Big Billy – Trouble on the line

Minnie and Rosie came home from one of Joan’s ladies’ auxiliary craft and fundraisin’ sales with a book on readin’ palms.

Give us yer hand, Minnie said. We read yer fortune.Big BIlly

Oh yes, I says. And after that I think I’ll go down the club and play darts with the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.

Yes Billy, she said. You got all the answers, don’t ya?

As ya can probably tell, I don’t really believe in any of that psychic business, and whenever anybody brings up psychics or mediums or people who can predict the future or talk to the dead or whatever, I usually start makin’ fun of it right away. Part of that is because I usually think the person is as phony as a three-dollar bill, and I’m a little freaked out to admit it, but another reason is because it gives me the heebie-jeebies. I mean, even if ya know it’s nothin’ but nonsense, don’t it just give ya the creeps, the idea of someone bein’ able to see ghosts and know your future and all that stuff?

And the thing is, for years and years, Minnie was the same way as me. She thought all that stuff was about as fake as UFOs or Bigfoot sightings. But then one night after I fell asleep, she was up watchin’ TV by herself and called one of them psychic hotlines. Half an hour and $50 later, she hangs up and she’s a different woman – anything to do with psychics or palm readin’ or horoscopes or anything else, she listens to all of it. To this day, the first thing she goes to in the paper every day is the horoscopes and then she reads everybody’s out loud.

How do they write them horoscopes so good? I say to her. I mean, somehow they know that some days are gonna be good days and some days are gonna be bad days. Freaky, eh?

Laugh away, Billy, she’d say. You got all the answers, eh? (That’s what she always says when I tell her this stuff is crazy.)

Anyways, there’s no way I was gonna be their guinea pig in this big palm-readin’ experiment. My luck, they’d take a look at my hand and say somethin’ like – Uh oh, says here you’ll drop dead Wednesday.

But Rosie got a dish towel from the cupboard drawer, wrapped it around her head and said in a fake Jamaican accent to call her The Psychic Miss Ro-Ro. So of course, she had me laughin’, and how can ya say no to somethin’ like that.

So I stuck my mitt out and plunked my hand down on the table and the two of them start lookin’ at the lines on it like they’re studyin’ for a test or somethin’. I guess they were readin’ the book while they were workin’ the table at the craft sale so they already knew what everything was and I guess they just coudn’t wait to get home and try it out on me.

Ah, let Miss Ro-Ro see here now, she said. She traced one of the sideways lines on my hand and said – Looks like you have a strong Life Line.

Thank frig, I said. If you said I was gonna drop dead Wednesday my plan was to go to bed and not get up ‘til Thursday.

Ha-friggin’-ha, Minnie said, thumbin’ through the book. See what his Success Line looks like, Rosie.

Let’s see now, she said, lookin’.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he don’t have one, Minnie said.

Tuh! I said, right offended. I’m the only fella I know that can eat 50 wings in one sittin’. With that kind of success rate, my Success Line probably goes right through my palm, all the way round the back of my hand, down my wrist. Here, (I said, liftin’ up my arm), if it’s a Success Line you’re lookin’ for on a fella like me, you should probably start somewhere down around the elbow.

Hold still! Minnie said, even though she was laughin’. Have a look at his Health Lne, Rosie.

Oh, my Health Line! I said. Just a second now, dear, (I said, gettin’ up outta the chair). I’m pretty sure that one’s on my arse.

Billy! Minnie said and she swatted one arm and Rosie swatted the other.

OK, OK, I said. I’ll be good, I promise. Let’s go.

OK, mon, Rosie said in her Jamaican accent. A few seconds later when she was lookin’ again, she said – OK, Da, you’re Health Line looks good. And your Marriage Line, over here by the pinky finger, that one’s very strong, very deep, which means you have a really good relationship.

Don’t let that go to yer head, Minnie said to me and kicked me under the table.

And this line here is called the Girdle of Venus, Rosie said.

The whuh? Are you sayin’ my fingers are fat?

… And that one’s a smooth uninterrupted arc, which means you have a nice even temperament.

Temperament? I said, pretendin’ to get mad. Isn’t that what people say about dogs? ‘That dog there got a nice temperament,’ they say. I don’t got any temperament!

Let’s see if we can find one more line, Minnie said. Oh! Look at the size of your Fool Line, she said.

My Fool Line? I said. What’s that?

Right in the middle of your palm, she said. It’s right small, though. Ya gotta really look to see it.

So I put my hand up an inch away from my nose tryin’ to see it.

Where at? I said. And that’s when she smacked my hand into my face.

They laughed their arses off, but the thing is when ya get hit in the nose like that, yer eyes get all watery. So I still never seen my Fool Line yet.

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