John Edward in town tonight – didn’t see that coming

I’m sensing a windowless booth. A curtain. A long line of grumpy people waiting for something they don’t enjoy. In a bread line? Flu shots? Is this the Great Depression? Communist Russia? Yes! Someone named Steve. The colour orange. I see a lot of long faces, some people crying – could it be a funeral? Has someone died? Jack, where are you? Get out of there! Go towards the light!

Man, if only we could get psychic medium John Edward to call the election, we could save everyone a lot of bother. Perhaps someone should go and ask him before he performs a sold-out show tonight at the Citadel Theatre. Sorry, not a “show,” not a “performance,” this is a supposed demonstration of the awe-inspiring telepathic powers of the famous TV psychic who, it is said – by him –can talk to the dead. It is also said that John Edwards is merely using a trick called “cold reading,” where the psychic-performer plants the seeds of belief in his subjects: a “significant event” in the person’s life – that could be anything – tied to something the psychic just made up, such as “I see a massage parlour” and maybe a few random guesses. Chances are there’s going to be a hit. In a room full of people, just throwing something out there – “it looks like another damned minority government for Stephen Harper” – is almost sure to look like a miraculous psychic revelation, for at least one person.

So what’s the harm in a night of Kreskin-like beyond-the-grave mumbo-jumbo? John Edward is pretty good at it, and he’s made a lot of money convincing bereaved people that he can really communicate with their dead relatives. Dead political careers is another matter entirely.