Random Asides

‘kay, I’m psychic. Whatev.

So, when I was a kid, my mom thought I was psychic because I had a pretty acute power of observation and was also good at putting myself in the middle of a lot of things which seemed like coincidences but weren’t. Add to that a couple of genuine coincidences (like me sitting in front of the phone and saying ‘ring!’ and it did. I never tried it again because I knew it wouldn’t work), and she was convinced. And had me exorcised as a result, but that’s another story.

Anyhoo, I guess the exorcism wore off because this week I had the most awesome psychic experience and you should all be calling your local vicar or making tinfoil hats or something to protect yourselves from my mad para skillz.

Here’s how it went down:

I was listening to breakfast radio, and one of the DJs started talking about the artist he went to see perform the previous night. He invited the rest of the crew to guess who it was. For no reason at all, the name ‘Andy Scott Lee‘ jumped into my head. ‘That’s odd’, I thought, ‘ why would I think of him?’. Andy Scott Lee is not particularly famous. He’s certainly not getting any radio airplay. He is, in fact, a now-solo-but-sunk ex-member of a boyband. Obscure doesn’t quite describe him. But there he was, fully formed, in my head. The radio posse continue to play their guessing game until one of them, the inappropriately-named Comedy Dave, said “ooh, I know who it was! Andy Scott Lee!”.

At this, I gave a little start and sort of chuckled to myself. What a great coincidence! But then the other guy said that no, it was not ASL that he saw, and the game continued. And then another name came to me. Craig David. An R&B artist who has been mostly out of the UK charts for a few years and out of my consciousness for the same amount of time. There was no reason for me to think of him at all. A few minutes later, the radio guy revealed who it was he saw in concert…

…it was some unknown dude called Doug Walker. Never heard of him until then.

Disappointing. Until the radio guy said “yeah, and Craig David came onstage afterwards”.

Wow. Pretty freaky-deaky stuff. I think it’s clear. Either I am psychic, but can only pick up info from a breakfast DJ, or I can see two minutes into the future but all data except semi-famous popstar names is filtered out. Either way, I’m taking this baby on the road. My fame and fortune is guaranteed. Joey Fatone!

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  1. Breakfast DJ psychic powers is officially the most rediculous super power I have heard of now. You have officially beat out "farthest expiration date on a carton of milk man" Congrats! ((first post, love the blog!))

  2. Rhyming Couplet Lad would have been Shakespeare's sidekick. Wingman supreme! but yes, I believe Walks-like-a-duck-man would be fairly ridiculous. As for Falling Asleep Girl, she's pretty nifty! Cheers.

  3. Until walks-like-a-duck-man shows up here and tells us about his powers, I claim superiority. Although if he could lay me a big egg, that would rock.

    This reminds me of that Kids in the Hall character, Chicken Lady.

  4. Reminds me of an SNL sketch "Ed Glosser: Trivial Psychic," where Christopher Walken's ability was to accurately predict useless future events.

    ("You're going to get an ice cream headache and it will last two, three minutes!")

  5. There's a comedy on US tv that runs on that basic premise – a guy with great observational powers (taught by his detective dad) starts a "psychic" detective agency and convinces people he's psychically solving crimes when he's really just solving them with regular old brain power.

    The bottom line of this is, obviously, that you need to channel your powers into crime-fighting.

  6. Thinking about it, it'd be interesting to have an experiment where subtle/subliminal clues were inserted in the DJ's patter in the minutes before people were asked/expected to guess, and see how many people ended up ringing in convinced they were psychic.

    In fact, I'd wonder if the ASL idea was accidentally or deliberately suggested by the previous content of the programme, which was why both you and Comedy Dave thought of it.

    That would drop the coincidence count to one, which would make it minimal (if it were any less, you wouldn't have noticed anything at all).

  7. I've often found myself humming a tune when I leave my house in the morning, even while I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth or something, only to have it come up on the radio when I start the car, or be the very next song after that one finishes.

    Thing is, in my car I have one of those pop-stations on that mostly spins top 50 music, and they usually have a couple of songs they'll play a dozen times a day, several days (or weeks) in a row. Odds are I'll probably hear at least two songs again this evening on my drive home which I also heard this morning on my drive to work.

    Or I might just ever so faintly pick out the neighbour's radio on the way out without realizing it.

    I could switch to another channel, but then I'd miss the weather forecast and the short news at 8:30.

  8. Hey, I just noticed this. Why does the 8 (and presumably also the 6 too) stick out above the line, while all other numbers stick out below?

  9. Whooo! I had another psychic moment today! I was in a shop and there was a penny on the floor, and I thought "picking up a penny is skavvy, but I wish it was a pound". I'm not hard up or anything, I just enjoy finding shiny pound coins. Anyway, I was thinking about finding a shiny pound coin for the entire walk up the road to my office, and there one was, on the pavement!

    What's the JREF office number again?

    It's so easy to see how people fool themselves into believing they are psychic. It only takes a little grouping of coincidences to make you feel special. If I wasn't a skeptic and learned in the Ways of the Fallacies, I think I'd be starting to think about buying some tarot cards.

  10. Oh gosh! If these things happened in/near any of: a church, your local cult, or Tom Cruise, you may be worshiped and wealthier beyond your wildest dreams. Sadly… you reported it to us. Bet you think better of it next time! Probably better off though this way though, as I believe Lord Xenu detects psychic powers colonically.

  11. On most LARP events, the organisers have some sort of fake medieval looking currency (gold coins, precious gems, etc…). You'd be surprised how much money you can find simply by looking at the ground as you walk around. People will lose all kinds of coins, of all kinds of in-game value (probably compounded by the use of string-tied leather pouches rather than wallets).

    However, while finding coins on the ground is common, you hardly ever find bills.

  12. Well, I'm a potholer, and after having started a good run of finding bits and pieces of lost gear underground (partly due to having a good light, and partly due to deliberately taking time to look in likely places such as the bottom of large drops), I now seem to have started finding things I specifically want, in a way that's starting to seem a little weird.

  13. I've found a note in the street on a few occasions, but it's a strange experience – less a case of simply seeing a note, more a case of eyes scanning the ground and then some thought softly flagging up a message like 'Peculiarity in visual field – object in inappropriate place', but quietly enough that it would have been easy to ignore and just carry on walking.

    It's almost as if merely looking like money isn't quite enough to immediately give a piece of paper the 'money' property if the context is wrong.

  14. mmmm, Exarch, talk more geek to me! Sadly I can relate with SCA stuff (Yes, also an uber-geek). Coins are everywhere, but a note is MUCH nicer.
    I agree with the sentiment that there should be a skeptic type tv show… like ghost hunters, but not crap.

  15. I often find notes…well, probably once a year on average. Richard Wiseman explains all that in The Luck Factor (in fact he did a test for it).

    Although I only saw the pound coin today because I had my head down against the cold and was feeling a bit ill. If I’d been in a jolly sunshiney mood, I wouldn’t have been looking down.

    I wonder if depressives find more money?

  16. so your psychic power…

    yep… the government is going to lock you away! Cant have people with powers like you have just running around!

  17. Can I just add that the most useless super power in my mind is bending spoons? If one could unbend things that would be so much more useful. I think anticipating a DJs next line/thought could win you a free T-shirt at least

  18. It’s amazing how often I have to shout at my friends “I’m not psychic!”

    It’s almost become my catch-phrase. Maybe I should direct them here so they can see how well I did on the February psychic challenge.

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