by Doug Hawley
Duke and Sally
went to the Lake Oswego carnival on Dukes
twenty-fifth birthday. He and Sally
had been married seven years at that time and
still acted like newlyweds. After they
rode the small roller coaster and the whirly-gig,
they went to see the main stage where a Genius
Jody Stiles, who claimed to be clairvoyant, was
doing his act. When he asked for a
volunteer, Sally volunteered Duke as a birthday
Stiles asked Duke Give me a big smile.
Duke stretched his face into a painfully
exaggerated version of something vaguely
resembling a smile.
Stiles explained Your teeth have nerves
that connect to your spirit. I can
read them and tell you all about yourself and
your future. You are the best HVAC
technician in three counties; youve been
married to your high school sweetheart for six
years (looks at watch), ten months and three days. You
currently weigh 176 pounds, but would like to get
back to your high school weight of 163. Did
I get all of that right?
Duke looks at Sally and she nods yes. Dukes
jaw drops comically.
Stile continues Now about your future. You
should quit your HVAC job; go to college and
study math and physics. You will
become the most famous scientist since Einstein.
Fifty years later, Duke had become the most
famous scientist since Einstein. He
has solved particle entanglement, and explained
what happens to Schrödingers cat. His
biggest achievement was discovering the Centaur
like inhabitants of Renn - dim witted, but
excellent sculptors. I sure wish
that Stiles was still alive so I could thank him
for telling me how to change my life.
Sally tells him So you never figured out
what happened at that reading? I asked
Stiles assistant to do that reading
beforehand and gave him all those facts about you. I
thought that you would enjoy it, but could figure
out what happened.
That explains how he knew about me, but he
got my future planned out by reading my teeth.
Duke, do you remember that bicycle accident
when you were twelve?
Do you also remember that you had to have
all of your front teeth replaced by implants? He
didnt have anything but artificial teeth to
read. That future was totally made up
based on nothing.
Duke is temporarily stunned. After a
long pause Alls well that ends well?
*See https://literallystories2014.com/2019/03/20/living-la-vida-extraterrestrial-by-douglas-hawley/#more-16681 for a
description of Renn.