declined comment on "Star Wars" merchandise except to say, "Sell now."
But there are some skeptics. The Amazing Randi had less than glowing remarks about Abathakathi's ability to predict 1985. "I was able to reproduce Abathakathi feats with nothing more than his own tarot deck, a 1985 Newsweek and a bran muffin." Leroi brushed off the remarks, but concurred that Randi was indeed in need of a bran muffin. "One does not need cards to see that," he said, banging a gong for emphasis.
Under close scrutiny from The Amazing Randi and several independent researchers, Leroi made a set of predictions and allowed Randi to do the same on a common tarot deck According to Abathakathi, the president gets into a political crisis over secret dealings with Iran, while movie box office revenues drop precipitously, sending studio profits down the express elevator to oblivion. And, by the way, Madonna reinvents herself.
"Oooooo...so is he predicting Iran/Contra and the box office slump of 1985? He's even vague about things that have already happened. Try this on for size," said Randi gesturing mysteriously. Closing his eyes, Randi promptly predicted the death of a Soviet president Chernenko and the coming of Gorbachev, following up with the LA Lakers over Boston in the NBA Championship, 4-2. "Easy, Smeazy," Randi said, pulling a rabbit from his beard to the amusement of the arrayed reporters. Calling Abathakathi a charlatan with minimal skills, Randi waved the 1985 Newsweek, calling it, "the source of Abathakathi's power." He even had the audacity to predict that my head would soon relocate to a dumpster behind a Missouri Denny's," Randi snickered. "Of course, that never happened in 1985, so I said, 'The day that happens, monkeys will fly out of my butt.'"
When asked for comment, Abathakathi smiled enigmatically. "He can kiss my Chakra! He wasn't even reading the cards or else he'd have known he was reading from a deck calibrated to 2005, not 1985. Minimal skills? Just an elementary slight of hand was all it took to substitute a real deck for the one Randi thought was from 1985. And if I were Randi...I'd steer clear of trying to debunk David Blaine." Leroi failed to elaborate further about the famed magician and any connections with the Amazing Randi.
Strangely enough later in the week, the decapitated body of the Amazing Randi was found at a St. Louis Motel 6. Police arrested street magician David Blaine in connection with the incident after Blaine reportedly screamed at the body as it was being taken away, "Is that an illusion, Mr. Know-It-All? Well, is it?" In a related story, animal control was called out to remove an infestation of flying monkeys from Randi's motel room. "Well, looks like ole Randi actually got one right, "Abathakathi remarked to reporters. Police located Randi's head in a dumpster behind a Denny's next door. Investigators declined to comment about the condition of the head except to say, "It looked really surprised."