America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Alexandria Czechtealeaves: True Psychic
The rise of psychics in recent years has brought a host of charlatans into the public eye. But against this background of fraudulence, one psychic's image remains untarnished. Alexandria Czechtealeaves, a humble orange rind collector in Pensacola, Florida, has muttered some of the most astonishing predictions in modern psychic history. During her lifetime, her predictions earned her a fanatical following, some of whom made the pilgrimage to Pensacola, hoping to catch a glimpse of the hunched old woman as she forages through dumpsters, in search of prophetic orange rinds.
Alexandria's utterances have been faithfully transcribed by a young leper called Misha, who had previously distinguished himself as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Misha has recently published Alexandria's predictions as The Prophecies of Alexandria: The Role of Citrus Fruits in Determining Global Mega-Trends. From prolonged meditation upon the bumps in navel oranges, Alexandria shocked the world with her predictions.
Her first recorded prediction was published in the Tampa Daily News in September, 1983. As she and Misha were being arrested for suffocating each other with cheesecloth, Alexandria mumbled something in an unknown tongue which Misha translated as: "Toshiro will soon die." Amazingly, Toshiro Mifune of Tokyo, the world's oldest living person at 117 years of age, died later that day when his frail frame slid into his toilet, and was flushed into oblivion by his vindictive cat, Louis. The Tampa papers published her prediction, and a public outcry led to her and Misha's early release.
At the televised press conference that followed, Alexandria garbled more prophecies in her strange, grating speech that one linguistics professor in attendance declared was Classical Sanskrit, and another said was caused by her strange practice of a holding a Slinky between her gums as a denture-substitute. Luckily, Misha was on hand to translate, and he gratified the public by relating her latest prophecies.
1) Population growth will continue, so that by the year 2000 there will be "many more" humans.
2) There will never be a nuclear holocaust during our lifetimes.
3) America will never pay off its national debt.
4) Chevy Chase will never win an Academy Award.
5) Many new brands of condiments will continue to be marketed each year, "especially salad dressings."
"Alex," as she was affectionately called by her new disciples, soon appeared on many television talkshows, Misha again serving as her translator. Audiences were delighted by her predictions that Oprah Winfrey would not make the U.S. Olympic swim team, and that Phil Donahue would be declared a deity in an unnamed Latin American country. But it was her appearance on "Geraldo" that made national headlines. She had been choking on her Slinky dentures, when Misha performed the Heimlich maneuver on her, who turned and catapulted the steel coil into the startled face of Geraldo, who wet himself. Geraldo, in a froth, smashed the Slinky to bits, inciting the toothless "Alex" to bite his moustache off with her gums, while Misha stood on stage, pelting him with salamanders. Misha then told the audience that this incident was a sign from God that U.S. steel production was declining, and that America was converting itself to a service-oriented economy. The next day, this prediction was confirmed in the Wall Street Journal.
Despite her repute, Alex was forced to write out fortune cookies for a while, while Misha looked after her posh Beverly Hills estate. But her life of destitution ended in December 1987, when she and Misha were summoned to the White House by President Ronald Reagan. Reagan had recently locked all his chief economists in a meat cooler, and was looking for new advisors.
Misha told Reagan that he would be elected to a second term, which seemed to delight the President. When Nancy Reagan pointed out that her husband was already serving his second term, Misha lashed out at her as "an unbeliever" and predicted that she would one day be swallowed whole by her own goldfish; the frightened President immediately increased her Secret Service detail. Misha also told the President that he should refuse ABC's offer for him to appear on "Jeopardy" against a dolphin, a head of cabbage, and a wax sculpture; his chances of victory, said Misha, were "not good." Reagan accepted this prudent advice. He thanked Misha and Alex, and as a token of his gratitude he gave her a set of wooden teeth. Misha was offered the state of Rhode Island but declined.
Although the Bush Adminstration also sought Alex's advice, she was fired when Misha foretold it would soon be revealed that Barbara Bush was really the President's grandmother, and that as a child the President himself had once co-starred on "Leave it to Beaver." Unemployed, the psychic team returned to Pensacola.
A tent-city of Alex's admirers had sprang up in Pensacola. They proclaimed her God and bought her a 1979 Ford Pinto. Soon, before a hushed gathering at a Pensacola delicatessen, Misha gave the somber news that Alex had predicted her own death after looking into a glass of Tang instant breakfast drink. She had named Misha as her successor and left him all her earthly belongings. The next day, Misha reported that Alex and the Pinto were missing, and in a year she was pronounced dead. But her body was never found, giving rise to rumors that she was still alive, gobbling Fig Newtons and serving as a staffer for the World Health Organization.
Misha turned down several Cabinet level positions in order to form a political lobby, fighting for full health insurance for lepers. He can still be seen in the center square on "Hollywood Squares," and heard peddling his psychic hotline. And though Alexadria's death prompted weeping from her millions of followers, Misha's publication of her collected prophecies have renewed interest in this remarkable woman, known to so many as just plain "Alex."