Written September 21, 2007 Fiction 929 Words
Copyright © 2007 Robert P. Herbst. All rights reserved.
Robert P. Herbst
Much to my wonder, my good friend Yodar Hoopelhoffer, the Mount Perry, town idiot, arrived for coffee the other day in great spirits telling us all how he’d received a vision, during the night, telling him he was destined to be a fortune teller.
Early in the morning the following day he’s put up a sign outside his home stating he was a gifted teller of things to come. Indeed, within a few days people were lined up outside his door waiting to have their fortunes told.
Knowing the history behind his reputation of our town idiot, one is prompted to wonder how he had become such a gifted seer overnight. Gradually, during coffee with him one morning we steered the conversation around to his new gift, we were all excited for him, but curious about how the gift had come to him.
As Yodar explained things, he’d awakened from a sound sleep to find he could tell what was going to happen next. Once awake, he was prompted by some inner revelation, to go to the bathroom. Immediately, we realized, this was no special gift but simply the need to satisfy a call of nature. This was no gift at all.
He went on to tell us how, while returning to bed, he’d stepped on a large, black, hairy, poisonous spider. Although Yodar described the spider as being a small black spider, I knew the spider to be huge, hairy, black and poisonous. To me all spiders are, large, black, hairy and poisonous, no matter what color or size they are. Yodar went on to explain, he could not have stepped on the spider, before it attacked him, without some sort of divine intervention.
Although this sounded a lot like a chain of unrelated coincidental happenings, I kept my big mouth shut and let Yodar go on. At this point, Yodar swears, he was seized with an uncontrollable urge to tell fortunes for the masses, for a modest gift of cash to be left in a rather large pot by his door. I suppose he thought, using a large pot might encourage people to be more liberal in trying to make a difference in filling it up.
Several days have gone by now and Yodar’s fame has spread over the town of Mount Perry like a flood. People are even coming in from other great metropolises such as Iddo, Salem and Shady Spot to hear what Yodar has to say about their future.
The gang and I discussed this with the usual predictable set of answers. Perry Noid, said her toaster had been talking to him like his did to him. Skitso Freenik swore it was a government plot, while Formadi Hyde, the embalmers daughter, said it was something she’d seen in the embalming parlor and so on into the morning.
I tried to remain neutral on this issue, preferring to see for my self what mysteries lurked just beneath the surface of this conundrum. I went to Yodar and because of our long term friendship was ushered to the front of the line and given an immediate reading. It was all kind of common knowledge stuff which might apply to anyone, so why, I wondered, do people line up outside the home of the Mount Perry town idiot, to have him tell them things they already knew?
There must be some kind of mass hysteria involved. Yet there were things Yodar told me which did come true, like the tip of my cane landing in a grease spot and my taking a minor tumble, how’d he know this? His exact words were, if you are not careful you might have a fall. Yet as I left his home, this is exactly what happened. I began to have a little more faith in my friends uncanny ability.
During the rest of the day, I considered this. I ran all the comments through my mind in an effort to put the thing together in a proper perspective. Could my good friend be truly psychic? This was stretching a point, yet here was half the population of Mount Perry, swearing he was right on the button with his sayings.
I felt awful to have doubted my good buddy and I was determined to go to his home after hours and apologize for doubting him. After all, with all those years of friendship behind us, this was the very least I could do.
Promptly at 5:00 PM I closed my front door, swallowed my pride and started out for Yodar’s home. It was only a short walk but my cane slowed me down considerably. As I rounded the last corner, there was Yodar with a big garbage bag at his trash can. Now there is nothing unusual about someone throwing their trash away in the garbage pail, but Yodar was looking around to be sure no one was looking when he dropped the bag into the garbage pail.
Something was up. I made it my business to find out what. I waited until Yodar vanished back into his home before hobbling up to his garbage pail to see what he’d been so cautious about throwing away. I quietly lifted the lid and using my Swiss Army Knife slit the bag in the can open.
The bag was full of broken Chinese Fortune Cookies. I was shocked, but then I remembered, the fortune only applied to you if you eat the entire cookie. Yodar had not eaten these cookies, so the fortunes belonged to someone else. Yodar had just been lucky enough to match the fortune in the cookie to the right person.