Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Mystic Seer
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
I was busy whittling away at the stack of e-mails in my In Box this evening when I happened to glance over at the TV and see this hideous freak staring back at me out of his one good eye. Turns out B was watching old reruns of The Twilight Zone. Ever thoughtful, B was using headphones so as not to disturb me. But disturbed I was by the leering “Mystic Seer.”

I wasn’t even going to write a blog entry tonight, because I am so far behind with nearly every aspect of my life, but after getting the hairy eyeball from this thing, I just had to document its existence in the Twilight Zone (and sometimes on eBay if you’re lucky).

Turns out that The Twilight Zone prop people modeled this dreadful Old Scratch on a Halloween candy dispenser—I’m thinking Pez—probably changing just enough details to not infringe upon any copyrights or patents. Then they affixed it to a Swami Fortune Machine, apparently a common item in diners of the 1950s. Why don’t they still have stuff like this around in restaurants? It beats the crap out of video poker machines. I love cheap props. Dr. Who was great for cheap props. Need a shot of a distant planet? Just use an orange or a grapefruit and then have it for lunch when you’re done. My kind of special effect—and infinitely preferable to CGI.

Back to mystic seers and fortune telling. As it happens (and let's not read too much into this), today I had Vietnamese food for lunch. It came with a fortune cookie that contained what has to be the lamest fortune ever. One of those "fortunes" that has absolutely no prophesying element to it whatever. Here it is in all its limp glory:

“When it gets dark enough, you can see the stars.”

Huh? It’s not even possible to improve it by adding the “in bed” ending to it. Feeble and unsatisfactory.

Here’s one I like much better that’s been on my fridge for the past six months or so:

“Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.”

That's more like it.


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