As the year draws to a close the usual bunch of psychics and deluded souls queue up to make vague predictions about the year ahead. This year one in particular caught my eye however – step forward English ‘mystic’ Jemima Packington. Jemima holds no truck with tea leaves or tarot cards, her psychic weapon of choice is none other than …asparagus. She throws sticks of asparagus into the air and makes predictions based on their position when landing.
Unfortunately her soothsaying is of the fairly generic variety – Gordon Brown will lose the UK election and England will go out of the World Cup in the first or second round. Other forecasts she has made include a royal engagement and a high profile royal health scare or death. In showbiz, she also predicts George Clooney and Helen Mirren will win Oscars in 2010.
When you examine these claims they show a combination of guesswork and research – nothing to do with any ‘mystic ability’ at all. Obviously asparagus divining is an extreme example, but there are plenty of other so-called psychics who employ the same tactics.
Most people expect Gordon Brown to lose the next election – hardly mystic. It is extremely likely that there will be a ‘high profile royal death or scare’. The Queen is 82 and her husband is 87 – again, hardly mystic, and she has cynically hedged her bets by including ‘scare’ which could be anything from a hospital trip for a check-up to a heart condition. The England football prediction is a straight guess made after seeing the group stage draws. I happen to think she will be wrong on this one, England for the quarter-finals at least. As for George Clooney and Helen Mirren winning Oscars – that seems pretty specific doesn’t it? But not quite so much when you realise the Golden Globe Awards nominations are already out, and they are seen as a guide to who will win the Oscars. Guess who are up for best actor and actress…Mirren & Clooney. So once again Packington has drastically narrowed her odds – and if she guessed correctly…well the asparagus did it.