It’s 8.57 on a Friday evening and I’m at home, waiting for an obscure American radio talk show to come online. For the next hour I’ll be answering listeners’ love queries with the aid of my Tarot-reading skills, and out of respect to all the lovesick Americans out there I’ve made a real effort to stay sober. Which is quite an achievement because, downstairs, my friends are slugging it out over the EU referendum. Nobody understands what they’re talking about, as usual, but I’m feeling left out. So I lay three cards on the table and ask the Tarot: ‘Who’s going to win?’ Do read on…
The radio show’s a one-off. Normally, I sit in a darkened booth somewhere in Chelsea and wait for punters to walk in off the street. They cross my palm with silver — and oh, the things I’ve heard… which I obviously can’t reveal. Enough of this! America is calling, and I have advice to dispense. It’s a bad line. I can’t work out who’s saying what to whom, or whether we’re even on air. The producers are in Seattle; the two hosts are in California. And I am here in Barnes, SW13, with the future of our nation laid out on my tabletop. All of which makes it hard to concentrate.
Worse, nobody’s phoning in. The Californian hosts drum up a flirt-atious squabble to kill time, involving… storage space? An orange case, perhaps? One of them makes a joke about ‘DOG’ being ‘GOD’ spelled backwards, and for a moment, from Seattle to LA, panic reigns. We all agree that we all love DOGS. And then — thank dog — there’s a caller. Denise? Denis? I can’t hear what s/ he is saying, but s/he wants to know… something about love, I presume. You’d be amazed at the things I can learn from the cards when everything’s going right. Tonight, though, I feel a fraud, more concerned with my referendum findings than with Denis’s lonely nights.
‘Great news, Denis,’ I say. ‘I think you’re going to be very happy.’ Denis has to leave after that. Then it’s just us again, filling space. ‘We’re asking listeners out there to tell us what little things make them happy,’ says one of my hosts for the seventh time. ‘What little things make you happy, Daisy?’ ‘Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,’ I reply. ‘And dogs, obviously.’ ‘Oops, wait up, Daisy! Sorry to interrupt. We have Andrea on the line. Andrea in Wisconsin! Welcome to the show! What little things make you happy, Andrea?’
There is an incredibly long silence. And then: ‘WHAT! ME?’ It would be impossible to exaggerate the rage that is packed into those two short syllables. We have a nutjob. They cut her off. And finally the show is over, and I’m all alone with my referendum results. Will it be in or out? Book in for a reading, my pretties, and I’ll tell you. Forty quid for 30 minutes. I may even throw in some advice on your love life for free…because we all need that.
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